Can You Get A Tattoo When Breastfeeding?

  • We lay down the facts about getting tattooed when breastfeeding
  •  Know what could go wrong, such as allergies, scarring and pain
  •  Discover how getting tattooed might indirectly affect your baby
  •  Read about worst case scenarios and how you can handle them

Are you thinking about getting a tattoo?

Do you have a baby who is still breastfeeding?

Are you concerned about the potential risks associated with getting a tattoo while you’re still nursing your baby?

Can you get a tattoo when breastfeeding at all?

Below, we’ve outlined all the information you need to know about getting ink when you’re still nursing your baby. If you’ve got any concerns, you should be able to find all the answers you’re looking for in our article.

With the right information, you’ll be able to make the best possible decision for your own preferences as well as the health and safety of your baby.

Read on to learn more.

What are the chances of something going wrong?

Technically, any time you get a tattoo, there is always a slight risk of something going wrong. Aside from the chances that you might get a tattoo artist who isn’t very good and gives you something you aren’t really looking for, there are always a few potential health risks associated with getting inked.

With that said, however, as long as you’re careful about your choices, you shouldn’t have to be worried too much when you choose to get a tattoo, whether you’re nursing or not.

Here are a few of the health risks you should keep in mind before getting a tattoo:

  • Infection: If you don’t take proper care of your healing tattoo, you may risk developing an infection that could require antibiotics.

  • Rash: This will likely go away in a couple of days after your tattoo and is a fairly normal reaction.

  • Allergic reaction: Some people are allergic to certain colors of tattoo ink. Unfortunately, you may not know this until you try.

  • Mild pain: Tattoos will usually continue to ache a little for a few days as they’re healing. This is normal as long as the pain isn’t severe.

  • Scarring: If you aren’t careful, you can develop scar tissue from a healing tattoo.

Most of these are not risks that will affect your nursing baby in any way. If you develop an infection, however, you will need to speak to your doctor about whether or not to nurse while taking antibiotics.

What factors can increase the risk of concerns from a tattoo?

Can you get a tattoo when your breastfeeding as long as you go to a sanitary place? What are some of the risk factors that can make your tattoo more of a cause for concern? It’s true that you should always be careful to choose a clean place to get your tattoo whether you’re nursing or not, but is there anything else you need to be on the lookout for?

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    Choose a shop that has a sterilization machine visible to customers or will show you this machine if you ask.

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    Choose a shop that keeps individual sterile needles in their own wrappers until it’s time to start tattooing. Ask to see the needles and the packages before you get started.

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    Choose a shop that keeps piercing jewelry in a separate, sterile package as well. Although you’re getting a tattoo and not a piercing, this is still a great indicator that your shop cares about cleanliness and safety.

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    Check with your local health department to find out which tattoo parlors have passed all of their health and safety checks. If you have any cause for concern, go with your gut and choose a different shop.

What’s the worst that can happen for moms who get tattooed while breastfeeding?

If you find yourself searching things like “can u get a tattoo while breastfeeding” often on your phone, you may want to know the worst possible scenario. Can you get a tattoo if you’re careful about it? The short answer is yes. As long as you pay attention to the information in the section above regarding additional risk factors and stay away from those potential problems, the worst that can happen is that you may develop an infection from your tattoo and require antibiotics to clear it up.

Unfortunately, even a tattoo from the cleanest parlor with completely sterile needles can still become infected. This has a lot to do with your tattoo aftercare. For this reason, you should always do what your tattoo artist tells you regarding the healing of your tattoo.

Another “worst-case scenario” outcome is that your tattoo artist may refuse to tattoo you if he or she knows you’re nursing. Although this isn’t true across the board, many tattoo artists will avoid tattooing a pregnant or nursing mom.

Can a tattoo affect your nursing baby?

There is no reason that a tattoo should be able to affect your nursing baby. The ink used for the tattoo will not transfer to your breast milk at all. Even if the tattoo is near your breasts, there is no way for the ink to pass into your milk supply.

There are still a few ways in which your baby might be affected when you get a new tattoo:

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    If the tattoo makes you sick, you may need to stop nursing while you take medication.

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    Many people experience what is known as the “tattoo flu,” which includes aches, pains, and a low fever after getting a tattoo—especially a larger one. If this happens to you, your baby may be affected in that you will not have the energy or stamina to take care of your child as normal until the feeling passes.

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    If you are tattooed on or near your breasts and develop a rash or scar tissue from the tattoo, it may be uncomfortable for you to continue nursing. This, in turn, will affect your baby since he or she will not be able to nurse anymore.

Generally speaking, however, there are no direct effects that a tattoo can have on your nursing baby.


“So can I get tattooed while breastfeeding?”

Basically, if you’re wanting to get a tattoo while you’re still nursing your baby, there’s no reason not to. As long as you pay close attention to the health and safety of the tattoo parlor and make good decisions about which artist or shop to use, you shouldn’t have any cause for concern.

Remember that you should always feel comfortable asking your tattoo artist to show you sterile needles or any other items they may be using during your tattoo. If they cannot show you that something is clean, there’s no harm in walking out.

And of course, if you’re really worried about the potential risks of tattoos during breastfeeding, you can always wait until your baby is no longer nursing to make the decision to get inked.

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