Why Can’T You Get A Tattoo When You’Re Pregnant?
Risks Associated with Getting Tattooed While Pregnant – There are some known risks of getting a tattoo , and some of those risks can cause major complications in pregnant women. You should be aware of these risks before deciding to get a tattoo while pregnant.
Infection. One of the main risks of being tattooed is the chance of an infection. If your tattoo artist uses contaminated or dirty needles, you could be at risk of getting bloodborne infections, such as hepatitis B.
A mother with hepatitis B can easily pass on the infection to her baby at birth. Babies with hepatitis B have a 90% chance of developing a lifelong infection, and one in four of them will die of health complications from the infection if it is left untreated.
- Other bloodborne infections, like hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), can also be contracted from unsterile tattoo needles;
- There is a 6% chance of a mother with hepatitis C passing on the infection to her child;
Without treatment, the chance of a mother with HIV passing on the infection to her child can range from 15% to 45%. Toxic tattoo inks. Even though the average tattoo needle is only poked ⅛ of an inch into the skin, some tattoo ink contains heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, and lead.
These ingredients can pose a threat to your developing baby, particularly in the first trimester when the main organs are developing. Exposure to heavy metals can affect your baby’s brain development. It can also increase your chances of having a miscarriage or stillbirth.
Skin changes during pregnancy. When you are pregnant, your body is constantly growing and changing to accommodate the baby inside. Depending on where you get a tattoo, your ink might not look the same after you’ve given birth and your body has healed. Your skin can change in other ways as well.
Melasma , or temporary darkening of the skin, and increased skin sensitivity is common in pregnancy and can affect how your tattoo looks or how you react to being tattooed. Inability to receive epidurals.
You’ve probably heard the rumor that women with a lower back tattoo can’t get an epidural, but there is little evidence to support this claim. Complications of getting an epidural with a lower back tattoo are rare. In some cases, a lower back tattoo may cause problems.
- If your tattoo appears to have red, scaly skin or is infected, leaking fluid, or still healing, your doctor would likely not give you an epidural;
- Calm any anxiety you might have on this topic by talking to your doctor;
They’re the best person to guide you through this process.
What are the risks of tattooing during pregnancy?
Viral infection – If the tattooist does not follow strict hygiene procedures, there can be a risk of more serious infections, such as hepatitis or HIV. A pregnant woman can transmit either condition to the baby. Learn more about tattoos and the risk of infection.
Can you get a tattoo during childbirth?
Pregnancy can be a magical time for some women, but it’s also a time when you may have to minimize or cut out enjoyable things, like alcohol, raw seafood , and never-ending cups of coffee. There aren’t any definitive rules when it comes to getting a tattoo while pregnant, but in general, the safest thing to do is to wait until after you give birth to get a tattoo.
Even though there’s not much research about pregnant women getting tattoos, there are a number of known risks associated with tattooing in general. Getting a tattoo puts you at a potential risk for infection.
Remember that not all tattoo parlors have the same hygiene protocols. Some tattoo shops don’t meet minimum safety standards when it comes to keeping equipment and needles clean and sterilized. Unclean needles and equipment can spread diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.
- If you contract these diseases while pregnant, you can pass on the infection to your baby;
- It is also possible to become infected and not even know it, as it may take years before symptoms are noticeable;
Tattoos can also become infected as they heal. If you decide to get a tattoo because you know the parlor is reputable, make sure to follow the tattoo artist’s recommendations for at-home care. Symptoms of an infection from a tattoo include:
- Red lesions or pus on the tattoo
- Discharge that has a bad smell coming from the tattooed area
- Areas of raised, hard tissue around or near the tattoo
- New dark lines developing or coming out from the tattooed area
If you’re planning to get a tattoo on your lower back, keep in mind that this is where an epidural injection is administered during labor. If your birth plan includes an epidural, then you may want to wait until after you give birth to get your tattoo. If you already have a tattoo on your lower back, then there shouldn’t be any issues with the epidural. The risk is only for new tattoos or those that might be infected.
Pregnant women’s bodies change considerably during pregnancy as skin stretches and expands, and hormones can affect your skin’s appearance. Tattoos on the abdomen or hips, for example, might be affected by stretch marks.
Hyperpigmentation can result from changes in hormones, which may make your tattoo look different. In addition, some areas of your skin may darken during pregnancy, including your nipples, arms, and face. Some women develop certain skin conditions during pregnancy that may make getting a tattoo painful or difficult.
- Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy are marked by an itchy rash or red bumps resembling pimples that appear on the stomach, torso, arms, and legs.
- Prurigo of pregnancy is another itchy rash that around 1 in 130–300 pregnant women experience. It can last for several months after delivery.
- Impetigo herpetiformis is an extremely rare form of dermatosis that starts in the second half of pregnancy. It can cause symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, chills, and fever.
If you decide to get a tattoo during pregnancy , there are some things you can do to help minimize the risks. One of the most important is to find a tattoo parlor that has comprehensive cleaning practices. If you’re not sure where you want to go, you may want to tour several places to compare policies.
- Choose a tattoo studio that is clean and has separate areas for tattooing and piercing.
- Make sure tattoo artists use an autoclave, which is a machine used to sterilize needles and other tattooing equipment.
- Needles should be opened from individual packages.
- The tattoo artist should be wearing new latex gloves while applying your ink.
- Ink should be in single-use cups, never taken directly from a bottle.
If you feel unsure about a procedure, don’t hesitate to ask. A good, reputable tattoo parlor should be able to answer your questions and give you details about your service. Finally, tell the tattoo artist that you’re pregnant and ask them to walk you through the entire sterilization process, which might help you feel more comfortable.
There is no definitive answer to whether getting a tattoo while you’re breastfeeding is safe. There’s no law against it, and no research exists as to whether or not tattoo ink can get into your breast milk and be passed along to your baby.
The risks for getting a tattoo while breastfeeding are similar to the risks for getting one while you’re pregnant, and they have to do with the possibility of infection. A postpartum mother may be more susceptible to infection because her immune system may be slightly weakened thanks to sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, and the physical and emotional toll involved with the round-the-clock care of a newborn.
- It’s generally advised to wait to get your tattoo until after you’ve stopped breastfeeding, maybe 9–12 months after your baby is born;
- If getting a tattoo while pregnant or breastfeeding seems too risky to you, there are some alternatives to consider;
These options also give you the opportunity to test out a new tattoo design to see how you like it before you get the real thing. This might also prevent having to get a tattoo removed down the road if you don’t like how it looks.
- Temporary tattoo: Some temporary tattoos are good quality, look realistic, and have beautiful designs. Many are easy to apply at home and can last for a week or two.
- Henna tattoo: Usually made from henna powder, water, and sugar, henna tattoos can last for up to two weeks and sometimes longer if applied in an area that isn’t rubbed often. Some you can apply yourself, or you can seek out a professional henna tattoo artist.
Although getting a tattoo while pregnant isn’t strictly forbidden, you should proceed with caution. Make sure the tattoo parlor you choose is reputable, safe, and has good hygiene practices. Make sure to also follow all recommended at-home skincare regimens to ensure proper healing of your skin. If you ever have any doubts, you can always wait until after you’ve given birth and test a new tattoo idea with a temporary tattoo or henna version instead.
Can I get a tattoo at 15 weeks pregnant?
What should you consider if you do get a tattoo during pregnancy? – If you do decide to get a tattoo during pregnancy, the most important thing is to determine that the parlor you’ve chosen is clean and licensed. After that, keep the following in mind before sitting down to submit your skin to the needle:
- The pain is real. Getting a tattoo with a needle isn’t comparable to a sticker or painted on design. You will experience actual pain that may be intense, especially in areas with thinner skin like the neck, hands, ankles and feet.
- Removal isn’t easy. Alas, erasing a tattoo definitely hurts, and removing one with a laser isn’t recommended if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Skin changes. A new tattoo that looks symmetrical on pregnancy skin can become lopsided or distorted after you regain your pre-pregnancy shape, especially if you opt to get it in a spot that’s prone to expand.
- Skin stretches, too. There’s also the potential for stretch marks, which could appear smack in the middle of your new design (most common locations: belly, buttocks, breasts and thighs).
- Always go pro. DYI ink and online kits aren’t smart since sterile equipment and a license are vital for safety. Instead, go to a professional who’s registered and reputable.
Skin with new tattoos is sensitive at first, so avoid hard shower spraying in favor of gentle washing and then pat the area dry, rather than rub it. Skip sitting in the sun, splashing in pools, lakes and hot tubs and tight clothing (loose is better, so your skin can breathe). And resist the urge to scratch at skin scabs as this habit can introduce bacteria and cause infection.
Is it safe to get inked when you’re pregnant?
No matter how far in advance you schedule a tattoo appointment, you can’t control what happens in life. If you find yourself pregnant with an appointment coming up or simply the spontaneous desire to get inked, you may be wondering whether or not you’re allowed to get a tattoo in terms of safety.
Unlike dyeing your hair or eating sushi (which have stricter warnings for expectant mothers ) there’s technically no solid rule against being tattooed while pregnant. However, getting inked when you’re with child does present some risks to the mother and baby.
Many experts, like dermatologist Shari Sperling, say that your best bet is to wait until after you’ve given birth. Meet the Expert Shari Sperling is a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Sperling Dermatology. She specializes in medical, cosmetic, laser, and surgical dermatology for adults and children.