Botox injections are used cosmetically to relax muscles in the forehead, reducing or eliminating frown lines. Other uses include uncontrolled blinking, muscle spasm or excessive perspiration. Botox is botulinum toxin type A, a bacterial toxin that stops the nerves from working and responding normally. While Botox injections are typically quite safe, breast-feeding mothers may want to consider this cosmetic treatment carefully.
Botox is injected into muscle tissue, paralyzing the nerves. Multiple injections are common as part of a single treatment, and treatments are repeated every three to six months. If you opt for cosmetic Botox, the dosage is quite low and the risk of side effects is fairly minimal. Medical use of Botox for muscle spasm may require a substantially larger dose than cosmetic treatments.
Botox Cosmetic remains localized in the muscle, near the injection site, according to ReJuveDerme.com. Within just a few hours, the medication is metabolized and broken down in the body. A cosmetic treatment typically uses less than 100 units of Botox Cosmetic. More than 35 times that amount is necessary to cause illness, making Botox a relatively low-risk option for cosmetic treatments.
There is no evidence supporting the safety of the Botulin A toxin while breast feeding. According to the Drug and Lactation Database, LactMed, one infant has been safely breastfed during maternal botulism with no botulinum toxin detectable in her breast milk. Cosmetic and medical dosages of botulin toxin are much lower than botulism infection, and amounts of toxin ingested by the infant are expected to cause no harm to a breast-feeding baby.
Potential side effects of Botox injections include dry mouth, eye and vision problems, headaches, and discomfort or pain at the injection site. Side effects are typically temporary and will not affect breast feeding. More significant allergic reactions or infections are also possible. Treatments for infection or other reactions may require medication and impact your breast-feeding experience.
Many doctors prefer not to use Botox Cosmetic in breast-feeding mothers, and the manufacturer states that Botox is not appropriate for breast-feeding mothers. Speak to your doctor about your concerns if you do want to begin Botox treatments while nursing, or simply wait until after weaning before undergoing Botox treatments.