Piercing and Pregnancy: Safety & Health Risks
The following piercing and pregnancy information will help you care for the piercings you already have and can help you make an informed decision about any piercing while pregnant you may be considering in the future.
A word of warning: Women are encouraged not to have piercings done on the belly button, nipples or genitalia during pregnancy or while trying to conceive 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 avoid 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 jewelry. As your belly and breasts grow, you may find your jewelry 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 polytetrafluoroethylene jewelry (flexible plastic used for surgical implants).
Notify Your Professional Piercer
It is important to notify your piercer for any of the following reasons:
- To obtain any suggestions for maintaining the hole, preventing pulling/tearing, preventing infection, or other recommendations
- If you experience any changes in your piercings or to find out more about polytetrafluoroethylene jewelry
- 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 piercing and pregnancy guidelines you should use to evaluate a studio when you are thinking about getting a piercing:
- 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 professional piercer, at any time, for at least the first 24 hours after piercing
When Should I Remove my Jewelry?
You should remove your jewelry 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 breastfeeding; this is a choking hazard and increases the risk of infection
Are There Health Risks for Having a Piercing While Pregnant?
Yes, there are health risks. Infection is very common when the piercing has not been properly cared for. Contraction of Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS can occur from the use of non-sterile instruments or supplies.
Compiled using information from the following source:
The Association of Professional Piercers, http://www.safepiercing.org/