A recent article published on Momzette suggested that having BOTOX® makes it more difficult for mothers to bond with their children because of reduced facial muscle movement. It's a controversial conclusion, at best; if you ask us, it's another way to guilt women for wanting to look good — whatever that means to them.
In order to understand the point the article tries to make, it's important to first understand how BOTOX works. Unlike injectable fillers, which work by adding volume to wrinkles, BOTOX blocks nerve signals from the brain that tells muscles to move in certain ways. When it's used to treat wrinkles, BOTOX works by blocking the signals from the brain that tell muscles in the face to move. An injector administers it to muscles in the face to prevent wrinkles related to facial movement, such as crow's feet or frown lines.
In the Momzette article, the author supports her claim with a few quotes from physicians and researchers. Chief among them was mothers who have BOTOX are unable to make the subtle facial expressions that babies use to read emotional cues. But we respectfully disagree, and here's why.
BOTOX Is Temporary
The results of cosmetic BOTOX last for about 4 months, give or take, based on where on the face it's administered (muscles that get a lot of use tend to have more short-lived results) and each patient's individual physiology. BOTOX wears off naturally, as its active ingredients are safely metabolized by the body. Once your results fade away, you'll look just as you did prior to your treatment, and you're not obligated to undergo an additional treatment unless you want to.
If you're interested in BOTOX but are quite concerned about the prospect of not being able to bond with your child, there's no harm in trying out the treatment once. If you don't like it, there's no need to have it forever.
A "Frozen Face" Isn't The Norm
Most of us have heard horror stories of BOTOX rendering faces completely motionless, making patients unable to make normal facial expressions. Happily, this effect is majorly overblown, usually by celebrities poking fun at themselves. Even plastic surgeons who offer BOTOX Cosmetic, such as Dr. Jeffery Rockmore of Albany, New York, acknowledge their patients' trepidation. In reality, most people who undergo BOTOX simply see reductions in wrinkles — not reductions in facial movements.
This is especially true when they choose qualified practitioners, such as board-certified dermatologists, plastic surgeons, or experienced injectors who work under them. Given that they collectively performed nearly 7 million BOTOX injections in 2015 alone, it's very likely that someone you know has had cosmetic BOTOX and you haven't even noticed. That's because when it's administered by an experienced, light-handed injector, the results yield subtle refreshment, not a motionless face.
We think it's irrational to jump to the conclusion that the temporary effects of BOTOX can make someone a bad mom. Kids who have happy moms feel safe, content, and grow up to be well-adjusted adults. And moms are happy when they feel and look great. Whether it's BOTOX, gym visits, hair dye, or an extra coat of mascara that helps with that, who are we to judge?
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