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Gwynn Cassidy

Former Executive director at The Global SHE Initiative

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Pregnancy and Botox

Pregnancy & Postpartum

Soon-to-be mom, Erica, is worried about how her Botox treatments might affect her baby and asked,

"I just found out that I'm pregnant, and I've been getting Botox treatments. Will this harm the baby? Are there other anti-aging products that are better to use during this time?"

Thank for this question, Erica. In my initial research, I found varying opinions on this issue so, to get the record straight, I turned to Board certified Dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Liotta for answers.

Here's what I learned: Dr. Liotta explained that Botox, or botulinum toxin type A, is a neurotoxin that is used cosmetically to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It works by paralyzing the muscles that create wrinkles so your face looks smoother.

Botox is injected directly into the face, typically the forehead area, and is not supposed to get into the general blood circulation. But some studies suggest that the drug may affect muscles in areas far from the face.

Although Botox has not been studied in pregnant women, it has a pregnancy classification C. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Category C means the medicine has not been studied in pregnant women but that animal studies suggest it can harm the developing baby; or, it has not been studied in either women or animals.

Botox actually has been studied in pregnant mice, rats and rabbits. The babies of mice and rats were born with low birth weights and/or delayed bone development. Pregnant rabbits who received Botox injections fared even worse, miscarrying or delivering babies with severe malformation or even dying themselves.

All of which is a long way around the bottom line: NO. Do not use Botox while pregnant. Dr. Liotta also recommends that women who are not pregnant take a pregnancy test before each injection if there is the slightest possibility that they might be pregnant.

As for other cosmetic approaches during pregnancy, she recommends limiting yourself to cleansers and moisturizers and says that the glow of pregnancy should be all we need to feel and look beautiful!

Note: The information provided here is not meant to replace a visit to your health care provider. He or she knows you, and your medical history, better than anyone. We strongly encourage you to speak with your health care professional about your particular health concerns.

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