A tiny dose of toxin is meant to smooth wrinkles by paralyzing certain facial muscles, but it may also paralyze feelings and a parent's ability to connect with her baby.
"A huge amount of the attachment babies make to mothers and caregivers is through facial expressions," says Leslie Petruk, who is a child and family therapist.
About 50 percent of human communication is non-verbal according to Lisa Slattery-Walker, the sociology chair at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Our body position, hands and face all send signals, but when you add Botox to the mix, it could limit some forms of communication.
"You're really cutting off a big part of the potential communication with the baby," Slattery-Walker says.
If you take away full facial expression, you may be taking away some of the 'talking,' so to speak.
That's because mimicking between a mother and her infant is critical to a child's ability to learn and communicate.
"There may be a possibility that, down the road, those kids won't be as good at reading other people's emotions," Slattery-Walker says.
Research suggests the same thing may happen to the mother.
A study published in the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science says Botox can hinder our ability to understand the emotions of others.
The reason is because we naturally imitate each other's expressions when talking, and this sends a facial feedback signal to our brain, which allows us to interpret the meaning.
"If your face is frozen, it absolutely is going to limit your ability to fully communicate," Petruk says.
A 'frozen face' should never be a side effect of Botox, according to Plastic Surgeon Jeffrey Ditesheim.
A stiff, flat face is likely the result of Botox that's been botched by a poorly trained practitioner.
"It would probably be pretty confusing if you were a baby," Ditesheim says. "You wouldn't know if that person was happy or sad. You'd have to go by the inflection of their voice."
If a Botox procedure is correctly performed, however, plastic surgeons say a few less facial creases on one's face shouldn't interfere with infant communication.
Besides, babies interact with more than just mom.
"If they lived in a household where everybody had Botox, that might be a problem," Petruk adds.
Having a Botox-filled face, on the other hand, could offer other benefits for a mother and her child.
If Botox makes a mom happier, that may make for a happier baby and family.
It's hard to tell how drastic Botox injections may or may not stifle a parent's feelings and facial communication, but no doubt, the squealing baby staring back into their seamless eyes will let certainly let them know.
The following explanation about Botox is from the National Institutes of Health (Source: <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/botox.html).
The following information was obtained from a CNN news report (Source: <http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/20/living/botox-moms/index.html).
A study published by the University of Southern California found:
The following is from a New York Times article entitled "Botox reduces the ability to empathize" (Source: <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/fashion/botox-reduces-the-ability-to-empathize-study-says.html).
The following details are from a study conducted by Barnard College (Source: <http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-06-21-botox-emotions_N.htm?csp=34news&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+usatoday-NewsTopStories+%28News+-+Top+Stories%29).
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