woman getting botox injection

Pregnancy can be such a mixed bag of complexities. It’s usually a time of excitement as your baby begins to grow, and then there’s a pregnancy glow that can take over, they say. Yet at the same time, early pregnancy symptoms may be left feeling nauseated, bloated, moody, and exhausted (via Mayo Clinic). Naturally, a good remedy on days when you feel frumpy is to keep up with beauty routines.

Unfortunately, some beauty treatments can be harmful during pregnancy (via Scary Mommy). The truth is that there are some things you should avoid when you’re pregnant and some things you shouldn’t. During early pregnancy, it’s a good idea to consult your OB-GYN or midwife to see what their stance is on the beauty treatments you regularly have done. From hair dying to using hyaluronic acid while pregnant, each beauty treatment has the potential to introduce a certain amount of risk while pregnant. Often, it isn’t the procedure itself that poses the risk, but instead, the products being used may be harmful to a growing fetus.

What is in Botox?

botox injection and needle

If you regularly get botox injections, you may wonder if you can still keep up with treatment during pregnancy, so it’s important to understand what is being injected into your body. Botox contains a bacterium known as clostridium botulinum, which, incidentally, is the same one that causes botulism, a food poisoning that can be fatal (via Medical News Today). The reason why Botox works so well in firming up skin is that it contains a neurotoxin that paralyzes muscles, thus the truthful joke about the inability to make facial expressions when going too far with treatments.

Getting Botox injections can cause some side effects like swelling and discomfort at the injection site as well as headache, numbness, and upset stomach. Besides using for lines and wrinkles, Botox can also be used to treat certain medical conditions, like alopecia and psoriasis. There are certain questions you should ask before getting Botox and when you’re pregnant, it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits.

Botox and pregnancy may not go hand in hand

pregnant woman

While Botox is typically safe for the average user, pregnancy is a time of lowered immunity so you have to be extra careful with what you put in your body. Healthline maintains that there just hasn’t been enough research into how Botox affects pregnant people. The concern is what happens if the bacteria leak from the original injection site into other parts of the body.

Dr. Dendy Engelman agrees and says most pregnant people won’t consent to be research subjects, "There have not been sufficient studies done on this subject and it is almost certain there will never be," (via Byrdie).

Consequently, the unknown risks can be dangerous. Dr. Kelly Culwell says, "Just as with anyone receiving Botox, if the toxin spreads beyond the area of the injection, you could develop botulism, which can be a life-threatening condition."

In the end, it’s best to err on the side of safety and skip Botox during pregnancy. Keep in mind some of the best botox alternatives to get rid of wrinkles are topical creams that contain natural antioxidants and omega fatty acids, and always remember to use sunscreen daily.