Tattoos in pregnancy: the answer to all your doubts

If you are considering getting a tattoo and also being a mother, or if you are pregnant and you have one or the other on your skin, surely you have some doubt about its compatibility with pregnancy.

We asked gynecologist Jackie Calleja , director of the Bmum Clinic , to advise us as an expert and these have been his responses.

Can I get a tattoo while pregnant?

In principle there is no problem that prevents you from doing it. It is recommended not to get a tattoo in the first trimester , because these are the most critical weeks for the development of the fetus and special caution must be taken with drugs and medications.

But it is a “legal medicine” measure, because the ink stays on the skin and at most passes to the epidermis, but it never enters the blood and therefore cannot contaminate the fetus .

Do you have to take any precautions?

The usual aseptic standards to avoid contracting an infection . They are the same as recommended by the American Pregnancy Association . Make sure that:

  • The professional is certified and the center registered.
  • Gloves are worn.
  • Have a sterilization unit for the equipment you use.
  • The floors, surfaces and premises in general are clean.
  • All needles used are new and disposable.
  • The ink used for the tattoo comes in sterile packaging.
  • The gauze pads are packaged and unopened.

Can it make labor difficult in any way?

There has been a lot of talk about the incompatibility of back tattoo and epidural. An anesthetist will not be able to put the epidural on the mother during labor if she has a fully tattooed lower back. But this is highly unlikely: there is always an area, even a very small one, that is clean, and that the medical specialist can puncture to access the epidural space. It also does not interfere with the rest of your labor .

And in the postpartum and lactation?

As we have explained, the tattoo ink stays on the skin, so it does not pass through breast milk either and they are safe for the baby.

The basic rules of asepsis are still the only precautions to take if you want to have one, shortly after becoming a mother.

What you should take into account is the aesthetic aspect, especially if the tattoo is on the abdomen.

Pregnancy causes stretch marks, collagen breakdown in the skin, much more distended by the increase in the gut to accommodate the baby. This implies that the belly may take time to return to its previous appearance , depending on the morphology of the woman and previous pregnancies: if she has already been a mother or has had twins , the stretch will be greater and the tattoo drawing may not be as well as before pregnancy.

So if you are looking for a baby but have not yet gotten a tattoo, why take the risk? Better to wait to recover after childbirth , when you have already recovered your previous silhouette or you already know what your final appearance will be and decide where to decorate your skin. Because a tattoo is for life.

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