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Botox and Pregnancy: A Guide to Pre- and Postnatal Skin Rejuvenation

Botox injections are a popular and effective way to soften facial lines and wrinkles to maintain a younger look. If periodic Botox treatments have been part of your beauty routine, is it safe to have fresh treatments when you’re pregnant? What about after your baby is born and you’re breastfeeding? Here’s a quick summary of current medical guidance:

Are Botox Treatments Safe During Pregnancy?

While there’s no conclusive answer to this question, most doctors advise a cautious approach: hold off on cosmetic Botox treatments until after your baby is born and you’re finished breastfeeding.

Here’s what is known about Botox and the reason for this prudent advice:

  • Botox is a powerful toxin. It works by blocking signals from nerves to specific muscles to keep them from contracting.
  • Botox is packaged with an FDA warning alerting users to the risk that the botulinum toxin can spread beyond the treatment area and affect other parts of the body with the same movement-inhibiting effects.
  • Animal studies have found no evidence of the toxin from Botox injections passing through the placental wall to harm the developing fetus, but similar studies have not been done with humans.

If you’ve had Botox treatment before becoming pregnant or before realizing you were pregnant, don’t panic. The small doses of toxin used in cosmetic treatment are unlikely to have affected your baby.

What About Having Botox Treatment While Breastfeeding?

Here, too, there’s no definitive answer on safety, but because the botulinum toxin can spread beyond the treatment area, why take the risk of it passing into your breast milk? It’s easy enough to forego Botox treatments for the months that you are pregnant and breastfeeding, and the benefit of avoiding even a tiny risk to your baby is probably huge to you.

If you have questions, talk them over with your doctor. Fortunately, there are other ways to keep your skin looking young and healthy while you are nursing.

Skin Rejuvenation Alternatives

In general, you should be most careful in choosing skin treatments while you are pregnant, both for the sake of your developing baby and because your skin is likely to be more sensitive at this time. After your child is born and while you are breastfeeding, there are several safe options for skin rejuvenation:

  • Milder chemical peels — using glycolic or lactic acid — are generally considered to be safe during pregnancy. But you should avoid the stronger salicylic acid peels.
  • Microneedling and microdermabrasion may be safe for your baby during pregnancy, but may not be advisable because of the sensitivity of your skin. It’s best to wait until after you’ve given birth. Talk with your doctor about the timing of these treatments.
  • Facetite, a skin tightening treatment using radiofrequency (RF) technology, is another option after you have given birth. It will not affect your breast milk.

And don’t forget about lifestyle practices that help to keep your skin looking young while also keeping you and your baby healthy:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat a healthy mix of foods, including lean proteins, nuts, and lots of vegetables and fruit.
  • Be physically active. Go out for walks with your baby and get other exercise when you can.
  • Protect your skin from the sun.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Nap when you can. Take turns with your partner getting up at night with the new baby. Hire a sitter to give yourself some rest time.

Learn More About Skin Rejuvenation in New Orleans

Dr. Parker Verlago and Dr. Celeste Gary at the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery are board-certified plastic surgeons with special expertise in cosmetic facial treatments. Call us at (504) 533-8848 or contact us today to schedule a consultation.