Wondering if lip fillers are safe while breastfeeding? You’re not alone. Many women who have a nursing infant are interested in different cosmetic procedures. A lip filler treatment (or other dermal filler) is just one of many. This post goes into detail about what someone might want to consider if they’re thinking about dermal fillers while also breastfeeding.
Generally, a dermal filler injection is not expected to affect breastfeeding, but specifics can vary, so this needs to be discussed with each person’s health care team. The lack of clinical studies on this topic prompt many medical professionals to be wary of performing lip filler injections on breastfeeding people. And, the risk of rare complications with the procedure may be a reason for some people to delay the use of dermal fillers.
What are dermal fillers?
Dermal fillers are injections just under the skin. And, a lip filler treatment specifically applies to just that body part, the lips. People may choose them in order to decrease wrinkles or to “plump” lips. This post refers to fillers done for cosmetic purposes only. The injectable fillers can contain several different ingredients to achieve the result of smoother or plumper skin.
The effects of fillers are usually temporary, so many people choose to have the procedure repeated periodically.
Whether it’s a good idea to get dermal fillers / cosmetic injections during a nursing mom’s postpartum days is a topic to discuss with her individual health care professional.
Do the chemicals in dermal fillers affect breast milk or breast supply?
As with many things involving breastfeeding and lactation, more research is needed in order to offer definitive evidence-based information. There’s simply very little research and a general lack of information on fillers and breast milk.
In fact, in their review of the safety of cosmetic procedures while breastfeeding, the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology specifically commented on the lack of information about fillers and lactation. They do mention that some cosmetic treatments involving botulism toxin (also known as botox injections) and chemical peels are safe to use during lactation. And, see this post on laser treatments and breastfeeding.
That being said, we can remember how breast milk is made and see that dermal fillers themselves are probably a lower risk. As a reminder, something has to be absorbed into a breastfeeding mom’s bloodstream in order for it to end up in breast milk.
With this in mind, this topic is something to absolutely discuss with the professional administering the fillers. This professional may be a board-certified plastic surgeon or a board-certified dermatologist. They can review each active ingredient and the risks in each person’s individual situation.
For completeness here, common ingredients in lip fillers approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) include:
- Hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in humans
- calcium hydroxylapatite
- Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA)
Even though it is naturally occurring, the hyaluronic acid fillers may contain a synthetic form of hyaluronic acid.
And, there is another type of filler with more permanent effects. Fillers outside of the United States may vary even more.
(This is absolutely different than risks in pregnant women which is beyond the scope of today’s post).
Potential Complications and Potential Reasons to Delay Dermal Fillers While Breastfeeding
Although there is likely low risk of breast milk being affected by dermal fillers or lip fillers, there are potential risks and complications that may prompt someone to postpone getting fillers while breastfeeding.
Safety of lip fillers in general is pretty well established. And, determining the safety of cosmetic procedures in pregnant patients and breastfeeding people is a work in progress.
However, some of the risks and possible adverse reactions include:
- Allergic reaction
- Infection (a main concern is infection at the injection site)
There are also potentially more serious complications if the injection takes place in a blood vessel instead of the skin. (This could block blood flow, leading to various complications).
How Complications of Dermal Filler Injections Could Affect Breastfeeding
I mention all these risks and complications not because they’re common (they’re not), but because if one were to happen, it may need treatment.
For example, an infection may need antibiotics. So, it’s the management of complications that could possibly affect breastfeeding and breast milk. To be clear, many antibiotics and surgical procedures are considered safe with breastfeeding. Not all, though. So, this is basically another talking point to have with the board-certified physicians performing the procedure. How do they address different adverse effects or complications? And how would that management affect breastfeeding? It may not be a common question, but it’s worth asking.
Summary: Lip Fillers and Breastfeeding
Overall, based on what we do know about these lip injections, there’s a pretty low concern that it would affect breast milk in most people. However, because specific situations can vary, it’s best to discuss with the medical professionals performing the procedure. The lack of formal scientific studies and the risks of complications are things to consider and may prompt some to delay the procedure until after they’ve stopped breastfeeding.
In other words, this is an individual decision best to be discussed with someone’s healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This contains no medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I may earn a small commission on qualified purchases at no extra cost to you. Full disclaimer here.
Maya M. Mahmood, D.O., FAAP is a board-certified pediatrician and mom. She is passionate about parents having evidence-based information to help their families be healthier. Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates.