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Pregnancy and Tattoos

Q) Hi Jinxi, I schedule my tattoo appointments months in advance, but recently found out I was pregnant. I have heard that it's not safe to get tattooed while you are expecting, so was wondering what you did when you were pregnant with your kids? Do you think I should cancel my tattoo plans for now? - Gina
A) Thanks so much for asking about this, Gina. It definitely pertains to a lot of women out there. Though a lot of my skin is covered in ink now, I didn't actually start going under the needle until around my 30th birthday (I'm 38 now), so by the time I took the tattoo plunge, Brynn was already six, while Aidan and Shea were four.
I think the best thing to remember when you are pregnant is that you want to do absolutely everything you can to keep yourself and your baby healthy and strong. It's hard enough dealing with all of the changes that your body is going through as it "grows" another human being, not to mention that your immune system is lowered during these months, so fighting off anything out of the ordinary is going to be even more difficult. 
Though any reputable tattoo shop should provide a safe and sterile environment *(see tips to watch for here) it is important to note that with any tattoo or piercing, there is always that slight chance of having an allergic reaction or infection. For this reason alone, most tattoo artists will not work on you if they know that you are expecting or are breastfeeding. Though the risks of these things are small, why take the chance at all when you can reschedule your ink plans for the future, right?
There is also the issue of weight gain during pregnancy. Of course, it's completely normal and expected that weight will fluctuate quite a bit and the skin will stretch out while you are growing your little one. It is not uncommon for a tattoo's appearance to be altered during this time, so it's best to wait until your body and your skin return to a "normal" state before adding that new piece of body art.
I know from my own experience, that my skin was extra-sensitive during my pregnancies, especially with the twins. This hypersensitivity might also make a tattoo more difficult to heal, not to mention more painful to receive.
Believe me, I know how hard it is to wait for "tattoo days" to roll around, but when you add up all the reasons to postpone adding to your body art collection, there just isn't any benefit to assuming the risks involved. Your little one will love you for putting their health and well-being first; and just think, by the time you CAN sit down in the tattoo chair, you will have had more time to cook up MORE fantastic designs and pieces.
Happy Pregnancy and Happy Tattooing.



Last updated on January 16, 2012 by Jinxi Boo