Whether you’re thinking about getting BOTOX® for medical use or BOTOX® Cosmetic to reduce wrinkles, breastfeeding moms may want to think twice.
My name is Dr. Aeria Chang, and I perform thousands of BOTOX Cosmetic injections each year on my patients. Many patients call to book their injections and ask me, “Can I get BOTOX if I’m breastfeeding?”
There are many reasons to postpone BOTOX injections until after pregnancy and breastfeeding are completed. Safety is my top concern, so I always ask patients if they are pregnant or nursing before they are booked for their treatment.
How BOTOX Works to Temporarily Paralyze Muscles
BOTOX is made from a purified form of the C. botulinum toxin; the same toxin that causes botulism when ingested. When it is injected into the muscle, however, the effect is very different.
Because the injection is placed deep in the muscle tissue, it remains there for about 3-4 months, or until the body metabolizes it. Once it has been metabolized, reinjection is needed to maintain the same results.
OnabotulinumtoxinA is the name of the toxin molecule that BOTOX is made from. This molecule interferes with the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, or ACH. This neurotransmitter sends signals to the muscle to contract.
When the BOTOX molecule is present, the muscle never receives the ACH signal, so it never contracts. Again, this is a temporary muscle paralysis, so as the body carries the onabotulinumtoxinA molecule out of the muscle, movement returns over time.
Breastfeeding and BOTOX Safety
If you’ll recall, babies should not be fed foods with a higher chance of botulism poisoning such as honey, improperly handled leftovers, or canned foods. This same caution applies to a breastfed baby whose mother has had BOTOX injections.
The presence of this toxin in the mother’s body may pose a risk to the infant. However, there aren’t enough studies to say whether this is true or not. For now, the medical and cosmetic experts are saying “no” to BOTOX for pregnant or breastfeeding moms.
Because BOTOX can travel outside of the injection site in very rare cases, your best bet is to wait.
The Bottom Line
Getting BOTOX injections while breastfeeding is not recommended. Although the medication should, theoretically, stay contained inside of the facial muscles, this is not guaranteed. Additionally, studies have not proven that BOTOX injections are safe for the baby if the mother breastfeeds.
It’s best to err on the side of caution and wait to get BOTOX until after you have weaned your baby from breastfeeding.
BOTOX Injections in San Diego (Mission Valley) – Beatitude Aesthetic Medicine
If you’re done breastfeeding and know that you’re not pregnant, give Dr. Chang a call for your BOTOX injections. Getting rid of worry lines and “elevens” between the eyes can help you look well-rested, even though we know that our busy moms usually aren’t getting much sleep after their baby is born!
*BOTOX® and BOTOX® Cosmetic are registered trademarks of Allergan, Inc.