Tattoos during Pregnancy

Can I get a tattoo whilst pregnant?

There is no set of rules which say that a pregnant woman must not get a tattoo. However, here are some reasons why it might be best to wait until after the birth of your baby before you go under the needle.

  • Many tattooists refuse to perform work on a pregnant woman.
  • Pregnant women are sometimes more prone to fainting and many people faint whilst having a tattoo.
  • The ink used for tattoos can sometimes be absorbed into your skin and body. This may have an effect on your unborn baby.
  • Skin is much more sensitive whilst pregnant and the sharp needle may cause a significant shock to your body. There is a very small risk that shock may cause premature labour.
  • Whilst pregnant, you skin stretches and you may put on weight all over your body. After the birth, you may return to your original size and your tattoo may be ruined and no longer look right.
  • After a tattoo is done, your body needs white blood cells to help heal the damage. This means that your immune system is weakened slightly and you are more prone to illness and infection.
  • There is a small risk of infection from getting a tattoo. If you are breastfeeding, there is a chance that you can pass the infection onto your baby through your milk.
  • Many women find that the way they feel about their body changes whilst they are pregnant and although you may want a tattoo now; it is possible that after the birth and after your hormone levels return to normal, that you will change your mind about having one or decide that you want a different design or in a different place.

If you do decide to get a tattoo whilst you are pregnant, you should inform your midwife and ensure that you use a reputable tattooist who uses gloves and ensures that all equipment is sterile to ensure the risk of infection is kept minimal. It may also be sensible to wait until after the first trimester as this is when the majority of your baby’s internal organs have developed.

If you would like further advice on tattoo whilst pregnant you should speak to your doctor or midwife.

by Jenny, mum to William and James

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