Tattoos and Pregnancy

By Maria T. Pepin

If you are pregnant and thinking about getting a tattoo, you may want to wait until after the baby is born. Pregnancy is not the best time to make body alterations. You want to do everything you can to keep yourself and your baby healthy. Most qualified licensed professionals will not knowingly tattoo a pregnant woman for several reasons:

  1. It is fairly common for a person to get light headed or pass out while getting a tattoo. A tattoo artist does not want to be responsible for the risk of a pregnant woman fainting and possibly hurting herself or the baby in their establishment.
  2. Any procedure that involves puncturing the skin repeatedly can be stressful on the body. Unnecessary strain and trauma to your body should be avoided, as this can also put strain on the baby and lead to premature labor.
  3. Although rare, you run the risk of catching a serious infection (such as Hepatitis B) when needles are involved. This could have significant effects on you and your unborn baby. You may also have an allergic reaction to the ink and dye, which will lower your health and weaken the immune system.
  4. There is the quality of the tattoo to consider. A woman’s weight will fluctuate a great deal during pregnancy and the skin will stretch out. Therefore, the appearance of a tattoo on your stomach, hips, breasts or legs may change after the baby is born. Your skin is hypersensitive during pregnancy, so the likelihood of scarring is greater. There is also a possibility that the tattoo will heal poorly because your body is focusing its energy on the baby.
  5. There is limited research on the effects of tattoo dye on an unborn fetus. Most doctors will not let their patients get their hair dyed when they are pregnant, so it’s better to err on the side of caution and wait a few extra months.  
  6. Your hormones are typically all over the place during pregnancy and you may regret your decision after the birth. Consider playing around with a HENNA tattoo instead. You can experiment with tons of designs and make it permanent after the baby is born.

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