Although many women opt for Botox as a minimally invasive way to look more youthful, many ladies around the world are wondering: can you safely get Botox while pregnant? Pregnancy is a complex time for many — although it’s an exciting time and lots of women get a “pregnancy glow”, symptoms like bloat, nausea, moodiness, and general exhaustion can take over the best of us. As a result, it’s totally understandable that mothers-to-be want to feel a little younger before giving birth.
A beauty routine is a great way to regain confidence through that difficult time, but certain activities like dying your hair are considered to have some level of risk for pregnant women. Botox injections are a nearly painless treatment that lasts around 15 minutes and involves a doctor injecting multiple doses into specific points, based on the goal.
While the procedure itself isn’t always the risky factor, the products being used can pose potentially harmful risks to growing fetuses. Learn more about the ingredients in Botox to find out if it’s the right decision for you.
What’s in Botox?
Some of you may not know that the active ingredient in Botox, known as clostridium botulinum, is the same bacterium that causes food poisoning known as botulism. Don’t worry! This is less scary than it sounds. When it’s injected in the skin in tiny amounts, it simply acts as a neurotoxin that paralyzes muscles. When some users take it too far, they can’t make facial expressions as they ordinarily would. It’s also commonly used to combat excessive sweating.
Side effects of injecting Botox include discomfort and swelling at the site, along with potential headaches, numbness, and stomachaches. While none of these side effects are deadly, one should weigh the benefits and risks of this procedure if they’re with child.
What if you use Botox for medical, non-cosmetic purposes?
Botox is used to treat conditions such as psoriasis and alopecia, as well as people suffering from excessive sweating disorders. The FDA also recently verified it as the only treatment for chronic migraines. In this case, injection sites include the upper back, neck, forehead, and temples. Doctors also use Botox as a form of treatment for the condition known as dystonia, in which people do repetitive movements stemming from uncontrolled muscle contractions.
Although there are lots of benefits for using Botox in a medical context, that doesn’t change the effect it may have on pregnant bodies; Regardless of the reason you chose to get Botox, risks can still be present.
Pros and cons of Botox and pregnancy
If you’ve been using Botox for a long time and find yourself wondering if using this anti-aging tool is safe for your baby while you’re pregnant. While studies have been done with animals that show toxins don’t cross the placenta, humans aren’t the same. We also don’t know how it will affect things like breastfeeding, and if Botox passes into breastmilk.
During pregnancy, women have lowered immunity, and unfortunately, there aren’t tons of long-term research on the effects of Botox on pregnancy. The main concern is if bacteria from the injection site can leak into other body parts. Those unknown risks introduce the possibility of developing botulism.
Many pregnant women aren’t willing to be research subjects, so doctors agree there aren’t and may never be enough sufficient studies.
Some of the risks associated with using Botox during pregnancy include similar symptoms of botulism, including:
- Muscle weakness
- Blurred vision
- Trouble breathing/swallowing
- Loss of bladder control
Alternatives to using Botox during pregnancy
Instead, pregnant women might consider using other wrinkle-reducing measures that aren’t injected, such as topical creams with antioxidants and omega fatty acids. Using sunscreen daily is also important.
You can also complete a glycolic or lactic acid peel during pregnancy but may want to avoid salicylic acid peels and retinoid-based products. Staying hydrated and exfoliating regularly is also key to keeping wrinkles at bay, and a monthly facial with extractions can do wonders in keeping that complexion happy.
Plus, water retention during the pregnancy cycle helps to reduce crow’s feet and wrinkles. Along with increased oil production, your wrinkles will probably even out and naturally disappear, so bask in that natural glow and enjoy! Ultimately, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you’re still not sure, we get it. But if you do have concerns, consider putting the treatments on hold or at least talking to your doctor about the issue for some expert knowledge.