Give advice on women's health concerns.

Is it Safe to Get a Tattoo During Pregnancy?

Is it Safe to Get a Tattoo During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a memorable phase of a woman's life, where those who are tattoo lovers would love to ink this moment on them forever. However, is it safe to get a tattoo during pregnancy? This HerHaleness article will inform you about the risks involved.
Shalu Bhatti
Did You Know?
In places such as India, Egypt, and countries in the Middle East, applying henna tattoos on baby bumps is considered to bring 'good luck' to the baby. It is also believed to make childbirth safer for the mothers.
Tattoos have been a part of human civilization for thousands of years. In fact, the practice of inking beautiful patterns on pregnant bellies with pure and natural henna, has been performed for ages. Modernization has exposed us to many variants of henna including black henna, which is not safe for use by anybody. It contains a chemical called para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which may cause allergic reactions, such as, blisters and burns, which may prove to be difficult for the doctors to treat. Therefore, if you wish to get a henna tattoo, ensure that you use pure henna which leaves an orange, chocolate, red, or brown stain that lasts for a few weeks.

Tattoos have evolved to be more than a form of body art, in fact, they have become a means to capture life's substantial phases, one of them being the unforgettable experience of becoming a mother! Though the baby enters the world after birth, for the expecting mother the relationship begins from its very inception. With most of us being tattoo lovers, it is natural for the mother-to-be, to want a tattoo that captures the essence of the whole journey, however, the one question that is the most crucial is, "Is it safe for the unborn baby?"
Why You Should Not Get a Tattoo During Pregnancy
Pregnancy happens to be the most special, yet the most sensitive phase of a woman's life. Each and every move that you make affects the baby within you. Another point to be noted is that the immune system of a woman becomes weak during pregnancy; it is the body's natural response to suppress antibodies to enable the body to accept the baby growing within. This makes you more vulnerable to infections and allergies. Listed below are some risks that are involved when it comes to exposing yourself to the process of tattooing.
The first and foremost risk involved is contracting an HIV or a Hepatitis B infection while getting inked. There are chances that the needle used to ink the tattoo may be infected and not sterilized. This may expose you and your baby to severe infections. Therefore, to be on the safer side, the American Pregnancy Association recommends not to get a tattoo done until after the baby is born.
Epidural Anesthesia
Another concern that arises―especially when you want a tattoo on your back―is the use of epidurals. This method relieves women from excruciating labor pain. It is said that some doctors do not give epidural anesthesia to women who have a tattoo on their backs. However, there are no concrete studies in reference to this restriction. Therefore, check with your hospital regarding the same.
Skin Dyes
The skin dyes that are used in tattoo-making are nothing but chemicals. American Pregnancy Association suggests the possibility of these chemicals affecting the development of the fetus in the initial twelve weeks of pregnancy. However, there is no clear evidence of the aftereffects of the tattoo on the baby, during the remaining trimesters.
Getting a tattoo becomes a threat to the baby, also during breastfeeding. If getting a tattoo makes you prone to any kind of allergy or an infection, there are chances that you may pass the infection to the baby during breastfeeding. Therefore, it would be ideal to get a tattoo once the baby is weaned.
Important Safety Tips
The risks involved in contracting an infection are not major ones. However, it is always better to take extra caution, especially when it may prove to be a threat to your beloved baby. Nonetheless, after evaluating the possible threats and risk factors, if you still wish to continue with getting a tattoo done, ensure that you take the following precautions.

➦ Choose a tattoo artist who is a registered practitioner.

➦ Ensure that they have sterilizing equipment at their studio, and the needles, dyes, and dressings are new and unopened. They must be sterile packed.

➦ Ensure that the needles used are disposable.

➦ Ensure that the artist is trustworthy, and will be available for assistance in case you have any problems during your pregnancy.
While most of us wish to get inked during pregnancy and show the world, about how special motherhood is ... it is important to understand that no desire is worth putting your unborn child in harm's way. Remember, pregnancy is a stage wherein both the mother and the child are susceptible to infections, be it through a cold or flu, or through a tattoo.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.