When it comes to body piercings, once you decide you want one, you want it now. But if you’re breastfeeding, you may wonder if it’s safe to get that piercing before your baby weans. Many breastfeeding moms postpone these plans, but is waiting necessary? Can you get piercings while you are still breastfeeding?
Most piercings are generally considered safe to get while breastfeeding except for nipple piercings which should be avoided until after you have stopped breastfeeding. In most cases, however, you should wait at least 3 months after your baby has been born before getting any type of piercing because they are taxing on the immune system and your body is still recovering.
Let’s dive deeper into the various piercings you might be thinking about having done, and how to be sure you are being as safe as possible.
Is it okay to get piercings while you are breastfeeding?
It is generally safe to get body piercings while breastfeeding. The big exception to this is nipple piercings, which we will go into in more detail later. The Association of Professional Piercers recommends waiting three months after your baby’s birth to get any piercings, which gives your body time to heal and your hormones time to adjust.
If you are breastfeeding, you should keep in mind that your hormones will still be different during this time. Some moms have increased reactions during this time, so you may experience more swelling or irritation.
Whether you are breastfeeding or not, it’s important to follow safety recommendations for choosing a location to get your piercing and maintain strict adherence to the aftercare cleaning procedures.
How to find a safe piercing environment
- Look for a professional in a well-established shop with good reviews.
- The piercer should use a single-use needle or piercing gun that has been properly sanitized.
- The piercer should wash their hands before handling the equipment and jewelry, and should wear gloves.
- The shop should be clean and the equipment well-maintained.
For liability purposes, most shops will require you to fill out a waiver, and many include a question about whether you are pregnant or nursing. Not all professionals are willing to do a piercing if you are breastfeeding, so be sure to contact your shop in advance to find out their policy.
- Allergic reaction to the metal jewelry
- Excessive bleeding
- Reflection, when the body tries to push out the jewelry
- Nerve damage
- Infection, from shared or unsanitary equipment or from a failure to keep the area clean
If you get an infection, it’s possible you will need antibiotics to clear it. As a breastfeeding mom, your baby will be exposed to those antibiotics as well. Antibiotics while breastfeeding are generally safe and won’t harm your baby, but many of us prefer to avoid unnecessary antibiotics, especially when it comes to our babies.
While you are breastfeeding, antibiotic side effects that you might encounter, such as stomach upset, can also affect your little one. The younger your baby, the more of the medicine there will be in their system. Keep in mind your own comfort level with antibiotic use when you consider whether or not to get a piercing while breastfeeding.
Keeping your piercing clean once you get home is so important! Of course, you never want to get an infection, but while breastfeeding this is even more true. Your piercer will give you aftercare instructions, but the typical advice is:
- Clean the area with saline or soap and water several times a day.
- Keep the piercing dry between cleanings.
- Depending on the location of your piercing, you may need to be careful that your baby can’t pull on it.
Can you get a nipple piercing while breastfeeding?
The answer to this question should be pretty obvious.
You should avoid getting a nipple piercing while breastfeeding without exception. In fact, even if you already have a nipple piercing, it is recommended to remove the piercings during late pregnancy and keep them out until you wean your baby. The jewelry can pose a choking risk for your baby if it falls out while nursing.
Your holes should stay open as long as they were fully healed before pregnancy, but if needed a piercer can help you reinsert them when you are ready.
Because it is so important to keep your new piercings clean, it is impossible to breastfeed safely with new nipple piercings. Your baby’s saliva is full of germs! A nipple or areola piercing can easily become infected. It is also possible for a breast piercing to cause clogged milk ducts, which are extremely painful and can also lead to infection. Mastitis is a common infection breastfeeding moms are already susceptible to, so you definitely want to avoid any increased risk.
How long after breastfeeding can you pierce your nipples?
It is recommended 3 months after milk production stops. It often takes a while for your breasts to completely stop producing milk, so giving them this time will reduce your risk of complications and ensure that your nipples and areolas have returned to their normal size.
Can you get a nose piercing while breastfeeding?
You can get a nose piercing while breastfeeding, as long as you follow safety advice and aftercare cleaning procedures. Be aware that a new face piercing will probably be very interesting to your baby, so she may try to pull on it. A small stud, as opposed to a hoop, is probably a safer choice here.
Can you get a tongue piercing while breastfeeding?
You can get a tongue piercing while breastfeeding, as long as you follow safety advice and aftercare cleaning procedures. The risk for infection is slightly higher because of bacteria in the mouth, so make sure you are very careful with cleaning. You can use mouthwash to ensure you are killing bacteria effectively.
Can you get a lip piercing while breastfeeding?
You can get a lip piercing while breastfeeding, as long as you follow safety advice and aftercare cleaning procedures. But make sure you are very careful with cleaning because there are more germs in your mouth. Avoid touching your lip piercing too much, and consider the age of your baby too. A lip ring will probably be very enticing to a baby who is reaching and grabbing for things, so you may want to wait if yours is in that stage.
Can you get an ear piercing while breastfeeding?
You can get an ear piercing while breastfeeding, as long as you follow safety advice and aftercare cleaning procedures. Be sure to follow cleaning instructions, and keep your earrings out of reach of your baby.
If you are thinking about piercing your baby’s ears, this could be a fun activity to do together. Babies shouldn’t get their ears pierced before three months of age, so you will both be in the clear at the same time!
Remember to go to a reputable piercer.
Can you get a belly piercing while breastfeeding?
You can get a belly piercing while breastfeeding, as long as you follow safety advice and aftercare cleaning procedures. The area around the piercing may be tender, and during breastfeeding, your baby often presses against your belly.
So, you may want to wait on this piercing until your baby weans. Also mommies that have had C-sections might still be recovering from this operation and want to avoid doing anything else in this area for a while.
Belly piercings can sometimes be rejected by the body. This is more likely to happen if they are rubbed against often, like during sleeping or while holding a baby. If you babywear often or co-sleep, you may want to wait on that belly piercing for a while!
Can you get a face piercing while breastfeeding?
You can get a facial piercing while breastfeeding, as long as you follow safety advice and aftercare cleaning procedures. As with some of the other piercings, one on your face will probably attract your baby’s attention, so be prepared for her to try to grab at it if you get one.
Flat piercings, as face piercings tend to be, can sometimes be rejected by the body. If your body is very sensitive, breastfeeding could make this more a little more likely.