What happens to stomach tattoos after pregnancy? Many mums-to-be wonder if belly tattoo after pregnancy gets stretched or alters. The unfortunate truth is that yes, your tattoo will most likely go through some changes because of your pregnancy.
But it’s more than just what naturally happens to your stomach tattoos after pregnancy. The scale of the distortion to your tattoo varies from person to person and how you take care of the area during pregnancy.
Before we find out what will become of your tattoo during pregnancy, let’s answer one of the questions a lot of mums-to-be are asking.
Can I Get a Tattoo While Pregnant?
There is no definite rule about the safety of getting a tattoo during pregnancy. However, according to Web MD, there are some known risks of getting a tattoo, and some of those risks can cause major complications in pregnant women.
Even without pregnancy, one of the biggest risks of getting a tattoo is infection. If the tattoo artist uses a dirty or contaminated needles, you could be at risk of getting bloodborne infections, such as hepatitis B, which you can pass on to your child.
Infants who have hepatitis B are likely to develop a lifelong infection, and one in 4 babies may die of health complications if the infection is left untreated.
Other blood-borne infections such as hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), can also be contracted from unsterile tattoo needles and passed on by the mother to her baby.
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Meanwhile, although the average tattoo needle is only poked ⅛ of an inch into the skin, some tattoo ink contains heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, and lead – ingredients that can pose a threat to your unborn baby
Exposure to toxic chemicals, especially during the first trimester, can affect your baby’s brain development and increase the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.
Finally, getting a tattoo while pregnant is not advisable for obvious reasons that your skin is prone to changes (such as sensitivity, discolouration and stretching) during pregnancy and it can affect how your tattoo looks or how you react to being tattooed.
If you want to get a tattoo during pregnancy, do your research and choose a clean and reputable shop before booking an appointment. Be informed of the risks and consult with your doctor before booking an appointment with your tattoo artist.
Moreover, consider the placement of your tattoo. Avoid getting on areas where the skin is most likely to stretch, like your stomach or your hips.
Will Pregnancy Ruin My Stomach Tattoo?
So what really happens to stomach tattoos after pregnancy? During pregnancy, your stomach stretches at such a fast pace that your body does not have enough time to adjust to the change. This rapid stretching can sometimes leave you with stretch marks.
Image courtesy: Wikimedia
Stretch marks can distort and/or fade a tattoo, especially in the case of a large stretch mark running through the middle of it. Whether or not your body is left with stretch marks or not after pregnancy depends on each individual.
Also keep in mind that if a C-section should become necessary when giving birth, your tattoo could undergo even more abuse.
If you have not already got that tummy tattoo and are thinking of having more kids in the future, it might be wise to wait on it. Alternatively, it might be best to place the tattoo someplace that won’t get stretched so much, like the chest area above the breasts.
What Should I Do To Minimise The Stretch Marks On My Belly Tattoo?
But what happens to stomach tattoos after pregnancy if you don’t want to get rid of them? If you already have that tattoo and removing it just isn’t an option you’re prepared to consider (we completely understand), then you should look at ways to minimise the damage done to your tattoo during your pregnancy.
Image courtesy: Stock
Cover ups are a great way to fix tattoos that have been distorted due to pregnancy.
The stretching of your skin is pretty much inevitable, however, you can ensure that your skin remains healthy! Healthy, hydrated, and nourished skin has higher elasticity. This means that once you’ve given birth, your skin will tighten easier than it would, had you not taken care of it.
Caring For Tattoos While Pregnant
Now that you know what happens to stomach tattoos after pregnancy, here are a few tips on how you can take care of your skin! But remember that what happens to your stomach tattoos after pregnancy may be different from other mums. This means you shouldn’t worry too much if these also have varying effects on your body.
- Proper wound care. If you just had a tattoo done, make sure to keep it clean to avoid infection and complications. Avoid any activity that may cause the affected area to become dirty or sweaty. Contact your doctor if you see any signs of a rash or infection.
- Keep hydrated. It may sound like an extremely simple step. Truth be told, it is! However, the effects of keeping your skin (and body) hydrated are seemingly endless. Try to get your 8-10 glasses of water a day. This not only helps flush out all the toxins in your body but also maintains your skin’s elasticity.
- Cocoa butter or coconut oil. We’re sure you’ve already heard about the benefits of cocoa butter and coconut oil. They may not be able to prevent stretch marks but they do give your skin all the moisture it needs. Your skin will be stretching rapidly and moisturised skin stretches more willingly than dry skin.
- Prepare for touch-ups. If you already have tattoos across your abdomen and breasts, head to your tattoo artist and have them take pictures of the art with your phone. This will come in handy when the time comes for touch-ups. Your artist will have an image to refer to when restoring your tattoo to its former glory!
- Are you planning on getting pregnant again? If you are, it would be wise to put off scheduling your touch-ups until after. The frequent touch-ups and re-stretching of your skin could have less than desirable results.
- Speak to a nutritionist. It’s easy to overeat when you’re pregnant. You are, after all, ‘eating for two’. We hate to burst your bubble but the recommended increase of your food intake is only 300-500 calories (there are exceptions to this rule), it may not seem like a lot but it is possible to get all the extra nutrients you need for your growing baby!
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Is Henna Safe During Pregnancy?
According to Baby Centre, natural henna, from the henna plant, with no added chemicals, is safe to use on your skin as this type of henna is brown, and is harmless. You can use this either as a substitute to store-bought hair dye, or to create some belly art on your skin.
Natural henna is often used with lemon juice and essential oils , and leaves an orange stain that goes brown, and lasts between one to three weeks.
Meanwhile, black henna contains a dye called paraphenylenediamine (PPD), and is not considered safe during pregnancy as it can lead to side effects such as dermatitis, blisters and allergic reactions. Pregnant women are prone to skin sensitivity, and should avoid chemicals that may just irritate their skin.
Should you decide to use henna while pregnant, do take note of the following precautions:
- Check the product carefully to make sure it’s natural henna, particularly if you are using it on your skin. Steer clear of jet black henna, which only lasts for about a week, and is not considered safe.
- Always do a patch test before using the product on a big portion of your skin.
- They say heat can make henna develop darker. But resist the urge to keep the room hot to get more out of the colour, as pregnant women are more at risk for overheating.
Image Source: iStock
There you go, inked-mummies, all you need to know about belly tattoo after pregnancy and its care. Try not to worry about it too much, your skin should heal and regenerate with proper care. Alternatively, there are amazing tattoo artists out there who are capable of extreme touch-ups.
So what happens to stomach tattoos after pregnancy shouldn’t distress you so much. If nothing else, you could see it the way we do – your tiger stripes are amazing and are proof of the life you brought into this world. Hey, it adds a little character to your ink, don’t you think?
And if you’re thinking of getting another tattoo, don’t hesitate to check in with your doctor first to make sure that you and your baby will be safe throughout this procedure.
Here at theAsianparent Singapore, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advice or medical treatment. theAsianparent Singapore is not responsible for those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend consulting your doctor for clearer information.