I’m sure there are many of you lovely people out there who are trying to get pregnant, are currently pregnant or just had your lil bub and are breastfeeding. And I’m sure that among that group, there are a bunch of you wanting to get a tattoo! Unfortunately, we definitely recommend waiting until after you’ve had your baby and are finished breastfeeding to get “tatted up”. This is a sentiment generally supported by your doctor as well, so it’s best to follow the advice of the professionals! We obviously want everything to be safe for you and your baby so hopefully this information will help you understand why it’s best to wait.
The main concern with getting tattooed while pregnant or breastfeeding is the risk of contracting an infection (especially the nasty ones like Hepatitis B/C or HIV) during the tattoo or healing process and passing this on to your baby. Now, the risk of this is very small, as any good studio will have gold standard hygiene practises. BUT, we don’t think it’s worth taking even the smallest of risks when it comes to the health of your baby. In addition to this, very little research on the effect of tattoo ink on your developing baby exists. Preliminary research conducted by the American Pregnancy Association suggests that present chemicals in some ink could potentially be harmful during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, however, the effects of this are relatively unknown. This is why, as we mentioned, doctors generally recommend NOT getting a tattoo while pregnant or breastfeeding, just to minimise the risks of any complications.
The second issue presents for those women planning on having an epidural during labour. It seems to be a common concern (from my research anyway) that women with a lower back tattoo near the injection site for an epidural may not be able to have one. But luckily, if you have a healed, existing tattoo, an epidural will not be an issue. As long as the anaesthetist can find a clear place for the needle (if your tattoo is covering it, they’ll just make a small incision) it’s not an issue. It is an issue however, if you’ve had a tattoo in the past six months. In this case the anaesthetist may deny you an epidural. The main reasoning for this is that during the first six months after getting a tattoo, the ink isn’t completely fixed under the skin and could displace during the epidural process. This then runs the risk of causing a tissue reaction and possibly permanent scarring. So, whether you’re thinking about getting an epidural or not, this is yet another reason to avoid getting a tattoo while pregnant!
Overall, the health of your growing baby should be of the upmost importance to you. And for that reason, we strongly discourage anyone from getting tattooed while they’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Even though the risks of complications are small, why take any chance at all? You're well accustomed to waiting for beautiful things - like your baby! - so why wouldn't you do the same for your beautiful tattoo!
Love you mums,
Fox and Moon