Tattoos During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

Suzanne Murray
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tattoos and pregnancy is it safe

Photo from Barbie Collector

Lots of moms get tattoos honoring their babies after they're born. But what about before the baby comes—is it safe to get a tattoo while pregnant? Here's what the American Pregnancy Association has to say about tattoos and pregnancy.

1. Skin dyes may not be safe. There isn't a lot of research out there, but it is possible that the chemicals in tattoo dyes could affect the development of the baby during the first 12 weeks. The risks are unknown.

2. The main issue with getting a tattoo during pregnancy is the risk of contracting an infection, such as Hepatitis B and HIV. The risk is small, but experts recommend you wait until after your baby is born to get a tattoo. If you plan to breastfeed, you should wait until you've stopped before getting any body art. Consider getting a temporary tattoo in the meantime.

3. If you want (or have) a back tattoo and want an epidural check with your doctor. Again, few studies have been done and most anesthesiologists have no problem giving an epidural to a woman with a back tattoo, but you should speak to your doctor.

4. If you do decide to get a tattoo while you're pregnant, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Go to a registered tattoo artist
  • Make sure she wears gloves during the procedure
  • Go to a clean place that sterilizes equipment and uses new, disposable, single-use needles, and dyes or ink that is sterile packed and unopened
  • Make sure the artist is available the first 24 hours if you have any problems and find out the availability of the artist in case you have any problems in the months ahead

5. If you're worried about infection, get tested. If you have a tattoo and are concerned about the practices of the place where you had it done, get tested for Hepatitis, HIV, and Syphilis.

Do you have any tattoos? Do you plan on getting any during your pregnancy?

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