Can I get a tattoo if I’m hoping to get pregnant soon?

My daughter, daughter-in-law and step-daughter all have tattoos, so I thought I’d pass along some info on the subject in case you’re thinking about getting one, too.

Because there are several concerns about tattoos during pregnancy, it’s probably best to wait until after delivery. If you do want a tattoo, be aware of a few important issues.

We don’t know if tattoo dyes and inks affect a developing baby. The first three months of pregnancy are especially important. This is the time when the organs, bones, nerves, muscles—pretty much everything—are developing. At the end of the first trimester, the fetus is only about 3 inches long and weighs 1 ounce. (It’s only as heavy as five quarters.)

Amounts of chemicals that might be small and harmless to an adult can have a much bigger impact on a tiny fetus. So if you’re about to get a tattoo, postpone your pregnancy attempts to a month or so after you lay in the artwork.  If you are already pregnant, wait at least until the second trimester.

Hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS are two of many diseases that may be passed along by a dirty needle. If you should catch one of these infections it would be lousy for you, but you could pass it on to your baby, too.  You want to be really sure your tattoo artist is following safety precautions.

During labor, an epidural is a shot given in the lower back to help block the pain of childbirth. Most health care providers will give an epidural to a woman with a tattoo on her lower back. But they may not if the tattoo is recent and still fresh.  There is no clear evidence for or against giving epidurals near tattoos. If you do have a back tattoo, find out the hospital’s policy on epidurals in advance.

I never thought about getting a tattoo, but I must say the ones my girls have are really pretty.

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2 Responses to “Can I get a tattoo if I’m hoping to get pregnant soon?”

  1. stephanie (LSL/Bold Avenue) Says:

    Thanks for all the great info! I wouldn’t have known that otherwise. (Personally, I’m too scared of needles for tattoos, but I’m bookmarking it, so I can share with anyone else who’s wondering. 🙂

  2. bubblers Says:

    Of course you should wait, the tattoo will still look great after the baby! thank you for sharing!

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