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As a soon-to-be birth mom, you know your life is about to change. But by how much? One question running through your head is, “Will being pregnant alter any tattoos or piercings I have?” Unfortunately, there’s no real way to know for sure! Some tattoos and piercings may be affected, while others will not.

Adoption Choices of Nevada is here to help! The best thing you can do is educate yourself on all possible outcomes. This way, you’re prepared for any issues surrounding your tattoos and body piercings while pregnant.

Will My Existing Tattoos Change?

Women experience changes to their skin during pregnancy. It’s inevitable! As your tummy stretches, so may any tattoos that you have around your waist, pelvis or mid-section. Stretch marks occur as your baby grows. They form as your skin is put under tension and is not elastic enough to absorb the stretch. They can appear red or purple when the blood vessels below become visible. If you do develop stretch marks during your pregnancy, they may be visible through your tattoo and may distort the way your tattoo looks. But there are steps you can take to prevent pregnancy stretch marks and prevent your tattoo from stretching during pregnancy.

  1. Drink plenty of water. It is important to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out!
  2. Prep your bump. Gentle exfoliation is key to stretch mark prevention but can also apply to tattoo maintenance. Exfoliating 3 to 4 times a week smooths any dead skin cells from your bump and provides the perfect base for your moisturizer.
  3. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Using heavy moisturizers or oils all over your bump, thighs, and boobs will help keep your skin intensely nourished and elastic during your pregnancy.

The condition of the skin during pregnancy differs from woman to woman, and doctors often advise on treating skin that becomes highly sensitive. Professional tattooists can also advise on how to take care of the tattoo during pregnancy. Nevertheless, if your skin is highly irritated, it’s always best to seek medical advice for treatment appropriate in pregnancy.

Should I Remove My Body Piercings?

Your existing piercings won’t cause any problems for your developing baby. However, they may start to feel uncomfortable as your pregnancy progresses. The advice differs for each piercing, so read through the list to find out how to look after your piercings during pregnancy:

  • Belly rings – If your belly ring begins to feel tight as your belly grows, you may want to take it out. If it’s a newer piercing, make sure to replace it with a Teflon body jewelry to stop the hole from closing!
  • Nipple rings – If you have had your piercing for 12-18 months before becoming pregnant, chances are it’s healed enough to not cause any problems. If you’re in pain, changing up the size or the style of your jewelry may help, as will removing it entirely, of course. Just keep in mind that labor is a different story! For a C-section, all body piercings, even earrings, must be removed.
  • Genital piercings – Some women find pregnancy causes extra skin sensitivity. If your genital piercing is no longer comfortable, remove it! If it’s not bothering you, you can leave it in until closer to your due date. You should remove it before your due date, though, as it can cause problems during the baby’s birth. Don’t forget that, genital piercings also increase your risk of tearing!

For any other piercings, use a common sense approach. Some women find that they become ultrasensitive during pregnancy and experience problems with existing piercings. If you notice a piercing becoming red or sore, speak to your health care provider for advice!

Can I Get New Tattoos or Piercings?

If you’re a fan of body art, you may feel like celebrating your pregnancy with a new tattoo or body piercing. You’ll be hard pressed to find an artist willing to do it, though. Every time you come in contact with a needle, you run a small risk of infection. It’s best to wait a few months post birth for new art.

If you got a tattoo or piercing before you found out you were pregnant, don’t worry! Talk to your doctor, and make sure to keep an eye out for any signs of infection.

Are Henna Tattoos Safe?

Natural henna, with no added chemicals, is safe to use on your skin and hair during pregnancy. It penetrates only the top few layers of skin, so as your skin exfoliates away, so does the henna stain. This is what makes it temporary compared to a permanent ink tattoo. Ink tattoos use a needle to penetrate deeply enough so that they don’t exfoliate away.

If you are interested in henna as a temporary alternative, be aware that there are different types. Natural, safe henna stains the skin orange, red, brown, cinnamon, brick, chocolate, or coffee and can last one to four weeks. You need to be absolutely sure the artist is using pure, natural products and not black henna. Black henna is not safe for anyone, pregnant or not.

Tattoos and Body Piercings While Pregnant

Bottom line — as long as you care for your tattoos and body piercings while pregnant, the likelihood of them being ruined or becoming infected is slim!

Adoption Choices of Nevada

If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.

Support Adoption Choices

CrowdriseAdoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.

However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.

About the Author

Patience Bramlett, a University of Southern Mississippi news editorial graduate, is a seasoned and award-winning freelance writer. She is also a passionate reader, whose only wish is to live life without fear of the unknown. Her motivation and inspiration to live her best life stems from the words of John Lennon:

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

This year, she’s officially joining Adoption Choices Inc. as a Content Writer. Fueled by her love of family, she hopes to educate those looking to grow their families through adoption.

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Sources:

“Is It Safe to Apply Henna (Mehendi) During Pregnancy?” BabyCenter India, https://www.babycenter.in/x25005383/is-it-safe-to-apply-henna-imehendii-during-pregnancy.

“Physical Pregnancy Changes and Piercing Risks.” Medic8, https://www.medic8.com/healthguide/pregnancy-birth/pregnancy/piercing/physical-pregnancy.html.

“Pregnancy and Maintaining Existing Tattoos.” Medic8, https://www.medic8.com/healthguide/pregnancy-birth/pregnancy/tattoo/maintaining-existing-tattoos.html.

Reece, Tamekia. “Tattoos, Body Piercings and Pregnancy: 5 Things You Need to Know.” Parents, https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/is-it-safe/tattoos-body-piercings-and-pregnancy-5-things-you-need-to-know/.

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