Tattoos are really in these days and I know lots of women who have them. But if you’re pregnant, it’s probably best for you to wait until after your baby arrives to put on that pretty ink. If you do want a tattoo, be aware of a few important issues.
The first three months of pregnancy are especially important. This is the time when the organs, bones, nerves, muscles—pretty much everything—are developing and we don’t know if tattoo dyes and inks affect a developing baby.
At the end of the first trimester, the baby is only about 3 inches long and weighs 1 ounce. (That’s about as heavy as five quarters.) Amounts of chemicals that might be small and harmless to an adult can have a much bigger impact on a tiny, developing fetus. So if you’re about to get a tattoo, consider postponing your pregnancy attempts to a month or so after you lay on the artwork. If you’re already pregnant, wait at least until the second trimester.
Whenever you get your artwork put in place, be sure to go to a reputable artist. Hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS are two of many diseases that may be passed along by a dirty needle. If you should catch one of these infections, you could pass it on to your baby. You want to be sure your tattoo artist is following safety precautions.
An epidural is a shot given in the lower back to help block the pain of childbirth. Most health care providers will give an epidural to a woman with a tattoo on her lower back, but they may not if the tattoo is recent and still fresh. There is no clear evidence for or against giving epidurals near tattoos. If you do have a back tattoo, find out the hospital’s policy on epidurals in advance so you won’t be surprised later.