Tattoo During Pregnancy

Tattoo Dilemma

There are some concerns associated with getting a tattoo during pregnancy. The main risk is of contracting an infection. Infections are spread due to the use of improperly sterilized equipment.

The risk is small if the procedure is done in a hygienic manner, however most doctors recommend waiting until after the birth of the baby. Even if you wish to get an eyebrow tattoo during pregnancy, it is better you seek the approval of your doctor. Another risk involved in getting a tattoo during pregnancy is associated with the use of skin dyes.

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The dyes used to create a tattoo contain certain chemicals that may affect the growth and development of the baby, especially during the initial twelve weeks of pregnancy. There is also the opinion that having a tattoo on the back may make it difficult to get an epidural– the injection given to help relieve labor pain during childbirth. However the research is not comprehensive enough and most anesthesiologists do not have an issue with giving an epidural. It is still advisable to speak to your doctor and find out the hospital policy regarding the same. Getting a tattoo during early pregnancy does carry a risk of infection, but the greater concern is of passing on the infection to the baby. This risk is also present while breastfeeding as the infection may transmit to the baby through the milk.

A Safer Option

Henna has been traditionally used in some cultures to create temporary designs on the skin. A henna tattoo during pregnancy is a much safer option. However some precautions need to be taken with regards to this as well. Henna comes in different varieties. The best type of henna is natural, pure henna which lends a red, brown or orange color to your hair. The color usually lasts for about four weeks. Natural henna is not available in black color. Make sure that you use only natural products in pregnancy, as you can never predict the severity of the reaction caused by these artificial colors. Using artificial, black henna can cause blisters, burns or rash on the skin.

Stretched Ink!

Existing tattoos do not really pose a problem during pregnancy unless they were created in unsterilized conditions. It is always better to be sure and therefore you should get yourself tested for infections.

However existing tattoos can undergo certain changes during pregnancy depending on their location. Tattoo stretching during pregnancy is commonly observed in the abdominal area. There can also be stretching or distortion of a hip tattoo during pregnancy as the body undergoes changes in its shape. There is no guarantee of the tattoo returning to its original shape after childbirth.

Safety tips on getting a tattoo done during pregnancy

For those who insist on getting a tattoo done during pregnancy, there are some safety measures, which must be taken.

  • Firstly it is essential to go to a registered practitioner.
  • Ensure that the practitioner wears gloves during the procedure and uses proper sterilized equipment.
  • Ensure that the environment is sanitized.
  • The needles should be single use, new and disposable.
  • The dyes should also be packed in a sterile manner.
  • It is also advisable to ensure that the practitioner is available for you, in case any problem is experienced later.

Risks of tattooing during pregnancy

Before you decide to get a tattoo during pregnancy, it is important to evaluate the risks involved.

  • Tattooing during pregnancy can affect the health of the unborn baby.
  • Tattooing on the belly can be very painful as the area is sensitive.
  • Tattooing may lead to premature labor in some cases.
  • The skin stretches to a large extent during pregnancy and this can affect the shape and placement of the tattoo.
  • The ink used during tattooing may affect the developing baby.
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