Being pregnant is an incredible and important time of your life. During this time, you’re preparing to become a parent and are responsible for this life developing inside of you.
Most women avoid activities that are classified as “high-risk” during pregnancy. The only problem with this is that what’s considered high-risk isn’t really defined.
Because of this, many ask themselves whether they can get a tattoo while pregnant. Here’s everything you need to know:
Is getting a tattoo while pregnant safe?
Getting a tattoo while pregnant isn’t advised. There are some well-known risks associated with getting a tattoo while pregnant that you must know. Here are the primary ones:
- Toxic tattoo inks - Even though a tattoo needle is only prodded 1/8” into the skin, the ink does contain heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, and mercury. These ingredients can pose a threat when the baby is developing during the pregnancy, especially at the early stages when the organs develop.
- Possible infections – Another considerable risk is the possibility that the tattoo gets infected. If your tattoo artists use dirty needles that are contaminated, you run a high risk of getting a bloodborne infection, like Hepatitis B. A mother can easily pass this on to their child, and they’ll have a 90% chance of developing a lifelong condition.
- Skin changes during pregnancy - Even if you get a tattoo while pregnant, your skin will change massively. Because of this, the tattoo will stretch and shrink, resulting in the ink not looking the same. Therefore, for a quality tattoo, wait until the pregnancy is over and your skin has returned to its normal state.
As shown above, there are risks involved with getting a tattoo while pregnant. However, these won’t necessarily happen, which is why many healthcare professionals advise not to, but it isn’t illegal.
Can you get a tattoo while breastfeeding?
After the pregnancy, you may need to provide the baby with breastmilk. In this circumstance, it’s essential to understand what tattoos can do to your breastfeeding capabilities.
With breastfeeding, it’s strongly advised not to get a tattoo while pregnant because the ink can ruin the breastmilk. However, it’s important to note that pre-existing tattoos won’t impact the breastfeeding process.
The tattoo process does carry risks. During the procedure, your skin is continuously poked with a tiny needle coated in ink containing heavy metals.
Because of this, the risks of getting a tattoo include:
- Allergic reaction from the inks
- Getting a skin infection during the healing process
- Contracting a bloodborne infection from unsterilised tattoo equipment
The ink isn’t the only thing that could affect the ability to breastfeed. If you have an allergic reaction, bloodborne infection, or any skin-related problem, you might need treatment that will also cause problems when breastfeeding a newborn.
There are many mixed emotions about getting a tattoo during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as no governing body or medical organisation forbids this activity. Additionally, there hasn’t been any solid evidence that breastfeeding causes adverse effects on a pregnancy.
However, despite this, many influential players, such as the Journey of Midwifery and Woman’s Health, advise against getting a tattoo when pregnant or breastfeeding.
Additionally, most tattoo establishments might not allow you to get a tattoo while pregnant or breastfeeding. Because there’s a lack of evidence, many don’t want the possible liability of something happening.
Now you understand that getting a tattoo when pregnant or breastfeeding isn’t illegal and is only strongly advised against; you might be reconsidering the thought. If that’s the case, you’ll want to follow the below precautions to reduce the possibilities of the above risks:
- Use a professional tattoo establishment that uses sterile and clean equipment that’s fully licensed.
- When breastfeeding, the baby might be rested on your arms or belly. Therefore, be mindful of where the tattoo is placed.
- Consult a doctor before getting a tattoo if you have certain medical conditions like autoimmune conditions, heart, or blood clotting.
- Maintain the same level of cleanliness you normally would after a tattoo procedure; more information can get found here.
- Use pain-relieving medicine like Acetaminophen or our tattoo numbing cream, Tattoonumbx.
The above are some fundamental precautions you’ll want to consider before getting a tattoo when pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have any more concerns about the inks, healing process, or procedure, consult a tattoo and healthcare professional for advice.
Can you have a tattoo removed while breastfeeding?
We now know whether you can get a tattoo while pregnant, but what about removing them? There are several tattoo removal processes nowadays, with laser removal being the most popular.
With this option, a small laser breaks down the ink placed in the skin’s dermal layer into smaller particles. These smaller particles are broken down and are taken into your liver by the immune system. Once in your liver, it gets filtered out of the body.
Because of how the small ink particles go through the body, many people have concerns about how the procedure could affect breastfeeding or pregnancy. However, there hasn’t been solid evidence that any problems occur.
Despite not having any evidence to showcase any advice effects, a medical professional will unlikely agree to move forward with the procedure. Although there isn’t any evidence, there are undoubtedly masses of uncertainty.
As you can see, having tattoos while pregnant or breastfeeding is possible. However, it’s strongly advised against, and many tattoo artists will likely disallow the procedure. Because of the uncertainty behind it with the possible side effects and liability, it isn’t worth it for all parties involved.
But, if you decide to get a tattoo and an artist agrees to do the procedure, consult a medical professional first and follow the above precaution guidelines. Undoubtedly, this will minimise the adverse effects but not eliminate them.
You must remember that you have a lifetime to get tattoos. Instead of rushing the procedure while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, just wait. Without question, it’s the much safer option, and it’s something you can look forward to getting.