If you've been following my journey for a while, you might recall that time when I ventured into the world of Botox while breastfeeding. I had my forehead done - I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either.
If you're anything like me, you're probably wondering, Is it even safe while breastfeeding?
Perhaps you're contemplating giving it a shot or rescheduling your next appointment if you’re a Botox aficionado ( that’s just a fancy way of saying Botox enthusiast ).
However, sifting through the information about its safety as a breastfeeding mum can be super challenging. There isn't much non-judgmental advice and support out there. So, let's unpack this together!
Firstly, what is Botox?
Botox is a drug doctors have been using for years to treat wrinkles and facial creases. It's a brand name of a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Other brands include Dysport and Xeomin. Botox is the term you hear most often because it was the first injectable botulinum toxin. In the beauty industry, Botox has become a household name, hailed for its ability to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
But here's the catch - it contains a neurotoxin that could potentially be harmful in large doses or to those allergic to it. In rare instances, this neurotoxin can lead to botulism, a severe infection. But don't panic just yet! The doses used in cosmetic procedures are much smaller than those that could cause such complications.** remember this fact!
So how many people actually get Botox?
Well it’s an increasingly popular procedure. Recent data suggests that between 4-5 million people get Botox annually. This is a dramatic increase from the year 2000, which reported fewer than 800,000 Botox procedures (Source: PlasticSurgery.org).
But why do people get Botox?
It's a minimally invasive procedure that combats signs of aging in the face, including forehead lines, bunny lines, crow’s feet, dimpled chins, and gummy smiles. In addition, it also has clinical uses like treating migraines, excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), and an overactive bladder. It’s not always vanity, I know many mums who heavily rely on it for treating epic migraines!
Now onto the million-dollar question - is Botox safe during breastfeeding?
Well, I wish I could give you a definitive yes or no, but the truth is, it's not that black and white.
Some studies suggest that Botox is not systemically detectable after facial injections, meaning that it's highly unlikely to appear in your breastmilk. However, the main reason some practitioners are super against treating breastfeeding mums is due to the potential, yet very rare, risk of botulism. Medically speaking, it's good practice for breastfeeding women to avoid potential sources of botulism... including Botox! Heck it’s good for everyone to avoid botulism…
And look, certain practitioners won't even administer Botox to breastfeeding women, while others will. In Australia, there are no laws prohibiting it. Yet, some practitioners are limited by insurance policies that exclude pregnant or breastfeeding mums. As I said, it's not a black-and-white issue.
When I decided to get Botox, my little one was 3 years old. I weighed the information, considered the facts, and concluded that I was comfortable with the risks. I didn't feel that my risks were any greater than if I weren't breastfeeding my 3-year-old.
The general risks of Botox, can include bruising, headache, pain at the site of injection, and, in rare cases, drooping eyelids or eyebrows. I accepted those risks.
Look breastfeeding is tough - you really have to think, research, and make decisions based on the best possible information available.
Questions like, "How old is my baby? Can I leave them for the entire appointment? Will they pull, pinch, and gouge out my eyes?" (I’m currently nursing an 8-month-old who is quite savage) and "Do I have the time and energy to heal?" are crucial.
For instance, there's no way I would do it now; my 8-month-old is a boob barnacle, completely reliant on his milk. I couldn’t leave him for the appointment, and he would 100% touch and mess with my face. But when I was feeding my 3-year-old, leaving her was simple. She wasn't as handsy, and I had the time to heal and rest.
So if you're not comfortable with Botox or life simply won’t allow it, but you still want to maintain that youthful glow *wink * wink , here are some alternatives:
SLIP, SLOP, SLAP! Slip on a hat, slop on some sunscreen, and slap on sunglasses (a famous Australian saying!)
Eat well, and stay hydrated
Breastmilk facials! I swear by them!
As for my personal Botox experience, I've tried it once and might consider it again in the future... maybe.
Until our next LactaChat
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