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Can You Get A Tattoo While Breastfeeding? Safety, Precautions, and Considerations

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can you get a tattoo while breastfeeding

Table of Contents

Introduction: Can you get a Tattoo while Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is a significant period in a new mother’s life, characterized by various health considerations. During this time, certain questions might arise, such as, can you get a tattoo while breastfeeding

Preexisting tattoos don’t typically affect the breastfeeding process, but if you’re considering getting a new tattoo, there are several factors to take into account. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the information available on the topic – including breastfeeding and tattoos, whether can you get a tattoo while breastfeeding, and everything around it, considering the advice provided by medical professionals and experts in the field.

Understanding Breastfeeding and Tattoos

The decision to get a tattoo while breastfeeding involves several considerations, including safety, potential risks, and expert opinions. 

According to the information provided in the sources, there isn’t a consensus among experts regarding the safety of getting a tattoo while breastfeeding. 

Some medical organizations caution against it due to potential risks of infection and transmission of diseases through the needles used in the tattooing process The ink itself, however, is unlikely to enter the breast milk supply because it is sealed within the second layer of the skin, known as the dermis.

Expert Opinions and Precautions

Medical experts and organizations differ in their recommendations regarding getting a tattoo while breastfeeding. Safety precautions are crucial if you decide to proceed with getting a tattoo while breastfeeding. Some suggested precautions include:

1. Choosing a Reputable Tattoo Facility

Opt for a licensed tattoo facility with a good reputation. Ensuring clean and sterile materials are used is essential to minimize infection risks.

2. Consider Tattoo Placement

Think about the placement of the tattoo, taking into account how it might interact with your breastfeeding routine. Certain areas might be more sensitive and prone to pain while breastfeeding.

3. Consult with Your Doctor

If you have underlying health conditions, consult your doctor before getting a tattoo, as some conditions might increase risks.

4. Maintain Hygiene and Aftercare

Keep the tattoo site clean while it heals, protecting it from exposure to the sun. Use safe pain-relieving medications, such as acetaminophen, if needed.

5. Discuss Concerns with Your Doctor

If you have concerns about potential risks or the transmission of tattoo ink pigments through breast milk, discuss these concerns with your healthcare provider.

Tattoo Removal and Breastfeeding

Laser tattoo removal, a common method for removing tattoos, breaks down ink pigments over several sessions. However, no studies have conclusively shown whether these broken-down particles can enter the breast milk supply and be passed to the baby. To minimize potential risks, it’s advisable to postpone tattoo removal until you’ve completed your breastfeeding journey 

Risks of Getting a Tattoo While Breastfeeding

“When can I get a tattoo while breastfeeding” is one question we’ve been asked often. Getting a tattoo is a personal choice that holds various meanings for individuals, but when considering the prospect of getting inked while breastfeeding, it’s crucial to understand the potential risks involved. 

While the available information doesn’t provide a definitive answer due to the lack of extensive research on the topic, experts and medical professionals offer insights into potential risks and precautions.

One of the main concerns associated with getting a tattoo while breastfeeding is the risk of infection. The process involves repeated needle punctures into the skin, creating opportunities for infections to develop.

Infections such as Hepatitis B/C and HIV can be transmitted through the needles and, in turn, potentially to the baby through breast milk or by exposure to any cracks or bleeding on the breast while breastfeeding. While the risk of infection is a significant consideration, the experts’ opinions differ.

The tattoo ink itself is not typically considered a direct threat to the baby. The ink is usually sealed within the second layer of the skin, known as the dermis, and is unlikely to enter the breast milk supply. However, there are instances where tattoo ink can be contaminated with bacteria or cause allergic reactions, which could potentially affect the breastfeeding process.

Medical professionals have varying opinions on whether getting a tattoo while breastfeeding is advisable. While no major medical organizations have issued definitive statements, it’s generally recommended to take precautions if considering getting a tattoo during this period. 

Waiting until the baby is older and no longer exclusively breastfeeding is a precautionary measure suggested by experts. Some recommend waiting until the baby is around 9-12 months old before getting a tattoo. 

Furthermore, choosing a licensed tattoo facility with a good reputation is essential to minimize risks. Tattoo professionals should use clean and sterile materials to prevent infection. 

Additionally, the placement of the tattoo is a consideration, as some areas might experience more pain or discomfort during breastfeeding. Consulting with a healthcare provider before proceeding with the tattoo is advised, particularly if you have underlying health conditions.

Ultimately, the safety of getting a tattoo while breastfeeding is not definitively established due to the lack of comprehensive research on the topic. While some experts caution against it due to potential infection risks, others believe that with proper precautions, getting a tattoo can be relatively safe. 

As each breastfeeding journey is unique, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider about your specific circumstances and concerns before making a decision about getting a tattoo while breastfeeding 


The decision to get a tattoo while breastfeeding is a personal one, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer due to the lack of comprehensive research on the topic. While expert opinions vary, it’s essential to consider the potential risks and precautions associated with the tattooing process. If you choose to get a tattoo while breastfeeding, consult with your healthcare provider and take necessary precautions to minimize any potential risks. Keep in mind that the safety and well-being of both you and your baby should be the primary considerations throughout the decision-making process.

FAQ's:on Whether You Can Get A Tatto While Breastfeeding

1. Is it safe to get a tattoo while pregnant?

The safety of getting a tattoo during pregnancy is a topic with mixed opinions and limited research. While there's no definitive rule, it's important to be cautious. Tattoos involve introducing ink into the body, and this process carries potential health risks. The main concern is the risk of infection, especially if proper sterilization practices are not followed. Additionally, the dyes in tattoo inks may contain metal-based chemicals and microcontaminants, which could potentially cause adverse reactions. It's recommended to carefully consider these risks before deciding whether to get a tattoo while pregnant.

2. What are the risks associated with getting a tattoo during pregnancy?

Getting a tattoo while pregnant can carry several risks. The main concern is the possibility of contracting infections like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV if unsterile equipment or contaminated needles are used. These infections could potentially harm both the mother and the baby. Moreover, the chemicals and heavy metals found in tattoo inks can pose risks to the developing baby, particularly during the first trimester when major organ development occurs. There's also the risk of skin changes due to pregnancy that might affect the appearance of the tattoo once your body has healed.

3. Are there precautions I can take if I want to get a tattoo while pregnant?

If you're considering getting a tattoo while pregnant, it's important to take precautions to minimize potential risks. Ensure that the tattoo artist follows proper hygiene and safety practices, such as using new, disposable needles and wearing gloves during the procedure. Verify that the tattoo parlor maintains clean and sterile conditions, and inquire about the composition of the inks used. Avoid getting tattoos on areas that might undergo significant changes due to pregnancy-related skin stretching. It's also advisable to check whether the tattoo parlor complies with state laws and regulations regarding tattooing.

4. Can I receive an epidural if I have a tattoo on my lower back?

There has been speculation about whether having a lower back tattoo might affect the ability to receive an epidural during childbirth. While there is limited evidence to support this claim, it's not a definitive concern. Complications related to receiving an epidural with a lower back tattoo are rare. However, if the tattooed area shows signs of infection, such as redness, scaliness, or fluid leakage, anesthesiologists might consider refraining from administering an epidural. It's advisable to discuss any concerns about receiving an epidural with a healthcare provider.


On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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