Can You Get A Tattoo When Breastfeeding?

Tattoos are fun, and they can carry a lot of meaningful value. After all, it is a common practice to get a tattoo if you are into these types of body embellishments, but can you do that if you are breastfeeding? We are about to find out!

Can you get a tattoo when breastfeeding?

Woman is getting tattooed

The truth is that there are not enough studies to completely clarify this aspect. Some specialists recommend avoiding getting a new tattoo or removing an old one if you are breastfeeding.

This is a matter of safety. On the first hand, the ink from the tattoo might get into the breastmilk, which is a primary concern. On the other hand, getting a tattoo as well as removing an old one, are not prohibited practices for breastfeeding mothers.


There is no scientific evidence to show how getting a tattoo while you are nursing could impact the quality of your breastmilk.

However, publications such as the Journal of Midwifery as well as WOMEN’S Health, advocate for postponing tattoos work until the nursing phase is over. Even with a lack of evidence, the possibility of ink getting into your bloodstream while getting a tattoo still exists.

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For this reason, many tattoo experts will not offer their services to nursing mothers. If they do provide a tattoo for a nursing mother, they might have her sign a legal waiver that she takes responsibility for all the side effects of this action.

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Tattoo Safety Concerns with Breastfeeding

Tattooing - Safety Concerns When Nursing

Here are some risks to take into account before you get a tattoo or choose to remove an old one!

  • The inks used for tattoos are not regulated by the FDA. Therefore, they can contain harmful chemicals and heavy metals. The same chemicals in the tattoo ink are found in paints and printer toners. You might want to think at least twice before you risk getting such products into your bloodstream. Even if the studies are limited, avoiding is always the best policy.
  • You risk developing a skin infection. If your tattoo is not made in a safe salon that uses all the essential hygiene norms, you take the risk of running a skin infection. This can be dangerous because the treatments you might have to take might not be allowed while you are nursing. If you contact a skin infection, you will develop signs such as irritation, pus, or redness. In case you have such symptoms after getting a tattoo, contact your doctor, and follow their instructions.
  • You run the risk of getting a blood infection. This is the most dangerous risk that comes along with getting a tattoo. If the tattoo equipment is not properly sterilized, this risk is a very real one. Blood infections could put your life at risk, and they will be transmitted to your baby as well. Among the most common blood infections, we mention HIV, MRSA, Tetanus, or Hepatitis C.
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With such risks involved in getting a tattoo as a nursing mom, we strongly advise you to wait until you are done with the breastfeeding phase.

It is always more important to stay on the safe side than to have severe health conditions as a result of this activity.

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Key References

  • “Tattoos” – Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health. Accessed April 05, 2020. Link.


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