Can You Get A Piercing While Pregnant?

Pregnant woman with belly piercing

 Vala Grenier / Getty Images

Being pregnant typically comes with a list of dos and don’ts to keep you and your baby in optimal health until your due date. This list is never exhaustive and you’ll find yourself constantly asking new questions about what’s safe and what’s not during your pregnancy.

For piercing enthusiasts, one of these questions might be: Is it safe to get a piercing during my pregnancy? So, read on to learn more about the risks of getting a piercing while you're pregnant.

Piercings During Pregnancy

New piercings can be fussy and they become even more so when you are pregnant. This is because those parts of your body are constantly changing throughout your pregnancy. This makes the healing process for piercings in those areas a lot harder and longer. It also makes them more susceptible to infections.

Piercing parts of your body like your earlobes or nose might seem relatively safer, but they also pose risks of contamination and infections. To avoid any complications it's best to wait after your pregnancy to get a piercing.

Risks

When you are pregnant, your immune system is weaker, which makes you more susceptible to infections. Even though the risk is small, some professional piercing parlors may not pierce a pregnant woman.

Getting a piercing can be risky at any time but it can become even more of a risk when you are pregnant.

Some of the risks you might be exposed to if you get a piercing while pregnant include: 

  • Developing an infection 
  • Excess blood loss
  • Risk of contracting a disease like hepatitis 
  • Extended healing time
  • Abscess

Precautions

If you are still considering getting a piercing while pregnant, there are a couple of things you should know. For example, new piercings are easily susceptible to infections. Getting an infection could be risky for you and your baby’s health.

If you get a piercing while pregnant, you have to be extra careful that everything being used from the jewelry to the piercing gun or needle is thoroughly sterilized. So, it's important to get your piecing done by a professional piercer.

Other Considerations

If you do decide to get a piercing during your pregnancy, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Avoid getting a new piercing after your first trimester
  • Use higher quality jewelry like surgical steel, titanium, or gold jewelry (white, rose, or yellow) that is at least 14 karats and free of nickel and cadmium
  • If you are pierced, don’t change your jewelry until it’s completely healed
  • Keep the pierced area clean and dry
  • Wear loose clothing to avoid unnecessary friction
  • If you suspect that you have an infection, do not remove it because the skin may heal and trap the infection underneath. In this case, it's best to see a medical professional.

Symptoms of an Infection 

Both new and old piercings run the risk of getting infected—especially old piercings that never completely healed. The following signs and symptoms are early indications that your piercing might be infected: 

  • Sensitivity or pain in the piercing area 
  • Swelling 
  • A yellow pus discharge 
  • The pierced area is warm to the touch 
  • An odd smell around the pierced area
  • Tenderness

If you notice any of these symptoms, do not remove the jewelry yourself. Instead seek the advice of your piercer or a medical professional. If you have any severe complications (e.g., fever, rash, or allergic reaction to the jewelry), seek medical help immediately.

Previous Piercings 

Piercings that you've had long before your pregnancy and have already healed properly should be of no bother to you or your baby.

If you got a piercing shortly before you got pregnant and it develops an infection, you should see your doctor immediately and follow their advice.

As your body stretches to accommodate your growing baby, piercings in your belly button, breasts, and genitals may start to feel uncomfortable. Piercings can be replaced with flexible plastic jewelry because they can bend with you as your body changes.

According to The Association of Professional Piercers, in regard to nipple piercings and breastfeeding, while there are no reported complications, it's appropriate to remove nipple piercings. And, many women do decide to remove nipple piercings.

A Word From Verywell

When you are pregnant, your body goes through a lot of changes and even old piercings might start to give you some trouble and it some cases it can be better to remove old jewelry until after your baby arrives.

While major complications from getting pierced during your pregnancy don't often occur, you could still be putting yourself and your baby at risk for developing a serious infection. To keep you and your baby safe, it's best to wait a couple of months after your baby arrives to get a piercing.

If, however, you decide to get pierced while pregnant, follow the instructions of your piercer carefully and seek medical care if you suspect an infection.

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Article Sources
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