Can you get a tattoo while pregnant? Unlike eating shrimp or drinking alcohol (which are best avoided during pregnancy), there’s no hard rule on tattoos for expectant mamas.
The health risks associated with getting tattooed while pregnant are generally low. However, you’re probably going to want to think it through. When you’ve got an extra human to worry about, it’s best to be sure about what you’re letting yourself in for.
Here are some of the things to consider about combining pregnancy and tattooing. Just remember though: once you’ve given birth, you can get all the ink you want without any worry.
Pregnancy and tattooing: Some things to consider
As we said, there’s no cut-and-dry medical rule when it comes to getting tattoos while pregnant. But, with a baby on the way, the best strategy for mamas might be to play it safe. While they’re pretty uncommon, here are some of the things that are risky about getting tattooed during pregnancy.
One of the main risks of getting a tattoo – when pregnant or otherwise – is infection. Hepatitis B and C, and even HIV, for example, can spread through infected blood on needles that haven’t been sterilized or properly cleaned. Of course, these risks are really pretty small. Studies have put the chance of infection from tattoos at as low as 0.5%. And, in licensed, regulated parlors, this should be even lower.
Strain and stress
You’ve got a lot on your plate. As any mama will tell you, your body while pregnant can do all sorts of unexpected things and show lots of weird and wonderful symptoms – both emotional and physical.
In this context, adding the physical pain of tattooing – as well as the open wound – might be more than you and your immune system would like to handle. And you may find that sitting in an uncomfortable position while the tattooist gets to work isn’t much fun either. But you may well be made of stern stuff!
A cool new tat might look perfect in your first trimester. However, depending on where you get it, it may change shape a little once you’re in the latter stages of pregnancy.
Some stretch marks are a given – particularly around your abdomen, thighs, and boobs – and these can mess with your designs. While this obviously isn’t something that will harm the little one in your belly, it’s something that you might want to bear in mind before getting any intricate ink work done.
There’s a lot of chat around about back tattoos getting in the way of epidurals. The worry is that the needle could push inked skin inside you – and could cause some problems.
While the evidence for this is sparse, doctors might be reluctant to give you an injection if the art on your back is still fresh. It’s worth talking to your doctor about this beforehand.
Does tattoo ink affect pregnancy?
There’s no evidence at all to suggest that tattoo ink itself can cause problems for your pregnancy. However, it is possible to have allergic reactions to the ink, which may cause an itchy or swollen rash. And you might not want this on top of any other pregnancy side effects.
Can you get a tattoo while pregnant?
So, can you get a tattoo when you’re pregnant? Sure you can – that’s entirely up to you. However, it’s really important to be aware of the possible risks.
While you might not think twice about a new tattoo normally, when you have an extra little life to look after, it might make sense to play it safe for a few months. And, of course, there’ll always be after your pregnancy to get as much of that beautiful ink as you like.
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