can you get a tattoo while pregnant

Can You Get a Tattoo While Pregnant?

Being pregnant is a significant milestone in your life. You’re getting ready to become a parent and are in charge of the life that’s growing inside of you. The majority of women stay away from high-risk activities while pregnant. But what constitutes a high-risk situation isn’t always black and white. The main question that comes to mind when pregnant is, Can you get a tattoo while pregnant? When it comes to pregnancy, tattoos are a bit of a grey area. There hasn’t been enough research done on the subject, so there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules about how safe it is.

The Risks of Getting Tattooed While Pregnant

There are some known risks associated with getting a tattoo, and some of those risks can result in serious complications in pregnant women. Before getting a tattoo while pregnant, you should be aware of the risks.


Infection is one of the most serious risks of getting tattooed. If your tattoo artist uses contaminated or dirty needles, you could contract blood-borne infections like hepatitis B. A mother infected with hepatitis B can easily transmit the infection to her child at birth. Babies with hepatitis B have a 90% chance of developing a lifelong infection, and one in every four will die as a result of health complications if the infection is not treated.

Unsterile tattoo needles can potentially spread other bloodborne illnesses like hepatitis C and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). A mother with hepatitis C has a 6% chance of passing the infection on to her child. Without treatment, a mother with HIV has a 15 percent to 45 percent probability of passing the virus on to her child.

Read also: Different Types of Tattoos?

When you’re pregnant, your body is constantly growing and changing to make room for the baby inside. Depending on where you get your tattoo, your ink may not look the same after you’ve given birth and healed.

Your skin can also change in other ways. Melasma, or temporary darkening of the skin, and increased skin sensitivity are common during pregnancy and can affect the appearance of your tattoo or how you react to being tattooed.

Tattoo inks that are toxic:

Despite the fact that the average tattoo needle is only 18 inches deep into the skin, some tattoo ink contains heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, and lead.

These ingredients can be harmful to your developing baby, especially during the first trimester, when the major organs are developing. The development of your baby’s brain may be affected by heavy metal exposure.  It may also increase your chances of miscarriage or stillbirth.

Epidurals are not available:

You’ve probably heard that women with lower back tattoos can’t get an epidural, but there’s little evidence to back up this claim. It is uncommon for an epidural to cause complications because of a lower-back tattoo.

A lower back tattoo may cause issues in some cases. If your tattoo has red, scaly skin, is infected, is leaking fluid, or is still healing, your doctor is unlikely to provide you with an epidural.

Speak with your doctor to alleviate any concerns you may have about this subject. They are the most qualified to guide you through this process.

Before booking an appointment to get a tattoo while pregnant, do your research and find a reputable shop. Many artists will not tattoo pregnant women, so make sure to notify the shop and your artist ahead of time to avoid any last-minute problems.

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