Breastfeeding And Tattoos: What Are The Risks?

What are the risks?

Having a tatoo is not just a simple drawing on your skin. It means more than that. Are you thinking of getting a tattoo? Think again. Tattoos can be very harmful to your skin and can lead to infection, inflammation and even scarring.

A beautiful drawing on the skin may seem attractive to lots of people, but its side effects can be dangerous. Before you get that tattoo, you should educate yourself about what it means and what consequences it can have for your health.

Tattoo artists usually use an electric machine with disposable needs that injects colored inks into the lower layer of the skin, the dermis. The upper layer, or epidermis, does not retain the color, but rather sheds it as the skin is renewed.

This is why the ink is deposited into the lower layer of the skin where it will stay permanently, which is why it’s so difficult to remove a tattoo.

1. Why is Getting a Tattoo Dangerous?

Having a tattoos comes with risks!

First and foremost, you should seek out a salon approved by your country’s health authorities. Find a place where the professionals are qualified. Make sure that the instruments and products used high-quality and sterile.

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That way, you can prevent contamination from diseases. These include HIV, tetanus, hepatitis, and any other infections that are transmitted through the blood.

In any case, tattoos can produce a variety of skin complications. These include granulomas (an inflammation caused by an auto-immune reaction) and kelloid scars. These can appear suddenly from inflammatory or allergic reactions even years after you get your tattoo.

You should also avoid getting a tattoo that covers a mole, as it can later impede proper analysis of the skin should you find yourself at risk of cancerous complications.

2. Can I Breastfeed With Tattoos?

Getting a tattoo is a personal choice!

There are numerous health considerations to make when you breastfeed, so you may wonder if tattoos are a factor. Preexisting tattoos don’t impact the breastfeeding process. Getting a tattoo and undergoing tattoo removal are different matters.

Take precautions if you want a tattoo while breastfeeding. It may be a good idea to delay tattoo removal while you breastfeed because it’s unknown whether the broken-down tattoo ink can get into your milk supply.

Presently, there are no regulations against breastfeeding with tattoos. However, there is no evidence that says placement of tattoos does or does not increase any risks when breastfeeding, even if they’re on your breasts. There are mixed opinions on whether it’s advisable to get a tattoo while breastfeeding. Moreover, no research exists that provides negative evidence of

breastfeeding and getting tattooed. The Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health advises against getting a tattoo if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Tattoo establishments may not allow you to get a tattoo if you’re breastfeeding. They may be concerned about the possibility of increased risks, despite the lack of evidence. They may also be concerned about liability. If you do get a tattoo while breastfeeding, you may have to sign a legal waiver.

If you decide to get inked when you’re breastfeeding, let the tattoo artist know that you’re breastfeeding, and use the same precautions as anyone else seeking a new tattoo.

3. What Are The Risks?

Always outweigh the risks!

The tattooing process carries risks.

During the process, your skin is repeatedly poked with a small needle coated with ink. The ink is deposited in the second layer of your skin, known as the dermal layer.(PAID LINK)

Inks used for tattooing are not approved or regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for this use. Inks can contain a variety of materials including heavy metals and chemicals found in printer toner and paint.

Some of the risks of getting a tattoo include:

Complications following tattoo application can require treatments that may not be compatible with breastfeeding. For example, certain medications cannot be used when breastfeeding. Additionally, you can transmitTrusted Source HIV through breast milk.

4. Precautions To Watch Out For!

Having a tattoo while breastfeeding should be carefully considered!

Consider these precautions if you decide to get a tattoo while breastfeeding:

  • Use a licensed tattoo facility with a good reputation. A tattoo professional should use clean and sterile materials.
  • Be mindful about the placement of your tattoo. Your tattoo will take a few weeks or longer to heal. You may feel more pain if you get a tattoo in certain spots of your body while you’re breastfeeding. Think about how you hold the baby when breastfeeding and whether the baby will rub against the tattoo site.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have certain health conditions and are seeking a tattoo while breastfeeding. These include conditions like blood clotting, heart, and autoimmune conditions.
  • Keep your tattoo site clean while it heals. Wash the area with soap and water, and protect the tattoo when you’re in the sun.
  • Use safe pain-relieving medicines. Acetaminophen is generally considered safe while breastfeeding and can reduce pain.
  • While there’s no scientific data available on the safety of tattooing while breastfeeding, theoretical concerns exist regarding transmission of ink pigments to the infant during breastfeeding. Discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor.
  • Before you get something permanently embedded into your skin, you should take time to remember that if you ever get sick of it, getting rid of it is costly and extremely painful. There are so many people that go to health centers to get rid of old tattoos because of the complications that have arisen from them over time.
  • You could also end up with a scar where your tattoo formerly was.
  • In addition, you should also take into account that you may gain weight some day, which might cause your tattoo to stretch and warp.
  • The same is also true of pregnancy. That’s why it’s best for women to avoid tattooing their chests and stomach area as an artistic canvas.

5. Is It OK To have a tattoo removed while breastfeeding?

Lasers remove tattoos over several sessions by breaking down the ink in the dermal layer of your skin into smaller particles. Your immune system sweeps these broken-down particles to your liver. Your liver then filters them out of your body.

No studies have examined whether those particles can enter your milk supply and be passed to the baby. To limit the risk that the baby might ingest the particles, wait to remove your tattoos until you’re no longer breastfeeding.

Given the uncertainty of the safety of tattoo removal and breastfeeding, it is unlikely that a doctor will agree to move forward with the procedure while you’re breastfeeding.

6. Does Pregnancy Affect Tattoos?

Some persons might discover that their tattoos they had before pregnancy might have changed in how they look.. This is more likely to be from pregnancy than breastfeeding. Your body changes during pregnancy, and your tattoos may stretch and discolor.

Additionally, breastfeeding can cause your breasts to swell if you are engorged and could cause temporary distortion of a tattoo on the breast.

7. Modern Alternatives

If you want a tattoo but you are not sure if you’ll still like it later, here are some alternatives:

Nowadays, biodegradable inks that are less toxic and much easier to get rid of than the traditional ink are currently being developed. The only inconvenience of these inks is that they’re much more expensive than the regular ink and also can be quite difficult to come by.

It’s very important to keep in mind and check the ink quality. You may think you’re saving money at the start. However, cheap tattoos can end up being quite expensive if they later require medical attention or need to be removed due to complications.

There are several things you should know about the way inks and pigments can be contaminated:

  • The use of contaminated ingredients during production.
  • Manufacturing processes that introduce contaminants.
  • Anti-hygienic practices that contaminate the ink receptacles.
  • The use of water that has not been properly sterilized to dilute the inks.
  • The use of inks that are past their expiration date. (PAID LINK)

Overall, getting a tattoo is an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Keep this tips in mind to make it a healthy one

What Does God Say About Tattoos?

Present your bodies a living sacrifice!

Here are some scriptures (paid link) that describes how we should present our bodies to God:

You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord. ~ Leviticus 19:28

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. ~ Revelation 19:16

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31

And try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. ~ Ephesians 5:10

“You are the sons of the Lord your God. You shall not cut yourselves or make any baldness on your foreheads for the dead. ~ Deuteronomy 14:1. (PAID LINK)

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:23

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves ~ Romans 1:24

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. ~ 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:27

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. ~ Romans 12:1

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:44

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:10

Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. ~ Romans 6:13

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. ~ 1 Peter 3:3-4.

The Bible is a wonderful book that could make your life a better one. You can make a purchase here @ this paid link.

Additional questions about breastfeeding and tattoos


You may find that there are certain myths circulating about tattoos and breastfeeding. Here are a few.

Can tattoos harm your breastfed baby?

It’s not likely that tattoos you had prior to breastfeeding will harm the baby. The ink won’t transfer from the dermal layer of your skin to your breast milk.

Can you donate breast milk if you have tattoos?

You can donate breast milk if you have tattoos, even if they are recent, as long as they were applied with a single-use sterile needle, following the guidelines of the Human Milk Banking Association of America. A milk bank will screen your milk for safety eight days after any new tattoo.

Bottom Line

Breastfeeding with tattoos is a personal choice. There is no evidence to prove that it affects breastfeeding in a negative or positive way. There is always the possibility that whatever you put into your baby can affect your baby. It is important to know that if you do decide to get a tattoo, ensure that the technician is certified to do it. Be mindful that God has provided many scriptures to help us in making our decision on getting a tattoo. Additionally, be aware that using alternative inks are better in the event that you want to remove it later. Make sure your technician adheres to all of the safety precautions to prevent complications. If you have any comments, feel free to comment below. I wish you al the best


Last medically reviewed on March 19, 2019

Medically reviewed by Holly Ernst, PA-C — Written by Natalie Silver on March 19, 2019

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