Ready to get some new ink done but are wondering if it’s safe to do so as a breastfeeding mom?
If so, you’re not alone; this is a very common question and you’re right to worry about it.
After all, getting a tattoo means getting ink injected below the skin, and it’s easy to believe that it could find its way into your breast milk supply.
In my opinion: no, it’s not safe to get a tattoo if you’re breastfeeding.
Why is this? There are a number of risks associated with the whole process of tattooing. I’ll get into them shortly, and I think after reading them you’ll be pretty convinced not to do it.
Besides, you’ll be very hard-pressed to find a reputable tattoo artist that will give a tattoo to a pregnant or breastfeeding woman. Most will outright refuse it, and if someone does agree too it, it would lead me to wonder what kind of deplorable sanitary conditions their equipment might be in.
The Risks Associated With Tattoos & Breastfeeding
First of all, you should know that there have been no official studies done on the effect of tattoos on breastfeeding. We don’t know for sure if there is a direct risk due to the tattoo itself.
From what I’ve read, the ink molecules are too large to make their way into the breast milk supply, and that’s about the only reassurance you get.
You should also know that tattoo ink is not regulated by the FDA for use under the skin.
The risks you should be worried about if you want to get a tattoo and currently breastfeed are as follows:
- Risk of infection. It’s not uncommon for people to get an infection after getting a tattoo, and this could compromise your immune system. It’s also not unheard of for people to contract things like hepatitis through unclean needles, although this should never happen at a reputable tattoo parlor.
- Risk of allergic reaction. Some people have allergic reactions to the tattoo ink used, which could disrupt your ability to breastfeed.
- Risk of reduced milk supply. It’s possible that your body will have a reduced milk supply due to the “trauma” of getting the tattoo.
- Risk of tattoo rejection. An improperly cared for tattoo has the possibility of being “rejected” by the body; the risk of this is even moreso during the period after birth where the mother’s body is still recovering. This can also lead to infection.
Human milk banks refuse donations from any mother who has had a tattoo done in the past 12 months due to the risk of blood-born pathogens, such as hepatitis.
My Suggestion: Wait It Out
Do you really need to have your tattoo done as soon as possible?
It’s best to wait until your child is no longer completely dependent on your breast milk before you get a tattoo. There’s no reason to risk it, even if the risks are small. What if you end up with an infection or get sick and can no longer breastfeed? It’s just not worth it.
If you wait until your child is no longer 100% dependent on your breast milk, you’re minimizing your risk. It’s the smart option.
Is It Safe To Have a Tattoo Removed While Breastfeeding?
So, you have a fugly tattoo that you really regret and want to get rid of it.
Maybe it’s an ex-boyfriend’s name or one of your regretful favorite bands in high school. Whatever the case is, you’re clearly wondering whether or not it’s safe to get it removed as a breastfeeding mom.
There is very little medical literature on the subject, so it’s hard to say whether or not it’s completely safe. There is the same risk of infection if the treated area is improperly cared for, but the process of having the tattoo removed itself should not be harmful.
I don’t think the possible risk is worth it unless you really hate the tattoo and just can’t wait.
What’s your take on the subject? Did you get a tattoo while you were breastfeeding or do you agree that it’s a bad idea? Let me know in the comment section below!