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Can Breastfeeding Girls Get a Tattoo?

Folks get tattoos for a lot of causes: as a type of self-expression, for inventive or religious functions, to honor somebody they’ve misplaced, or to sanctify a particular relationship. Many new mother and father get tattoos of their youngsters, or of their rising households.

If you’re a brand new dad or mum who’s breastfeeding, you could be contemplating getting a tattoo of your candy child. It’s possible you’ll even wish to immortalize the breastfeeding expertise via your tattoo. Or possibly you’re merely at some extent in your life the place you’re able to get the tattoo you’ve all the time dreamt about. Both method, you’re questioning if getting a tattoo if you are nonetheless nursing your baby is protected.

The reality is, there may be not a lot analysis on the subject of getting a tattoo whereas breastfeeding. Consultants are divided, with some saying it must be prevented till breastfeeding is over, others saying you need to delay it till your child is older, and nonetheless others saying that getting a tattoo is probably going not an issue. All consultants agree that for those who do get a tattoo whereas breastfeeding, you need to take precautions, and seek the advice of with a physician or midwife earlier than doing so.

We consulted with two consultants—Natasha Spencer, OB-GYN with Orlando Well being Doctor Associates, and Ashley Georgakopoulos, IBCLC, lactation director at Motif—to debate the protection of getting a tattoo whereas breastfeeding, and any precautions you need to take.

Getting a Tattoo Whereas Breastfeeding

At present, there isn’t a information on the subject of getting tattoos whereas breastfeeding, and no main medical organizations have put out statements on the matter. This could make it tough to decide about whether or not or not getting a tattoo is best for you.

Dr. Spencer’s reservation about recommending tattoos to breastfeeding mother and father is the chance of an infection from the needles used in the course of the process. “The principle concern with tattooing is the chance of contracting an an infection similar to Hepatitis B/C and HIV,” she says. “These infections may be transmitted to the child via the breastmilk or cracks and bleeding on the breast whereas breastfeeding.”  

Nonetheless, the ink itself shouldn’t be normally a priority for the child. “The tattoo ink is unlikely to get into the breastmilk provide and the ink from tattooing is sealed underneath the primary layer of pores and skin and deposited into the second layer of the pores and skin referred to as the dermis,” says Dr. Spencer. Nonetheless, she cautions, there are situations when tattoo ink is tainted with micro organism or the ink itself causes an allergic cause.

For these causes, Dr. Spencer advises ready till your child is older (9-12 months) and never completely breastfeeding anymore. She additionally recommends taking precautions for those who do get a tattoo if you are breastfeeding, similar to ensuring the tattoo artist is licensed and makes use of clear, sterile tools.

Georgakopoulos agrees that comparable precautions must be taken if you’re contemplating getting a tattoo whereas breastfeeding, however believes the process to be usually protected. “There are not any breastfeeding-specific dangers related to getting a tattoo,” she says. “Breastfeeding mother and father ought to observe common security precautions when getting a tattoo that they’d no matter breastfeeding standing.”

Whereas she agrees that there’s a threat of an infection whereas breastfeeding, the chance is small, and the antibodies in breastmilk are protecting in opposition to these infections.

Each breastfeeding journey is completely different. You should definitely seek the advice of with a healthcare supplier about your circumstances when you’ve got any questions on getting a tattoo whereas breastfeeding.

Advantages of Getting a Tattoo Whereas Breastfeeding

Getting a tattoo doesn’t provide particular advantages to a breastfeeding child or to breastfeeding itself. However getting a tattoo might really feel personally gratifying or fulfilling to a breastfeeding dad or mum, which is actually invaluable. Generally mother and father really feel like they lose their sense of self when they’re parenting young children, and getting a tattoo could also be a approach to recapture that feeling of independence and self-expression.

Security Precautions

Many mother and father will select to attend till their infants are previous the new child stage to get a tattoo, or just delay till they’re finished breastfeeding. When you do find yourself getting a tattoo whereas breastfeeding, there are some precautions you may take to lower the dangers concerned.

Solely Use a Licensed Tattoo Artist

Most states have licensure laws for tattoo artists and tattoo parlors. Dr. Spencer recommends that you simply perform some research earlier than deciding to make use of a selected artist or facility. “Make sure that they’re licensed with an excellent status, look into their high quality management measures in addition to their citations and violations from the well being division,” she says.

You also needs to ensure all of the tools they use is clear and sterile. Dr. Spencer says you need to inform the artist you’re breastfeeding, as they could ask you to signal a authorized waiver earlier than you get your tattoo since many institutions don’t enable tattooing whereas nursing.

Focus on the Process with a Healthcare Supplier

Whether or not or to not get a tattoo whereas breastfeeding is one thing you need to talk about with a healthcare supplier. Whereas Georgakopoulos argues that getting a tattoo is normally a low-risk exercise for breastfeeding mother and father, she cautions that folks who’re at excessive threat for infections, or who’ve compromised immune techniques, ought to wait until breastfeeding is over to get a tattoo.

You might also want to debate the chance of doable an infection to your new child along with your pediatrician. As Dr. Spencer mentions, the primary dangers to your child are an infection with Hepatitis B, C, and HIV.

The Academy of American Pediatrics (AAP) and the CDC say that maternal infections with hepatitis B and C aren’t transmitted through breastfeeding, however that HIV an infection is. That doesn’t imply turning into contaminated with hepatitis B or C is a threat you need to take, nevertheless, and your child might have specific well being vulnerabilities {that a} pediatrician can talk about with you.

Moreover, as Dr. Spencer factors out, bloodborne infections like hepatitis B and C, or HIV, may be transmitted to your child in case your nipples turn out to be cracked and bleed throughout breastfeeding.

When Can I Resume Getting a Tattoo?

When you resolve or a healthcare supplier decides that getting a tattoo whereas breastfeeding is ill-advised, you may actually get one after you might have weaned. If you’re breastfeeding long-term, you could resolve that getting a tattoo whereas your breastfeeding child is older makes extra sense for you.

Along with the doable security dangers concerned in getting a tattoo whereas breastfeeding, Dr. Spencer advises that ready may make sense simply when it comes to the looks of your tattoo. It’s because your physique goes via many adjustments throughout being pregnant and the postpartum interval and also you may wish to wait till your physique returns to a brand new regular.

“A tattoo might look good initially however can turn out to be distorted or lopsided after you regain your pre-pregnancy form, particularly whether it is in a location that’s susceptible to develop because the being pregnant grows just like the stomach and hips/aspect,” Dr. Spencer says.

A Phrase from Verywell

When you might have a brand new child, every resolution you make can really feel weighty, and also you may really feel not sure about the perfect resolution for you and your child. Deciding whether or not or to not get a tattoo if you are breastfeeding may be complicated, particularly when there may be little clear steering on the market about whether or not or not it’s protected.

Nonetheless, what is thought about getting a tattoo whereas breastfeeding factors to the truth that whereas doing it might be a low-risk exercise in sure circumstances, it’s not a risk-free exercise. That’s why it’s necessary to debate the prospect of getting a tattoo with a healthcare supplier relatively than making the choice by yourself. When you do resolve to get a tattoo, ensure you take all security precautions essential to lower the potential dangers.


By Wendy Wisner

Wendy Wisner is a lactation advisor and author overlaying maternal/baby well being, parenting, common well being and wellness, and psychological well being. She has labored with breastfeeding mother and father for over a decade, and is a mother to 2 boys.

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