If you are considering getting a permanent tattoo to show how happy you are with your pregnancy (or for whatever other reason), you should continue reading, preferably before you are on your way to the tattoo parlor. There are some risks to your baby that you need to consider before you expose yourself to the tattoo machine.
First, talk to your doctor
Some doctors advise expecting mothers against tattoos. Every woman has a different body. It is practically impossible to predict how the dyes and inks will affect your developing baby. While the limited use of chemicals needed for a permanent tattoo are usually harmless to the mother, they could have a significant impact on the baby. In any case, it is not recommended to consider a tattoo in the final trimester of pregnancy. In general, your doctor will recommend you wait to get a permanent tattoo until after for delivery.
If you decide to get a permanent tattoo during pregnancy
If your doctor gives you the “green light” for you to get a permanent tattoo, you will still need to be very careful about your choice of tattoo artist. These are some suggestions:
- Do NOT choose a tattoo artist who is not registered and licensed. You need to be sure that the artist is reliable, trained, and experienced.
- The tattoo parlor must have an autoclave, which is commonly known as a sterilizing unit. Everything about the environment should be clean. Pay a couple of unplanned visits to the parlor to determine if they pay enough attention to the necessary cleanliness and hygiene.
- Getting inked can be fun, but you need to pay attention to the smaller things. The artist must wear gloves during the process and should use new and disposable needles only. All the inks and dyes used by the tattoo artist should be packed, unused, and sealed.
If you are unsure about getting a permanent tattoo
Before you go to the tattoo artist during pregnancy, think about this decision very carefully. There is a small risk of contracting an infection, such as HIV or Hepatitis B, during the procedure. Therefore, it is probably a better idea to wait until your baby is born. There is also very limited information on whether the skin dyes can actually harm your fetus. In the first 12 weeks of pregnancy you need to be extra cautious about pretty much everything, and that list of course includes tattoo ink. The few small studies conducted to date are inconclusive and doctors remain concerned.
In summary, permanent tattoos are for life. You can surely get one when you are not pregnant. You can even choose to get your baby’s name inked later on. But, during those nine months of fetal development, you should be more cautious. Ultimately, it will be up to what your doctor recommends. But, why take the chance?