Body Piercings During Pregnancy

belly piercingYou've worked so hard to show off those abs with a pretty little ring, and then you find out you are pregnant. Or maybe you want to live just one more moment on the "wild side" before you have to be a "mature" mom. What do you do now? The following information will help you care for the piercings you already have and make an informed decision about piercing you may be considering in the future.

A word of warning: Women are encouraged not to have piercings done during pregnancy or while trying to conceive, on the belly button, nipples or genitalia because of the physical changes happening in your body at this time. As your breasts and stomach grow, the holes do not completely heal and often become larger, and more susceptible to infection. Women should completely stay away from piercing the belly and nipples during pregnancy.

Comfort becomes the bottom line! If you already have a piercing that has completely healed and it feels comfortable, there is not a medical reason to take out your jewelery. As your belly and breasts grow, you may find your jewelery catching on clothing and other materials, being pulled or bothering your skin. You may want to take it out and replace it with clean fishing line or polytetrafluoroethlyne jewelery (flexible plastic used for surgical implants).

Notify your piercer:

It is important to notify your piercer for any of the following reasons:

  • To obtain any suggestions for maintaing the hole, preventing pulling/tearing, preventing infection, or other recommendations
  • If you experience any changes in your piercings
  • To find out more about polytetrafluoroethlyne jewelery
  • To make sure they have followed and continue to follow the service provider guidelines below

What are some guidelines for Piercing Studios?

The following are guidelines you should use to evaluate a studio when you are thinking about getting a tattoo:

  • A state registered piercing studio
  • New sterile gloves must be worn for each procedure
  • Must have an autoclave sterilizing unit to sterilize equipment
  • All floors and surfaces must be clean and sterilized
  • Must use single-use, disposable needles only
  • All dressings must be sterile packed and unopened
  • All jewelry used for piercing must be sterile packed and unopened
  • You should be able to contact your piercer at any time for at least the first 24 hours after piercing

When should I remove my jewelry?

You should remove your jewelery if:

  • Your piercing never healed properly; you can always re-pierce it after pregnancy
  • Your hole is weepy, pussy, inflamed, red or irritated
  • You have nipple piercings and are breast feeding because of choking hazard, infection, and too much milk coming out

Are there health risks for having a piercing?

Yes, there are health risks for have a piercing. Infection is very common when the piercing has not been properly cared for. Contraction of Hepatitis B or C or HIV/AIDS can occur from use of non-sterile instruments or supplies.

Reprinted with permission from American Pregnancy Association.