Getting a tattoo while pregnant is a very important and crucial decision to make. It can have a big influence on both you and your child. Before getting inked, think about all of the risks and how to obtain a tattoo safely.
Can you have a tattoo while pregnant?
Photo by Biggo Alves
Getting a tattoo while pregnant should be approached with prudence.
A slight chance of an allergic reaction or infection is among the risks of having a tattoo. Aside from that, you should consider your personal pain threshold because getting inked isn’t easy and can be really painful.
Getting a tattoo comes with a number of risks, some of which could be particularly problematic for soon-to-be moms. So before getting a tattoo while pregnant, you should be informed of the hazards.
How do tattoos affect pregnancy?
Here are some known risks of getting a tattoo while pregnant:
One of the most dangerous risks of getting tattooed is infection. If your tattoo artist uses dirty or unsterilized needles, you could get bloodborne infections like hepatitis B.
The mother’s hepatitis B infection can easily be passed on to the kid at birth. If left untreated, babies with hepatitis B have a 90% chance of developing a lifelong infection, and one in every four will die from the disease’s complications.
2. Toxic tattoo ink
The average tattoo needle only penetrates the skin for 1/8 of an inch. On the other hand, some tattoo ink contains heavy elements like mercury, arsenic, and lead.
These chemicals can harm your unborn child. Especially during the first trimester, when the baby’s major organs are developing. Heavy metal exposure can damage your baby’s brain development. It can also raise the likelihood of a miscarriage or stillbirth.
3. Skin during pregnancy
During pregnancy, your body changes and expands to suit the growing baby inside. Depending on where you got your tattoo, it might not look the same after you’ve given birth and your body has recovered.
Your skin can alter in a variety of ways. Melasma, transitory skin darkening and heightened skin sensitivity are common during pregnancy. They can change the look of your tattoo as well as how you react to it.
4. Unable to receive epidurals
You’ve probably heard that women with lower back tattoos can’t get an epidural. But there’s no evidence to back this up. Lower back tattoos rarely cause epidural issues.
A lower back tattoo might be troublesome at times. If your tattoo has red, scaly skin, is infected, oozing fluid, or is still healing, your doctor is unlikely to offer you an epidural.
Factors to consider when having a tattoo while pregnant
Photo by Michael Burrows
Before you sit down to expose your skin to the needle while you’re pregnant, keep the following in mind:
1. It is very painful
A needle tattoo is not the same as a sticker or a pattern that is painted. Particularly in areas where the skin is thinner, such as the neck, hands, ankles, and feet, you will experience severe discomfort.
2. Tattoo removal is not easy
Removing a tattoo is uncomfortable, and laser removal isn’t advised if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
3. Skin changes during pregnancy
A fresh tattoo that appears symmetrical on pregnancy skin may become uneven or twisted when you regain your pre-pregnancy shape, especially if it is placed in an area that is prone to expanding.
Stretch marks, which could occur smack in the center of your new pattern, are another option (most common locations: belly, buttocks, breasts, and thighs).
What happens if you get a tattoo while pregnant?
There isn’t much information about obtaining a new tattoo while pregnant. Some tattoo ink may be digested or find its way into your lymph nodes. In connection to that, components in tattoo ink may be able to travel into the placenta, according to certain research.
Tattoo ink colors are not strictly regulated by the FDA since they are considered cosmetics. And because of that, there have been isolated cases of bacterium or allergy contamination.
Then there’s the risk of infection from getting poked with a needle, such as contracting hepatitis B or C or HIV via a tainted needle.
Do your research and choose a reputable shop before arranging a tattoo session while pregnant. Many tattoo artists will not tattoo pregnant women, so inform the shop and your artist ahead of time to avoid any last-minute issues.
Keep the following in mind or ask the following questions to ensure that you are getting inked safely:
- Make sure the tattoo studio you select is clean and reputable. Look through online reviews and talk to people who have gotten tattoos there. Inquire about their experiences and any reservations they may have had.
- Inquire if your tattoo artist works with any hazardous metals. If that happens, it’s best to wait until you give birth.
- Inquire about your artist’s sterilizing procedures and how often they are utilized. In any tattoo studio, autoclaves, or sterilization devices, should be used. Sterile packs containing needles should be opened in front of clients.
- Check the shop’s general cleanliness when you visit. Any unsanitary conditions, such as a filthy floor or an artist wearing latex gloves many times, should be noted. Regularly wipe off all surfaces.
- Consider the location of your tattoo. Avoid getting a tattoo on your stomach or hips. The skin in certain areas of the body stretches a lot during pregnancy, potentially distorting your new tattoo.
- After that, take good care of your tattoo and keep it clean to avoid infection and consequences. Visit a doctor if you notice any signs of a rash or illness.
Henna tattoo while pregnant
Photo by Vibhor Saxena
Natural henna (from the henna plant) is safe to use as hair color or on the skin, such as for belly/bump art because it has no additional chemicals. This henna is brown and is safe to use.
It’s usually recommended as an alternative to chemical hair coloring if you want to avoid it while you’re pregnant. It comes in a range of colors and gives your hair a semi-permanent color.
For skin coloring, natural henna is usually mixed with lemon juice and fragrant oils. Make sure you’re using essential oils that are safe to use throughout pregnancy.
It takes many hours for the henna paste to take effect. It will leave an orange stain that will turn brown over the course of one to three weeks.
Black henna, on the other hand, includes the hazardous pigment paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which can cause rashes, blisters, and allergic reactions.
PPD-containing hair dyes are safe to use. However, in the United Kingdom, adding PPD to things intended for direct skin contact is forbidden. Black henna tattoos can still be spotted at vacation resorts and events, despite this.
Short-term irritation and long-term skin damage are both possible side effects of black henna. Other PPD-containing products may potentially make you hypersensitive. This means you’re more likely to have an allergic reaction to products like hair dyes in the future.
Is it safe to get a henna tattoo while pregnant?
Although henna tattoo pregnant belly poses no risk to the pregnant mother or the baby, you should use caution.
- To see how the henna reacts, apply it to a small part of hair or skin and leave it for 30 minutes. If you don’t experience any reactions, you’re good to proceed.
- If you want to use henna on your hair, don’t do it yourself. Henna application is a time-consuming and challenging process.
- When applying henna, avoid covering your hands with it. To keep your body cool, let the henna breathe.
- Sit in a comfortable chair and make sure the area is well ventilated and cool during the henna application process.
- Seek help while washing the henna out of your hair. Make sure you’re not overworking yourself.
- Consult your doctor right away if you have nausea, joint discomfort, bleeding or discharge, or a rise in blood pressure while applying henna or shortly afterward.
- If you use natural henna and have no sensitivities to it, you can use it on your hands and hair during pregnancy. When pregnant, however, you should avoid artificial colors.
Tattoo after pregnancy
A pregnant or breastfeeding mother is unlikely to be tattooed by the majority of tattoo artists. This is for the safety of the tattoo artist, as well as to prevent sickness from hurting the growing baby and to allow the mother’s body to heal.
Moms should wait at least 9-12 months after giving birth, when the baby is no longer fully reliant on breastmilk, before getting a tattoo.
Reputable tattoo artists will require their clients to sign a release that includes questions about pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Tattoo removal pregnancy
Laser tattoo removal is favored, albeit, as previously said, this method is not advised if you are pregnant. Wait till after your baby is born if you absolutely want to get rid of a tattoo.
While tattoo removal technology is always improving, keep in mind that removing a tattoo takes time and might result in permanent scarring.
The tattoo pigment is broken down into smaller particles by the laser light, which is taken up by the immune system and cleaned out by the liver.
The technique is lengthy, involving eight to ten treatments spaced four to eight weeks apart. It could be painful, and it could leave scars and blisters. It’s possible that the tattoo won’t come out completely.
Many of the same risks associated with tattooing apply to laser removal, including infection from inadequate aftercare and allergic reaction.
There have been no studies on the increased quantities of ink released into the mother’s body during laser removal, and it’s unknown whether the ink particles are small enough to pass through nursing.
Consult a dermatologist about your options. Those may include surgery or dermabrasion. However, tattoo removal lotions and ointments should not be used because they often include acids that can produce a rash or can burn your skin.
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