There are many things to consider before getting a tattoo, and if you’re a breastfeeding mother, there are even more things to ask; Can you get a tattoo while breastfeeding? Continue reading to discover more interesting information about breastfeeding and tattoos.
Can You Get A Tattoo While Breastfeeding?
Many new mothers always ask whether or not they can get a tattoo while breastfeeding. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer because no study shows negative evidence for it. Although the primary concern is the health and safety of the baby, there are a few things you must consider before deciding to get inked while nursing.
Here are a few things to know before deciding to get a tattoo while breastfeeding:
- First, your health and your baby matter. Getting a tattoo involves breaking the skin, which can lead to infection. If you have any open sores or cuts, it is best to wait until they heal before getting inked and ensure you are up to date on all of your vaccinations and healthy enough to undergo the process.
- Think of your pain tolerance. Tattooing can be painful, and you should prepare to handle the pain while also caring for your baby.
- Think about the placement of your tattoo. You might ask: where will it be visible when you’re nursing? Will it be in a place that could irritate your baby’s skin? Tattoos can affect your ability to breastfeed. If you get a tattoo on your chest, for example, it could make breastfeeding uncomfortable. Additionally, if you get a tattoo that requires frequent touching or cleaning, always wash your hands thoroughly before giving your child breastmilk.
- Be sure to research and choose a professional tattoo artist, experienced in tattooing breastfeeding mothers.
- Lastly, talk to your doctor because some risks can arise when getting a tattoo. Doctors can help you weigh those risks against the benefits and advise you on how to minimize the risks, such as choosing a safe tattoo parlor and making sure you’re not allergic to the tattoo ink.
The Risks Involved
The following contain risks you might encounter getting a tattoo while breastfeeding.
1. Tattooing Can Lead To Infection
Tattooing involves breaking the skin barrier, which can lead to infections. Infection is highest when the tattoo artist does not use sterile equipment or not following proper sterilization procedures. Infections can also occur if the tattoo artist does not practice good hygiene, such as washing their hands and using gloves.
The most common infections associated with tattooing are bacterial infections, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These infections can cause redness, swelling, and pain at the tattoo site, while severe cases can lead to fever, chills, and even death. Viral infections, including hepatitis C and HIV, can also be contracted through tattooing.
To avoid infection, you should choose an experienced tattoo artist who uses sterile tools and practices good hygiene. You should also make sure the tattoo artist follows proper sterilization procedures. If you face any of these signs, try to see a doctor immediately.
2. The Tattoo Ink Can Contaminate Breastmilk
When a nursing mother gets a tattoo, there is a chance the ink from the tattoo can contaminate her breast milk. The ink may contain heavy metals and other toxins harmful to a baby. For example, if the mother’s nipple is cracked or bleeding, the ink can get into the milk through the mother’s skin and transfer to the baby’s skin.
On the other hand, if the ink gets into the baby’s system, it can cause many digestive problems and health problems, including anemia, jaundice, and even liver damage. Breastfeeding mothers should consult with their tattoo artists and doctors to ensure the ink is safe for their babies.
3. Pain Factor
Breastfeeding mothers often have sensitive nipples, making the tattooing process painful. And, if you are considering a tattoo on your back or stomach, you should reach those areas to apply aftercare, which could be harmful while caring for a baby.
This is because the process can cause the breasts to become swollen and inflamed, causing pain and discomfort for the mother and child.
4. Allergic Reactions
There is also the possibility of developing allergic reactions. Tattooing can lead to allergic reactions for some reasons:
First, the ink used in tattoos contains various chemicals and metals, which can be allergens for some people.
The process of tattooing itself can result in allergic issues. The needles used to inject the ink into the skin can cause an allergic reaction, as can the ink itself.
Thus, allergic reactions to tattoos can begin from mild to severe. Mild reactions may include itching, redness, and swelling at the tattoo site. Severe reactions can include fever, swelling of the lymph nodes, and difficulty breathing. If you observe any of these mentioned above, seek medical attention immediately.
5. It Can Cause Milk Ducts Blockage
Tattooing causes galactocele, a blockage of the milk ducts that leads to a decrease in milk production. This condition can cause pain, swelling, and even infection. Tattooing can also cause the milk ducts to rupture and leads to leaking milk and other complications.
Can You Remove A Tattoo Before Breastfeeding?
There is no direct answer to whether or not you can remove a tattoo while breastfeeding. Some tattoo removal methods, such as lasers, can release chemicals into your bloodstream that are potentially unsafe for your baby.
Other methods, such as surgical removal, may not be safe either. It is best to consult with a healthcare professional to see if tattoo removal is healthy for you while breastfeeding.
While there are no studies about tattoos and breastfeeding, it is safe to wait until your baby is at least a year old before getting a tattoo.
This is because the immune system has not yet developed in young babies, making them more susceptible to infection. Moreover, The Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health cautions nursing mothers from getting tattoos during pregnancy or breastfeeding.