Pregnant and Tattooed: Tips for the Expecting

John Dietrich

Tattooed moms are undoubtedly some of the hippest people around. But what happens when you’re a mom-to-be and you want to get a tattoo? Will your changing pregnant body affect your tattoo? In this article, we discuss how pregnancy can influence a pre-existing design as well as your ability to withstand getting a tattoo.

DISCLAIMER: We’ve done our best to pull information from reliable sources, but we are not medical professionals and you should seek professional advice before making any decisions about getting a tattoo before, during, or after your pregnancy.

Can I Get Tattooed While I’m Pregnant?

The looming concern about getting a tattoo while pregnant is the risk of contracting HIV. Though the risk is very minimal, most advise that the mother-to-be wait until after her pregnancy to take the leap of faith. Some have even questioned whether epidurals are possible after getting a back tattoo. Since no conclusive studies have shown evidence against this, it’s considered a non-issue.

If, however, you do choose to get tattooed while you’re pregnant, there are a handful of safety measures to follow. Take care to ensure that your tattoo artist is a registered practitioner who is wearing clean gloves. Also check to make sure that they use an autoclave, a sterile disposable needle, and sterile packed inks.


How Will Pregnancy Affect My Tattoos?

Later into pregnancy, a woman’s body changes in a number of drastic ways. The two main areas that are affected are the belly and the breasts, but other regions can change significantly as well. During pregnancy, a woman can experience ‘chloasma,’ which is a change in skin pigment, causing brown markings to appear, usually around the face and neck. Chloasma can actually change the colour of your tattoo, tinting it brown, and this is only one factor that contributes to discoloration.

The stretch marks that tend to appear around the stomach area also may cause some light coloured discoloration. In fact, stretch marks can appear on your rib cage, under your breasts, and even on your hips, meaning that tattoos in these areas are subject to change.


Tips to Protect Your Tattoos

The best thing that you can do to protect your tattoos is keep your skin moisturized. This will improve its natural elasticity, ultimately helping keep the ink design intact. To keep your skin moisturized, stay adequately hydrated and apply moisturizer regularly. If you’re trying to decide on a tattoo to get while pregnant, the larger designs fare better, since they’re not as easily distorted by stretch marks.


While re-touches can’t necessarily fix a tattooed changed by pregnancy, everyone’s skin is different, and some tattoo designs are more affected than others. All in all, the chance that pregnancy will maim your tattoo is small, but you can always moisturize and plan placement to optimize your chances. If you know any other tips about maintaining tattoos while pregnant, let us know about them in the comment section below!

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