Why Can’t Pregnant Women Get Tattoos? Besides The Obvious…

Why Can’t Pregnant Women Get Tattoos? Besides The Obvious…

Tattoos have historical and cultural significance for people. Many pregnant women are excited to represent their identities, values, and ways of life by getting a new tattoo. But there are always some reservations and second thoughts attached to pregnancy dos and don’ts. A woman’s body goes through extraordinary changes throughout pregnancy, and often, women who face objections around getting a tattoo wonder why cant pregnant women get tattoos!

A pregnant woman’s health and her unborn child’s are prioritized during this time. Thus, she is subject to several limitations and advice. Among the many limitations placed on expectant mothers, the topic of tattoos often arises.

Besides the apparent threats to health, tattoo ink contains chemicals and heavy metals that may cause allergic reactions in the mother and the developing fetus and create long-term health problems. But the risks associated with tattoo ink aren’t the only ones; there is the risk of transmitting infections like Hepatitis B and HIV is the primary reason to avoid getting a tattoo while pregnant.

By studying the intricate relationship between physiological and psychological factors, we may understand why tattoos are not recommended during pregnancy. If you’re still set on being inked while pregnant, research and choose a reputable tattoo parlor with an artist that uses safe procedures and clean tools.

Take care of your tattoo and make sure the artist knows you’re expecting a baby! A healed tattoo on your lower back generally won’t prevent you from getting an epidural if you need it.

Why Is It Not Safe For Pregnant Women To Get Tattoos?

There are many reasons why having a tattoo while pregnant is not recommended. In the first place, needles are used in tattooing, and each time foreign objects are inserted into the skin, the danger of infection increases. Since pregnancy affects the immune system, pregnant ladies are more vulnerable to infections that might harm the developing baby.

There needs to be more information on how the variety of tattoo inks and substances used in tattoo inks affects fetal development. Allergic reactions to some chemicals can range from mild itching to more severe symptoms that might endanger the baby.

Because of these concerns, many healthcare providers advise against having a tattoo until after a woman has given birth. If you have any concerns, it’s best to discuss them with your doctor so they can provide specific advice depending on your condition.

Does Tattoo Ink Affect Pregnancy?

Tattoos while pregnant have not been the subject of any studies. Therefore, whether or not they pose any health risks to pregnant people is still being determined. But some tattoo inks, especially those high in heavy metals like mercury and lead, may be dangerous during pregnancy.

Tattoo inks are made by mixing pigments with carrier fluids. These pigments are generally a mixture of chemicals, some of which may be detrimental to a developing baby. The safety of inks during pregnancy has not been established, although some are regulated and have obtained permission from regulatory organizations for use in cosmetics.
Dyes often include minerals like:

1. Mercury sulfide (red)

2. Cobalt aluminate (blue)

3. Chromium oxide or lead chromate (green)

Before getting a tattoo, pregnant ladies or women trying to become pregnant should discuss the idea with their doctor. They may provide specific advice tailored to your circumstances, addressing your concerns about the risks and benefits.

What Are The Risks Associated With Getting Tattoos While Pregnant?

While complications from tattoos when pregnant are uncommon, these are some of the hazards to be aware of.


Bacterial infection is common and a serious concern during the tattooing procedure and when the skin heals around the developing embryo in the following weeks. Sometimes if a women get a tattoo with a tattoo inks contaminated with infected blood this causes serious infections.

Moreover, even a single infection might have devastating effects. If the tattoo artist uses dirty needles, a woman might become sick with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or even HIV. Even tattoo removal can cause serious infections too.

All of these conditions have the potential to be passed on to the developing baby during pregnancy and pose serious risks. Furthermore, you may have a weaker immune system when pregnant. This might hasten the tattoo’s recovery time or increase the chance of skin infections at the tattoo site.

Pressure and stress

During pregnancy, your body goes through incredible and often odd emotional and physical changes. In this case, the open wound and the physical agony of having a tattoo removed while pregnant may be too much for your body to handle.


Many worry that having a tattoo on their back may prevent them from receiving an epidural. The needle may force ink-covered skin, causing infection or other issues.

Some tattoo artists may be reluctant to give you an epidural if your back tattoo is still fresh, even though no evidence supports this. It might be beneficial to consult your physician in advance about this matter.


A keloid is a scar that grows, eventually becoming a bump on the skin. Excessive scar tissue forms as a consequence of injury to the skin. Tattoo needles may cause tiny punctures in the skin, which can later turn into keloid scars.

Alterations in skin’s sensitivity

During pregnancy, you’re more prone to skin inflammation and soreness. This might increase the likelihood of an adverse reaction to the tattoo dyes and heighten any pain you experience during the procedure.

The skin changes you may experience during pregnancy in the coming weeks and months are another practical consideration. Depending on where on your body you had the tattoo while you were pregnant, it can look different after you give birth.

Different tattoo inks

Heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and mercury may harm you and your unborn child if you get a tattoo while pregnant. Whether or not you expect it, finding out what chemicals will be used in the ink your tattoo artist plans to use is always a good idea.

If you’re unsure what’s inside, it’s best to pass. If you want to get a tattoo while pregnant, choose a reputable tattoo parlor or registered practitioner that only utilizes safe ink and equipment.

Health Effects on the Mother And the Baby During Pregnancy?

Some tattoo inks are contaminated by heavy metals like lead, arsenic, and mercury, even though the average tattoo needle only penetrates the skin around 1/8 of an inch. Your unborn child may be at risk from exposure to certain chemicals, particularly in the first trimester, while vital organs develop.

Heavy metal exposure might have adverse effects on your infant’s brain development. The possibility of a stillbirth or miscarriage also increases.

Factors to Keep in Mind When Getting Inked While Expecting a Baby

Specific considerations and measures should be taken by expectant mothers who wish to get a tattoo, such as:

  • Take into account the stage of pregnancy before getting a tattoo. During the first trimester of gestation, the developing fetus undergoes a crucial phase as it constructs its bodily structures. Consequently, the presence of dangerous metals could lead to anomalies in the development of the fetus.
  • Pregnant women must undergo a thorough medical check-up to identify any skin allergies or skin-related ailments that may worsen due to scarring and inflammation caused by tattooing.
  • Ensure that the sterilization procedures are strictly followed and that the tattoo is obtained from a trustworthy and skilled tattoo artist. Thoroughly scrutinize the personnel’s sanitation protocols, as using unsterilized apparatus could heighten the possibility of contagion.

Doctors Advise Pregnant Women Against Getting Tattoos: Medical Reason

Medical professionals often discourage expectant mothers from getting tattoos for the following reasons:

Infections Due to Needle Usage

Because needles are used in tattooing, there is a chance of infection. Expectant mothers are more susceptible to disease due to changes in their immune systems. An infection might harm both the mother and the developing baby.

Risk of Hep B, C, and HIV

Hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV are all blood-borne viruses that may be transferred by improper tattooing, sanitation, and hygiene practices. The effects of these diseases on the pregnant lady and her unborn child may be devastating.

Tattoo Ink Risks

Tattoo inks include a wide range of chemicals and dyes, and this may make pregnant women more vulnerable to allergic reactions. Any symptoms, from a simple skin rash to more severe systemic symptoms that might damage the growing baby, could result from an allergic reaction.

Although certain tattoo inks are regulated and authorized for cosmetics use, their safety during pregnancy is unknown. How specific chemicals and colors used in tattoo inks could affect fetal development is unknown.

Can Temporary Tattoos Or Henna Be A Safer Option For Pregnant Women?

Pregnant Belly With Henna Tatto

Some people indeed prefer temporary tattoos because they quickly fade away after a few days or weeks. When wet, some cling to the skin like stickers, while others have an attached vegetable color. Temporary tattoos may also be painted onto the skin using a stencil or airbrush. Silver nitrate may also be used. However, it poses health risks when used in high enough doses.

Henna is another kind of temporary tattoo; it takes many weeks to fade away after exposure to the sun. In many societies, black henna is worn as a sign of good luck and celebration. Henna made from the Lawsonia inermis plant is considered relatively safe when mixed with potentially dangerous substances like silver nitrate and chromium.

These may produce reactive and inflammatory skin responses, which can put the expectant mother and her developing child at risk by enabling infection to enter the bloodstream. Infections during pregnancy may cause a variety of adverse outcomes, including premature labor, miscarriage, and stillbirth.

What Precautions Should Pregnant Women Take If They Have An Existing Tattoo?

A woman still has to take care of getting a tattoo while pregnant or not, especially in the beginning, to keep it looking fresh. A fresh tattoo may scab for up to two weeks as it heals. If you have existing tattoos, your skin may itch and flake during pregnancy, but this may be mitigated by treating the tattoo like a new one.

  • If a pregnant woman already has a tattoo, she may take certain precautions to ensure the health of herself and her unborn child.
  • Always avoid getting any germs or infections near the inked area. Avoid rubbing the tattoo or contact with anything rough when cleaning it. Instead, use mild soap and water. 
  • An increase in redness, swelling, warmth, pain, or discharge around the tattoo are all signs of infection that should be monitored closely. Seek medical help immediately if you have any severe symptoms.
  • Pregnancy brings about physical changes, including weight gain and skin stretching. Distortion or serious harm to a tattoo might result from excessive stretching of the tattooed area. Skin that has been regularly moisturized may retain its elasticity.
  • Don’t spend too much time in the sun since it might damage your skin and cause your tattoos to fade. Expectant women should take precautions to prevent their tattooed skin from sun damage by covering up or using sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF).

If you have any concerns or questions concerning your tattoo before or during pregnancy, it is best to discuss them with a medical expert. Depending on the individual’s circumstances, they may address potential risks or concerns and provide specific recommendations.

Remember that the mother’s and the baby’s well-being and health always come first throughout pregnancy.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the choice for expectant mothers to avoid getting tattoos extends beyond the apparent risk of potential medical hazards. Although the subject may elicit diverse viewpoints and outlooks, it is essential to prioritize the health of both the mother and the growing fetus.

Sometimes women who have been through pregnancy choose to get a consultation from a board-certified dermatologist, and that’s definitely the best way to go about this issue. While other women simply may opt out of it during pregnancy and may adopt this as a means to cover their stretch marks post-partum.

Being pregnant can cause various alterations in the body’s physiological and hormonal functions, which may affect how the body reacts to tattooing. These changes include weakened immune systems, heightened sensitivity, and possible allergic reactions.

In addition, gestation’s mental and sentimental components must not be disregarded since the inclination towards a tattoo may alter or develop as time progresses. It is crucial to carefully weigh all options and contemplate the possible consequences for the mother and the child before making any decisions.

Pregnant women should seek advice from medical experts who can offer tailored recommendations. By emphasizing the well-being and security of the mother and child, we can guarantee a seamless and optimistic experience during and after pregnancy.