Botox and Breastfeeding: Side Effects, Safe Alternatives & more

Is Botox Safe for Breastfeeding Mothers?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Rima Sonpal (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

If you are a breastfeeding mom, it is vital that you make sure that any medication you take is safe for your baby because medicines can enter the breast milk from your bloodstream and may harm your baby. Botox is a substance that is used for both medical and cosmetic reasons. If you are a nursing mom and are planning to take a Botox injection, you must first find out if it is safe for breastfeeding moms or not.

What Is Botox and What Are Its Uses?

Botox is a neurotoxin derived from the bacteria, Clostridium BotulinumBotox is an abbreviation for Botulinum toxins, which is the source of this prescribed medication. Botox is known to cause paralysis when administered in large doses. If given in small quantities, it causes paralysis only in the small area of the body where it is injected.

Some of the primary benefits of getting a Botox injection are as follows:

  • Botox can treat wrinkles.
  • It is effective against excessive sweating.
  • It helps fight migraine and nausea.
  • It fights unwanted twitches, squints, and Bell’s Palsy by relaxing the muscles and preventing them from acting on misfiring neurons involuntarily.

How Does Botox Work?

Every muscle tissue in the body is connected to the brain through a network of neurons. Botox, when administered properly into the muscle tissue, forms a shield between the muscle tissue and the neurons. This cuts off all the signals from the neurons to the muscle tissues, making them relaxed. Due to the cut-off of signals from the neurons in a localised region in the body where it is administered, it is extremely useful in removing wrinkles due to sun damage and gravity.

Should Breastfeeding Moms Get Botox?

Although research on Botox and breastfeeding studies has shown that there is no visible effect or medical implications of getting a Botox injection while breastfeeding, a few things, such as the ones given below, should be taken into account before you opt for it:

  • Research has shown that botulin toxins enter the bloodstream in small quantities, even if administered to muscle tissue.
  • Most of the medications taken by the mother are present in the breast milk while the mother is nursing her baby.
  • Since there are potential medical risks that a breastfeeding baby may be exposed to, most mothers do not take the risk of undergoing Botox injections when they are nursing.
  • When it is necessary to undergo Botox for medical reasons rather than cosmetic reasons, it is advised that the mother should stop nursing the child.

The potential risks of breastfeeding after a Botox injection outweigh the benefits of the injection. It is necessary to understand the risks and side effects of using Botox during breastfeeding so that you can decide for yourself.

Should Breastfeeding Moms Get Botox?

What Are the Side Effects and Risks of Getting Botox During Breastfeeding?

Some of the significant side effects of Botox injections during breastfeeding are as follows:

  • Botox causes Botulism, which can be a dangerous medical condition for people with low immunity, like new-born babies, pregnant women, and older adults.
  • Another side effect is the drying of mouth for a period after the Botox injection.
  • A study to correlate the effects of Botox on breastfeeding on rodents revealed that it has an extremely adverse impact on the offspring’s weight and bone development.
  • Extreme usage of Botox can give rise to urological and pain-related disorders, such as an overactive bladder.
  • Botox is also the cause of multiple neuromuscular disorders, like cervical dystonia.
  • Administering Botox can also cause eye and vision-related problems.
  • There have also been reports of temporary discomfort at the site of the Botox injection.

Can Pumping and Dumping Reduce the Impact of Botox in Nursing Mothers?

Pumping and dumping is a method used by nursing mothers to remove harmful substances from breast milk. The method involves extracting milk and throwing it away instead of feeding it. This does not necessarily remove the substance, but it helps metabolise the substance from the blood and in the milk. There is no concrete information on how much time botox takes to metabolise out of the blood. Hence, ‘pump and dump’ may not be an extremely effective solution against breastfeeding after a Botox injection.

Guidelines for Preventing the Serious Effects of Botox

Some basic guidelines for preventing the severe effects of botox on the baby and the nursing mother are as follows:

  • Try avoiding botox injections if you want to take it only for cosmetic reasons. If you need Botox for medical conditions, avoid nursing and breastfeeding your child after a botox treatment.
  • Seek help from a medical professional as there is not enough scientific evidence on the effects of Botox on breastfeeding women.

Safe Alternatives to Botox for Breastfeeding Moms

There are some safer alternatives to botox for breastfeeding mothers that can be considered.

1. Medical Botox Alternatives

Over-the-counter pain medications like Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen.

2. Cosmetic Botox Alternatives

You can try facial acupuncture. A professional massage is also an excellent Botox alternative that can induce muscle relaxation. Along with this, you should also stay hydrated and follow a healthy diet.

Although there are no direct medical implications to using Botox and fillers while breastfeeding, the potential risks of doing so outweigh the benefits of using Botox. For your safety and good health of your baby, it is best that you stay away from Botox injection while breastfeeding.

Also Read: Taking Cold Medicine during Breastfeeding

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Aarohi Achwal holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a master’s degree in English Literature. While working as an intern for an English daily, she realised that she likes writing above anything else. The idea of being heard without having to speak appeals to her. She likes to write research-based articles that are informative and relevant. She has written articles on pregnancy, parenting, and relationships. And she would like to continue creating content on health and lifestyle.