Everything you need to know about tattoos and pregnancy

Can You Get A Tattoo When Pregnant?

Getting pregnant comes with many lifestyle changes. From altering what foods you eat on a daily basis to the way you exercise, there’s a lot that needs to be taken into consideration. So when it comes to getting inked, are tattoos safe during pregnancy?

Can you get a tattoo when pregnant?

There’s an obvious inconsistency on the web surrounding the information on tattoos, both before and after pregnancy. While there’s technically no hard or fast rule as to getting inked while expecting, and some artists may even say it’s fine to put needle to skin, it’s always better to play it safe, especially for the health of you and the baby.

Getting tattooed while pregnant poses too many risks to justify getting a tattoo before giving birth. As a result, most dermatologists and obstetricians recommend waiting until after you’ve given birth to book in with your local tattoo artist.

What are the risks of getting a tattoo while pregnant?

There are several risks that present when you get a tattoo while pregnant, and these can affect both the mother and the foetus. The primary concern is the heightened risk of infection.

While these days, the risk of infection as a result of a tattoo artist using an unclean needle is minimal, it is a risk nonetheless, and it poses a potential harm to your unborn child. The main bloodborne diseases that could arise include Hepatitis B & C as well as HIV. These infections are easily transferable to a foetus, with a high chance of the baby developing a lifelong infection and the complications that come along with it.

 

Not only this, but the ingredients of tattoo ink can be a great threat to your growing baby. The minerals found in tattoo ink, including mercury, arsenic, and lead, have the potential to disrupt your baby’s brain development and can increase the chance of miscarriage.

Additionally, as your hormones change during pregnancy, your skin changes too. Not only does your general skin sensitivity increase but the way your skin reacts to being tattooed and the way it heals is also affected. And depending on where you get your new ink, getting a tattoo when pregnant can impede your ability to get an epidural during labour.

At what point can you get a tattoo when pregnant?

If getting a tattoo during your pregnancy is a high priority and you’d rather not wait it out, there are a few steps you should take in order to reduce the risks as much as possible. It’s recommended to consult your doctor before making any decisions and seek out an experienced and professional tattoo artist who only uses high quality inks.

In any case, it is important to remember that getting inked while pregnant will always be more risky than getting a tattoo after giving birth. That being said, in most cases the safest time during your pregnancy to get a tattoo is in your first trimester. This is to minimise the effect of potential infections on you and the baby.

Can you get a tattoo while breastfeeding?

Much like the information available on getting inked when pregnant, there are mixed opinions on whether you can get a tattoo while breastfeeding. It’s still a possibility to contract bacterial infections while getting a tattoo, however, the Australian Breastfeeding Association reports that the risks are very minimal.

While there is limited research to suggest that getting a tattoo while breastfeeding is likely to cause harm to the baby, some tattoo parlours may still refuse to give tattoos to new mothers. Regardless, it is still generally advised that mothers wait until they are no longer breastfeeding to go and get a tattoo.