Tattoos during Pregnancy – The Risks involved

By  | 

Tattoos during Pregnancy

Tattoos during Pregnancy

The nine months of pregnancy is a special and emotional journey that all moms-to-be would want to commemorate and remember. Some capture these moments through photographs, paintings or writings, while some like to get their skin inked with a special tattoo. Getting a permanent tattoo is indeed a unique and somehow, beautiful way to celebrate pregnancy. But is it safe for you and your child? Is it worth the risk? There are many questions that linger.

What are the risks of Tattoos During Pregnancy?

So it is better to be cautious. Weigh the risks before deciding

Take advice of doctors and tattoo artists

Take advice of doctors and tattoo artists


First, let us understand that the tattoo needle penetrates only between 1mm to 2mm deep into the skin, that’s just the Dermis layer. So the main risks are not from the tattoo ink entering the bloodstream.

  1. Needle Infection:
    Though a very rare likelihood, there is still the risk of blood borne infection like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. This is a severe concern
  2. Healing:
    An important fact is that a pregnant mother will take longer than normal to heal from tattoo works. During pregnancy, her body puts its resources to fulfil the baby’s nourishment. She feels tired more often and has less energy. Thus, be it a simple rash or an illness, her body will take longer to heal
  3. Stress:
    It is not uncommon for a client to experience extreme stress during a tattoo session and this risk is higher for a pregnant woman
  4. Epidural:
    If you plan on getting a lower back tattoo, hear this – many doctors refrain from administering an epidural if the tattoo is recent. The fear is of the needle pushing through the inked tissue and into the spinal column, causing infection or growth. Though not a proven risk factor, doctors adopt the policy of ‘better be safe than sorry’. So talk to your doctor before deciding to get tattooed
  5. Tattoo inks and dyes:
    Not much concrete research has been done on the after-effects of tattoo inks but some say the inks could work its way through the lymph nodes
After affects of tattoo inks

After affects of tattoo inks

What are the Complications of getting tattoo during pregnancy?
  1. Of Slow Healing: Since the healing process gets slower during pregnancy, the needle rashes are more prone to nasty infections
  2. If one does get an infection: The mother’s immune system is already working overtime during pregnancy. So yes, there are some risks to the child depending on the severity and type of infection
  3. Of stress: One major reason why tattoo artists refrain from working on a pregnant woman is fear of causing stress on the client. Even in otherwise normal cases, there are cases of clients with nose bleeding and blood-sugar level shooting up so high to the point of passing out. If this happens to a pregnant woman, you know the complications
  4. There are many women who have got tattoos during pregnancy and they say it was safe enough. But when as a mom-to-be you’re doing everything you can for your child’s good, why take any risk?

Complications of tattoo during pregnancy

Complications of tattoo during pregnancy


To be honest, most tattoo artists will straight away refuse to tattoo a pregnant woman’s skin. That is because of utter concern for the well-being of the mother and child. Sadly some women try to hide their pregnancy status from them. Don’t do that! If you’re pregnant, inform your tattoo artist prior to getting inked. It is better to talk to the expert and weigh the pros and cons
If you do find a good tattoo artist ready to work on your tattoo, check these important pointers:

  • Make sure he/she is a licensed tattoo artist
  • Most tattoo parlours are very strict with cleanliness and hygiene. Make sure the one you’re going for is as scrupulous
  • The gloves, needles, bandages and dyes should be new and unopened. It is common practice for tattoo artists to open the new packets in front of their clients
What if you already have a tattoo? Will It affect Pregnancy?

If you already have one, just relax, sit back and watch your tattoo stretch and grow. The question here is not whether the tattoo affects pregnancy but rather, will pregnancy affect your tattoo! Obviously yes, since the mother’s body is going to gain a lot of weight. More so if the tattoo is on a body part like her abdomen.

Author Biography
Nivedita Longjam Nivedita is a fashion designer, freelance writer and a computer enthusiast. She believes in the 'Zen' teachings of life that sadly, goes out the window half the time. For the remaining half, a warm cup of tea and the company of good books, good music and her adorable pets help her stay Zen like.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *