29th January 2019

Is Botox Safe When You're Pregnant?

Last Modified: May 26, 2023

Botox is the most popular cosmetic procedure in the world. As such, regular Botox treatments are part of many people's usual beauty maintenance routine. 

But those routinely getting Botox may not know whether to hold off on treatments after finding out they're pregnant. Is Botox Safe When You're Pregnant? But those routinely getting Botox may not know whether to hold off on treatments after finding out they're pregnant. 

There is ample evidence to show that the foods and drinks you consume while pregnant have a direct effect on the health of your baby. But in terms of beauty treatments during pregnancy, there is a lot of confusion and doubt.  

Many pregnant women question if it is safe to dye their hair and paint their nails. For these more established beauty procedures, there is evidence - although limited - to show that these are safe during pregnancy.

But, with newer treatments such as Botox, the picture is even less clear. 

If you're pregnant or trying to conceive and wondering, 'Is Botox safe during pregnancy?', read on to find out.   

What is Botox? 

Botox (Botulinum Toxin) is an effective, non-surgical way to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. The most common treatment areas are the forehead, frown lines between the eyebrows, crow's feet, and fine lines around the lips. 

The treatment works by temporarily reducing the activity of muscles. As a result, Botox helps to provide a more youthful, smoother appearance. 

In general, the effects of the treatment last for around three to six months before muscle activity returns. Although, the results will vary from person to person due to the skin's natural genetic makeup. 

Is Botox Safe During Pregnancy? 

Due to a lack of clinical studies investigating the effects of Botox on pregnant women, we can't be sure that Botox is safe to use during pregnancy. 

As such, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) advises pregnant women not have Botox, unless it is for medical reasons

Some small-scale studies suggest that Botox may be safe in pregnancy. But, the data is limited and was not gathered as part of a controlled trial. 

It is doubtful whether it will ever be possible to conduct such studies. This is because testing pregnant women for a cosmetic drug is fraught with ethical and legal risk. 

In cases such as these, we must look to animal studies for some kind of conclusive answer. Animal studies in rats, mice and rabbits resulted in low birth weights, foetal malformations, reduced bone development, and/or abortions.

We can't be sure that the same would happen to human babies. But the lack of conclusive evidence is enough for doctors to consider that it is not safe for women to have Botox while pregnant. 

That being said, as Botox is such a common procedure, there are many cases of women who have had Botox just before they conceived, or before they realised they were pregnant in the first trimester.

This has even happened in clinical Botox trials, including one study conducted by the MHRA. In this case, five women became pregnant during the trials. While most elected to have an abortion, one woman went on to have a healthy pregnancy. 

If you've unknowingly had Botox while pregnant, this kind of anecdotal evidence should be enough to reassure you that the risk of having harmed your baby is low. But you should not have any further Botox treatments throughout the rest of your pregnancy. There are also other factors besides pregnancy you may want to consider first before your Botox injection - check them here.

Botox While Breastfeeding

Of course, as every mother knows, if you plan on breastfeeding, the risk of passing potentially harmful substances to your baby doesn't stop when you give birth. So, you may also be wondering, 'Is Botox dangerous while breastfeeding?'

As with the uncertainty of Botox during pregnancy, it is still unclear whether or not Botox toxins can spread to a nursing child. But, Botox injections contain neurotoxins which can be dangerous for people with an allergy to these chemicals.

As such, breastfeeding women should avoid potential sources of these toxins, including certain foods and Botox. 

Therefore, as a precaution, most doctors recommend that new mums avoid Botox while breastfeeding. And, it seems that even Botox devotees, such as Kim Kardashian, are following this advice when it comes to choosing the best for their new-born babies. 

How to Proceed with Beauty Treatments 

If Botox is inadvisable during pregnancy, you might be wondering what other options are available to you while you're expecting. 

It's worth considering that many consider pregnancy to be its own anti-ageing treatment. Your face tends to become fuller, which helps to smooth out lines. And, as Kim Kardashian recognised, pregnant women often look radiant and younger, which can be enough of a beauty boost. 

If you do feel that you need something extra, treatments which encourage the body's own healing reflex, such as micro-needling or dermarolling, can help to make your skin appear more youthful.

Booking in for relaxing pregnancy facials is another safe option. Although, you should be aware that your skin can become more sensitive during pregnancy. As such, it's best to avoid harsh treatments like microdermabrasion. 

Of course, as soon as you stop breastfeeding, it's fine to resume your regular Botox treatments and you should prepare accordingly for your Botox injection. And, after a year or two of night-time feeds and next-to-no sleep, it could be the best time to try something extra.

For example, you might consider a combination of Botox and fillers to achieve even better and longer-lasting results. 

Botox During Pregnancy and Beyond

With such a limited body of research, we can't definitively answer the question, 'Is Botox safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding?'. For this reason, it's best to be on the side of caution and advise pregnant and nursing women to avoid Botox. 

But, once you've stopped breastfeeding, it's perfectly safe to continue getting regular Botox. Or indeed, this could be the ideal time to book your first Botox treatment

For more information or to book a consultation, contact us today. 

Post Reviewed by: Dr Baldeep Farmah
Medically Reviewed on: 29th January 2019
Dr Baldeep Farmah is the Medical Director and lead Doctor of Dr Aesthetica, a Medical Aesthetic Clinic.

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