Can I Get a Tattoo During Pregnancy? Essential Facts and Advice.

Tattoo During Pregnancy
Tattoo During Pregnancy

Tattoo During Pregnancy

Getting a tattoo is a personal decision that involves careful consideration of various factors. However, for expectant mothers, the decision to get inked during pregnancy raises additional concerns. While some may wonder whether it’s safe to get a tattoo during pregnancy, others may question the potential risks involved.

Understanding the Risks of a Tattoo During Pregnancy

The primary concern surrounding getting a tattoo during pregnancy is the potential risk of harm to both the mother and the developing foetus. Tattooing involves piercing the skin with needles and injecting ink into the dermis layer, which can introduce foreign substances into the body. While reputable tattoo parlours adhere to strict hygiene and safety standards, there are still potential risks associated with the procedure, especially during pregnancy.

  • Risk of Infection: The process of getting a tattoo carries a risk of infection, which can be particularly concerning during pregnancy. Infections such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV can be transmitted through contaminated needles or improper sterilization procedures. Pregnant women are more susceptible to infections due to changes in their immune system, making it essential to prioritize safety and hygiene. While reputable tattoo studios adhere to strict sanitation protocols, the possibility of transmission cannot be entirely ruled out.
  • Allergic Reactions: Pregnancy can also alter a woman’s immune system, potentially increasing the risk of allergic reactions to tattoo ink. Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to tattoo ink, which can cause itching, swelling, or redness at the tattoo site. While allergic reactions are relatively rare, they can pose additional risks during pregnancy, potentially affecting both the mother and the baby.
  • Impact on Foetal Development: The long-term effects of tattoo ink on foetal development are not well understood. While some studies suggest that the chemicals in tattoo ink may cross the placenta and reach the foetus, the potential consequences remain unclear. Experts advise caution, as exposing the developing foetus to unknown substances could have unforeseen implications.

Advice and Recommendations:

Given the potential risks involved, many healthcare professionals recommend avoiding getting a tattoo during pregnancy. However, individual circumstances may vary, and some women may already have existing tattoos or may be considering touch-up work. In such cases, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider and a reputable tattoo artist to assess the situation carefully.          

  • Consult Your Healthcare Provider: Before making any decisions, consult your obstetrician or midwife. They can provide personalized advice based on your medical history and current health status.
  • Choose a Reputable Tattoo Artist: If a woman decides to proceed with a tattoo during pregnancy, it’s vital to choose a reputable and experienced tattoo artist. Ensure that the tattoo parlour follows strict hygiene practices, including the use of sterile equipment and single-use needles. Additionally, discuss any concerns or medical considerations with the tattoo artist beforehand.
  • Wait Until After Pregnancy: Consider postponing your tattoo plans until after giving birth and completing breastfeeding, if applicable. This allows you to focus on your health and the well-being of your baby without unnecessary risks.


While the decision to get a tattoo during pregnancy is ultimately a personal one, it’s essential for expectant mothers to weigh the potential risks and considerations carefully. Consulting with healthcare professionals and reputable tattoo artists can provide valuable guidance in making informed choices. Ultimately, prioritizing safety and well-being is paramount, both for the mother and the developing baby.


Medical research on tattoos during pregnancy is relatively limited due to ethical considerations surrounding conducting studies on pregnant women. However, there are some articles and studies that discuss the potential risks and considerations associated with tattoos during pregnancy. Here are a few references:

  1. Laumann AE, Derick AJ. Tattoos and body piercings in the United States: a national data set. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006;55(3):413-421. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2005.08.054
  2. Kluger N. Tattoos and pregnancy. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2011;25(4):437-443. doi:10.1111/j.1468-3083.2010.03858.x
  3. Laumann AE, et al. Prevalence and Correlates of Tattooing in the United States: Results From a National Survey. American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 160, Issue 6, 15 September 2004, Pages 1169–1178,

These articles can serve as valuable resources for healthcare professionals and pregnant women seeking information about tattoos during pregnancy. However, it’s important to note that individual circumstances may vary, and consulting with a healthcare provider is recommended for personalized advice and guidance.


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