What If I Want To Get A Tattoo Anyway
Ultimately, the choice of whether to get a tattoo while pregnant is up to you. Its generally agreed upon that it is not recommended to get tattooed while you are pregnant or breastfeeding and that you should seek medical advice if you are considering it. There are too many risks that could cause severe complications to your own health and your pregnancy. Hopefully the information weve provided will help you make the best decision for you.
Can I Get A Tattoo While Pregnant
Technically, yes. If someone who is pregnant decides they want to get a tattoo, they can as long as the tattoo shop allows it. There is no official law against getting a tattoo while pregnant. The question to really consider is whether it is safe and/or a good idea to get tattoos during pregnancy. Unfortunately, there has not been extensive research done to definitively say whether getting a tattoo while pregnant is or is not safe. That being said, the general consensus across the tattoo and medical community is that it is NOT safe and, thus, NOT recommended.
The same risks that are normally associated with getting a tattoo exist if you decide to get a tattoo while pregnant except those risks now extend to the fetus, as well.
How Tattoos Can Be Affected By Pregnancy
Its an equally fair question to ask what happens to the tattoos you already have once youre pregnant. As you can imagine the obvious answer has to do with how and where the skin changes and stretches during pregnancy.
Tattoos on the stomach or hips or lower back are more susceptible to changes due to your skin stretching than tattoos on shoulders or arms. Stretch marks usually appear on those parts of the body during pregnancy. What you can do from the beginning of your pregnancy is use natural oils and creams to help prevent those inevitable stretch marks. Shea butter or argan oil could help your skin stay in good condition throughout your pregnancy. After the baby is born its important to continue to take care of your skin especially around the belly.
If you already have tattoos, then you know that inked skin should be more carefully protected from UV rays. Mothers also know that a pregnant womans skin can experience discoloration more often, as well. So some more advice for tattooed moms would be use skin creams with a high SPF.
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Will A Tattooist Tattoo A Pregnant Woman
It depends on the tattoo artist.
Some will choose to avoid tattooing a pregnant woman the risks of fainting and allergies are increased during pregnancy but some will be willing to tattoo pregnant women.
If youre looking into tattoo artists while pregnant, you must tell them that you are pregnant its up to them if they proceed from there.
It May Not Be Safe To Get A Tattoo While Pregnant
The biggest concern with getting a tattoo while pregnant is the risk of infection. Now, most tattoo artists are meticulous when it comes to safety and cleanliness, but not everyone is. Infections can happen even when protocols are followed.
Skin infections can get into the blood system and lead to systemic infections involving your entire body. There is also a risk of contracting hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV. The risk of infection is always there when you get a tattoo, but in pregnancy, the impact of an infection could be even more significant it could be dangerous for the baby.
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A Temporary Tattoo: Henna
Henna is a paste made from the crushed leaves of a plant, called henna, which is grown in countries in South Asia and North Africa. The tattoos that are made from Henna are temporary and usually last between 7 and 14 days.
Henna tattoos are not harmful to pregnant women. To sum up, Henna tattoos are safe, they are long-lasting, and theyre very beautiful, making them one of the best alternatives to tattoos.
So What If I Already Have Tattoos On My Abdomen And Body Parts That Change With Pregnancy
Do not panic! You can contact your tattooist for advice on how to take care of your existing tattoos while you are pregnant. Make sure to moisturize your skin regularly proper skin care is a proven way of improving your skins elasticity, strength, and appearance. Most professionals recommend using fragrance-free lotion, petroleum jelly, or coconut oil. The condition of the skin pregnant or not always differs from person to person, so it is recommended you speak to your doctor about your personalized skincare needs. It is extremely important to keep your protective layers of skin healthy not only to preserve your tattoos throughout pregnancy, but also to keep your body safe from infections that will affect both you and your baby.
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Will Tattoos Stretch During Pregnancy
Of course, your belly grows and you want to keep that dream design of yours intact. As a woman and tattoo lover, when you get pregnant, and if you have a tattoo on your belly, you may wonder if it will stretch. Well, simply put, yes, your tattoo will stretch during pregnancy.
Although tattoos are very fashionable today, getting one inked on your belly is an inadvisable idea, especially if you intend to have children in the future.
This goes without saying that, whether you gain a lot of weight, or, on the contrary, if you lose a lot of weight, the tattoo will shrink. Though, you wont notice a big difference in your weight only changes slightly.
Safety Tips If You Get A Tattoo While Pregnant
If you decide to get a tattoo while pregnant despite the risks, take steps to make the procedure as safe as possible.
Practices vary greatly when it comes to hygiene and infection control. And there’s no federal oversight and no government approval of tattoo inks . So it’s up to you to make sure:
- The tattoo artist is registered and practices safe tattooing methods. Requirements vary from state to state , but licensure may require tattoo artist training training in blood-borne pathogens, first aid, and CPR and an apprenticeship. Check with your local health department to find out local regulations regarding tattooing.
- The environment is clean.
- Only new or sterilized equipment is used for your procedure. Inks should be sterile and unopened. Non-disposable equipment should be heat sterilized using an autoclave.
- The artist washes his or her hands and wears a new pair of gloves before starting your procedure.
- None of the inks being used have been recalled. You can find this information on the FDA website.
- To tell the artist that you’re pregnant.
- To take good care of your tattoo. Keep it clean and moisturized. Avoid sun exposure and swimming while it’s healing. Follow any other directions you receive, and contact your healthcare provider if you think your tattoo may be infected .
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Is It Okay To Get A Tattoo While Pregnant
It’s not a good idea to get a tattoo while pregnant. Here are some things to consider:
- Risk of skin infection. A tattoo is a skin wound, and between 0.5 and 6 percent of people who get a tattoo get an infection afterwards. Medication may be needed to treat an infection.
- Risk of bloodborne disease. Hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS are just some of the viral diseases that can be passed along through bodily fluids. This means you can catch these diseases if you get a tattoo from someone who uses a dirty needle. A rare but very dangerous bloodborne infection of the heart valves, infectious endocarditis, has also been associated with tattoos. And it’s possible for you to pass these diseases along to your baby while you’re pregnant.
- We don’t know how tattoo dyes and inks affect a developing baby. The FDA reports that some inks contain pigments used in printer toners and in car paint. Small amounts of chemicals that might be harmless to an adult can have a much bigger impact on a tiny fetus. The FDA has not approved any dyes for cosmetic skin injections.
- Because of skin changes during pregnancy , a tattoo that you get while you’re pregnant might look distorted after you deliver your baby.
Can Getting A Tattoo While Pregnant Cause A Miscarriage
Generally speaking, there hasnt been a link made to getting a tattoo while pregnant and pregnancy loss.
However, there is a link between heavy metals and pregnancy loss and there is a small chance that the ink your tattoo parlor uses contains trace amounts of these heavy metals.
Speak to your doctor and your tattoo parlor before getting a tattoo during pregnancy just to be sure.
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Why You Should Wait
There are some good reasons to hold off on any new ink until after giving birth. The most important? Youre more prone to infection with a baby on board.
Up to 6 percent of people get an infection from a new tattoo, and your chances of getting one during pregnancy might be even higher since your immune system isnt working at full capacity.
A tattoo is basically a wound, and when you have broken skin, its always possible for viruses or bacteria to make their way in. In some cases, the ink itself could even be a source of microbial contaminants.
Were not just talking about run-of-the-mill skin infections that get red or pus-filled. Skin can become infected with staph or other pathogens. When youre pregnant, you may not be able to take certain medications because they can be toxic to the growing fetus, Kormeili explains.
Improperly sterilized needles could also put you and your baby at risk for serious illnesses like HIV or hepatitis B.
Infection also isnt the only issue. Some tattoo inks have been found to contain heavy metals like cadmium and lead. While theres no way to say for sure whether metals from your ink would make their way to the baby , experts do know that exposure could impair a fetuss growth and development.
Lead, for instance, interferes with the deposition of calcium into bones, potentially resulting in .
This potential risk doesnt only apply when youre pregnant, btw. Its also theoretically possible for tattoo chemicals to leach into breast milk.
Can I Get An Epidural If I Have A Tattoo On My Back
Pregnant women who are planning to get an epidural during labor may worry they cant get one because they have a tattoo on their back where the needle will need be injected. But Roanne Preston, the division head of obstetric anesthesia and the department head of anesthesiology, pharmacology and therapeutics at the University of British Columbia, says you can get an epidural if you have a tattoo on your back. What you need to know before getting an epidural
Ideally, we find a clear space to place the needle, he says. If a clear space is not available, then we make a small incision in the skin in order to minimize the likelihood of displacing small amounts of skin with tattoo ink further into the tissues of the back, and most importantly into the epidural space, via the epidural needle.
If you have gotten a tattoo in the past six months, your anesthesiologist might be a bit more concerned about giving you an epidural. This is because in the first six months after getting a tattoo, the ink isnt fixed and could become displaced by the epidural needle, explains Preston, who is also the interim department head of anesthesia at British Columbias Womens Hospital. The theoretical concern is that the ink could then cause a tissue reaction, which could lead to growth of tissue around the arealike scar formation, he says.
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Can You Get An Epidural If You Have A Tattoo On Your Back
Some OB/GYNs and anesthesiologists have questioned whether its safe to perform epidurals on women with tattoos on their backs , under the theory that the needle could push pigmented tissue into the spinal column and cause some sort of growth or infection. Theres little medical literature on this and to date, any problems with epidurals and back tattoos are rare.
Theres also a theoretical concern related to future cases of skin cancer in the epidural area, but the science behind this isnt solid. Still, if you have a back tattoo, or if youre considering one, its something to talk over with your doctor ahead of time so there are no surprises in the delivery room.
Can I Get An Epidural If I Have A Back Tattoo
Most healthcare providers will administer an epidural if you have a tattoo on your lower back, but they may decide not to if the tattoo is recent and still fresh or if there are any signs of infection.
There’s no clear evidence for or against giving epidurals near tattoos. Your anesthesiologist will probably try to insert the needle in an area away from the tattoo design, if possible. Otherwise, he or she may nick your skin before putting the needle in to reduce the risk of getting tattoo ink inside the needle or sending the pigment into deeper tissues. A small scar may result if the needle is inserted through the tattoo.
If you have a tattoo on your lower back and are considering having an epidural for pain relief during childbirth, find out what your hospital’s policy is before you’re admitted.
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Will An Existing Tattoo Cause Problems During Pregnancy
No, having a tattoo that’s already healed shouldn’t cause any problems for you or your baby during pregnancy.
You may find that your tattoo changes while you’re pregnant, though. Chloasma can affect the color of a tattoo, for example. Weight gain and stretching of the skin can distort a tattoo. And stretch marks can also damage a tattoo sometimes permanently.
Many women also find that their skin is more sensitive during pregnancy. So if the skin around your tattoo feels irritated, talk with your healthcare provider about appropriate treatment.
What Are The Risks Of Getting A Tattoo While Pregnant
The main concern with tattoos and pregnancy, Dr. Sterling says, is the potential for exposure to bloodborne illnesses like Hepatitis and HIV. Its also important to know that you tend to have more blood flow to your skin during pregnancy, she says, so you could potentially bleed a little more than usual. Pregnant people also tend to have more sensitive skin, so the typical pain, redness and dryness that accompany a tattoo might feel worse than if you werent pregnant, and there might be more irritation.
And it depends on where it is on your body, Dr. Sterling continues. If youre getting a tattoo on your breast or your belly, these areas will be expanding. So think twice about that design on your abdomen, because if your pregnant belly hasnt started showing yet, the design can get stretched out. And theres a very good chance that at least one stretch mark will appear right in the middle of your beautiful new tattoo.
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Can Getting A Tattoo While Pregnant Affect Your Epidural
Yes, some research indicates getting a tattoo while pregnant could affect your epidural. Evidence points toward an increased probability of such issues with tattoo designs on the spine or back. Why? Tattoos in those areas are already at a higher risk for irritation and infection. While theres minimal medical data on this, some doctors have suggested that the tattoo needle could push pigmented tissue into the spinal column, leading to an infection or anomaly that could interfere with receiving the epidural. The main concerns surround new tattoos, especially those as fresh as six months or less. Because the ink isnt fixed yet, it could become displaced by the epidural needle and cause an infection.
In a similar vein, some concerns center on women who already have existing back or spinal tattoos and whether or not they can receive a proper epidural. However, according to the American Pregnancy Association, very few studies exist on the risks present for women with existing back tattoos who choose to receive an epidural. So far, these studies havent found any conclusive data that indicates there are risks, so most anesthesiologists will offer an epidural to a woman with a back tattoo.
What Should You Do If You Get A Tattoo While Pregnant
Ultimately, the choice is yours whether you get a tattoo while pregnant. If you simply cant wait to get your ink, taking some precautions is advisable. According to the American Pregnancy Association, you should:
- Ensure ahead of your appointment that youre working with a registered tattoo artist .
- Make sure your tattoo artist always wears gloves during the procedure and has a sterilizing unit to sterilize their equipment. Be a stickler! Its totally merited in this instance.
- Look around is the tattoo parlor clean and tidy, including all floors and surfaces? Dont feel bad about walking out if anything you see gives you pause.
- Confirm with your tattoo artist that all the needles used are new, disposable, and strictly single-use.
- Inquire about the dressings. Are they sterile? Packed? Unopened?
- Dont overlook the dyes or ink, either. Those should also be sterile, packed, and unopened before being used on you.
- Before you even sit in the chair, double-check that the artist will be available for the first 24 hours. If you have issues, you need to be able to touch base!
With all of this said, it merits mentioning again that the standing recommendation is to wait until after youve given birth before you get inked.
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