Dangers of Getting a Tattoo During Pregnancy

Tattoo During Pregnancy
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As a pregnant woman, people tend to give you lots of advice about what to do and not do. Things such as avoid eating sushi, avoiding water slides, and working out safely, amongst other things.

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You might have asked, “Is it ok for me to get a tattoo during pregnancy?” And while the study in this area is lacking, medical professionals generally don’t approve of it.

Here are some reasons you might want to make your ink appointment after childbirth.

It could cause infection

Among the biggest worries, doctors have with getting a tattoo during pregnancy is infection.  Not every parlor is built the same when it concerns hygiene. This implies that some tattoo shops do not satisfy the minimum safety criteria for keeping needles and other tools neat. 

Dirty needles can increase the risk of infections such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. These diseases are hazardous for women expecting a baby because they can be transmitted to the babies at birth. The symptoms include anything from fatigue to joint pain to fever.

It is possible for you to get infected without knowing. If symptoms do arise, it could take time before they are obvious. Even then, the early sign might be an inconsistent result on a liver function test. Tattoos could also become infected as they heal.

If you do get inked, ensure you follow all the aftercare instructions suggested by the studio. Visit your doctor the instant you notice any signs of infection, including:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Pus or red lesions on the tattoo
  • Horrible smelling release from the region of the tattoo
  • Areas of severe raised tissue
  • New dark layers developing in or flashing around the area

While most infections might be easy to care for, you may not want to risk getting more severe ones, like a staph infection, while you are pregnant.

It might influence your chance of getting an epidural

The lower back is among the most common areas to get a tattoo. This also happens to be where an epidural is dispensed during childbirth. An epidural is a local anesthetic.

If your delivery plan involves the use of an epidural, you might want to pause getting tattoo until after labor. However, if you’ve already gotten a tattoo on your lower back, you are presumably fine. 

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The only case when it would be a problem is if it’s just healing or infected. Tattoos typically take between two weeks and a month to completely heal. If it gets infected, your skin could become red or swollen and produce slime fluid.

You can’t know if the tattoo will become infected, and how much time will it take for an infection to heal? or if you might go into labor earlier than anticipated.

The tattoo could change shape after pregnancy

Tattoo During Pregnancy
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Hormones during pregnancy can induce changes in the skin. Your body and skin expand to create room for the baby. Tattoos on the waist and hips, for instance, may get influenced by striae gravidarum. This condition is generally recognized as stretch marks.

You can even create different skin disorders during pregnancy that could make getting inked uncomfortable or difficult.

Some of these conditions include:

PUPPP

PUPPP stands for pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. It influences anything from swelling to a red rash to patches of pimple-like swells, usually on the abdomen, chest, arms, and legs

Prurigo of pregnancy

This prickly rash consists of tiny bumps called papules. Around 1 in 130 – 300 pregnant women suffer it, and it could persist for several months after childbirth

Impetigo herpetiformis

This unusual condition generally begins in the second half of pregnancy. It is a kind of psoriasis and can result in nausea, vomiting, fever, chills as well as skin disease

Hormone differences can induce something called hyperpigmentation. This means that the skin might grow dark in specific regions of your body, from your nipples to your face. Melasma, also referred to as the “mask of pregnancy,” is experienced by about 70 percent of women who are pregnant.

Sun exposure can cause the darkening to get worse. A lot of women find their hyperpigmented areas return to normal or almost normal after childbirth. Pregnant women are vulnerable when it concerns health, and tattoos should typically be avoided.

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How to safely get a tattoo

If you choose to get a tattoo during pregnancy, there are a few things you could do to ensure your experience is safer.

You might want to tour several shops to compare their hygiene practices:

  • Go for studios that are tidy and have separate rooms for piercing and tattooing
  • Inquire if the tattoo parlor has an autoclave. This is a device employed to disinfect needles and other equipment
  • Examine if the needles are being emptied from individual packages. No needles should be utilized more than once
  • Ensure your artist is putting on new rubber gloves while you’re being tattooed
  • Observe the ink too. Ink should be in single-use cups that are disposed of after each session. It should never be obtained directly from the container
  • If something bothers you, inquire about it. A good studio should be able to answer your questions and give you details quickly

If it’s not evident, you might also want to tell your tattoo artist that you are pregnant. They may be delighted to walk you through the sterilization procedure and reveal the things the studio is doing to ensure your safety and that of your baby.

However, if at any moment you feel skeptical or uncomfortable about the studio, you can leave.

Think about getting a henna tattoo

Tattoo During Pregnancy
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Currently, there are numerous alternatives to permanent tattoos. Temporary tattoos have become a significant upgrade in recent years. You can find a good selection of them at different stores and might want to consider henna or mehndi because it’s safe, elegant, and last for about two weeks

Henna is done in sophisticated designs employing a pipette. It is left to dry for half an hour. After drying, you can wash it away with water. Henna is naturally generated from safe ingredients such as henna powder, water, and sugar. Occasionally essential oils are included in henna but use with caution, as some of these oils are best avoided during pregnancy.

You can attempt to apply the designs yourself, using instructions from the on famous websites like Instructables. Also, you can look for a competent henna artist in your neighborhood.

Should I get a tattoo during pregnancy? The answer is yes, and no. Visiting a tattoo parlor with a good reputation might be safe. Nonetheless, you can’t predict if your tattoo could get infected during the recovery process. Ensure you’re aware of what the signs of infection look like.

With the possibility of contracting diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B, it might not be worth the risk.  Pregnant women may best be protected by waiting until the baby is born. Also, Discuss with your doctor before getting a tattoo and consider temporary alternatives such as henna.

Tattoo During Pregnancy
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Peter Oluwafemi
Oluwafemi Peter is a content creator who has an interest in music, tech, sports and people. He resides in Ogun state, Nigeria.
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