Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Botox at Therapie helps new mum face up to the downside of motherhood

By Laura Dunlop

So, last October, I gave birth to my second little boy and I was besotted like any new mum. I already have one adorable five-year-old and now I had another handsome prince to add to my happy, little family. Sounds good yes?

Something very strange happened though. Aside from the fact that I still looked seven months pregnant after giving birth (something new mothers apparently don’t talk about), I lost all the hair around my hairline, my skin dried out and there, right, bang, smack in the middle of my forehead were lines and plenty of them.

Was it stress? Was it hormones? Was I having an allergic reaction to having zero sleep or could it be that motherhood was making me ugly?

I decided it was the latter and I refused to take it lying down. It is bad enough I was bald and had two, fat slugs resting below my eyes every morning but at least that could be fixed (sort of) with a thick hair band, a frozen tea spoon and some good concealer, but these lines were something else.


My 33-year-old skin looked haggard and without sounding arrogant, I missed how I used to look. A mere year previously, I was happy with my face, I would spend time perfecting my eye make-up, contouring my cheeks and applying false eyelashes; now I was lucky if I got out the door with brushed hair and a clean pair of knickers on.

Baby number two had destroyed my looks. As I looked in the mirror and turned my nose up at the tired, miserable looking girl with tracing paper skin staring back at me, I vowed to make a change. I dropped 20lbs in five months, bought some new skinny jeans and booked into Thérapie Clinic in Belfast for a little bit of Botox.


I was seen by the wonderful Dr Michael Tan,  Thérapie’s independent consultant who immediately put me at ease with his witty banter whilst simultaneously blowing to smithereens two of my preconceptions about Botox. Firstly — Botox can’t fill wrinkles, only filler can do that; Botox causes a degree of paralysis to the muscles which in turn prevents new wrinkles from forming (providing I have it regularly, like every three months, or as often as my wages will allow). Secondly — I wasn’t about to have one needle in my face, I was about to have 16! Dr Tan explained he would be injecting my upper forehead five times, the area between my eyes five times and then each side of my eye three times a piece. Nice. He also showed me the needle which made me giggle with a combination of nerves and a bit of hysteria.


So, was it sore? Honestly, NO, not a bit which is strange since I had just been pricked 16 times in about 120 seconds. After 20 minutes, I walked out of Thérapie armed with the advice that I wasn’t to get drunk (damn it, it’s Wine Wednesday too), take any long haul flights, have a facial, or lie down flat within the next four hours. Ha! Chance would be a fine thing. My head did hurt for a few days, I’ll be honest, and I developed a small bruise at the side of my right eye but it was a small price to pay.

Seven days later and I look — fresher. The Botox hasn’t taken years off my face but it has sure as hell bought me a few more wrinkle-free ones for the future, most of all though, I look good because I feel good.


Why feel self-conscious and ugly when there are ways and means of fixing my little problem? Mothers shouldn’t have to forgo their looks to have babies; pregnancy and labour is a big enough fee, not to mention the endless years of wiping tears, wiping Bolognese off your blouse and wiping little bums.

So am I addicted now? Will I be booking in for lip fillers and an eye lift anytime soon? No, but I will try to maintain my new Botox regime — prevention is better than cure, oh — and maybe next year I’ll book in for liposuction if these sit up things don’t work out.

Being a mummy is hands down the best thing I’ve ever done but why should I feel ugly doing it? My dabble with Botox won’t help my baby to sleep at night, but it has given me back the confidence I had seemingly left behind in the delivery suite.

  • Dr Tan visits each of Therapie’s four NI clinics one day each week (phone: 08000 121 565). One area of Botox costs £180, two areas costs £249 and three areas costs £349. (

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