When you’re either breastfeeding or pregnant, you have to think about how what you do to your body impacts your little one as well. If you’re breastfeeding but thinking about getting a body piercing, you might wonder: can you get piercings while 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.
Can you get piercings while breastfeeding?
If you’re considering getting a body piercing while breastfeeding, know that it is generally safe to do. The big exception to this is nipple piercings since this can have a significant impact on your breastfeeding baby. However, even though other types of piercings may be safe, the Association of Professional Piercers recommends waiting until three months after your baby is born to get any piercings. This gives your body time to heal and your hormones time to adjust before getting any body modifications.
If you are breastfeeding, keep in mind your hormones will still be different during this time. Some moms have increased reactions while they’re breastfeeding, 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
Finding a safe piercing place is important whether you’re currently breastfeeding or not. Aside from finding a clean and professional shop that has good reviews, find a place where the piercer:
- Uses a single-use needle or piercing gun that has been properly sanitized
- Washes their hands before handling the equipment and jewelry
- Wears gloves
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 the shop in advance to find out their policy.
When can I get a piercing after pregnancy?
If you’re planning on getting a piercing while you’re breastfeeding, it’s important to consider how long it’s been since your baby was born. Even though you may be tempted to rush out and get a piercing as soon as you decide you want it, you have to consider whether your body is fully healed and how it will impact your baby as well.
When you’re at least three months postpartum and are still breastfeeding, most body piercings are okay, except for nipple piercings. However, it’s still important for you to consider any potential piercing risks.
Any body modification comes with possible risks, which may include:
- Allergic reaction to the metal jewelry
- Excessive bleeding
- Rejection, 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 you may prefer to avoid unnecessary antibiotics so this is something to keep in mind.
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 it’s especially important to take precautions to avoid infection while you’re breastfeeding. 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
- Be careful that your baby doesn’t pull on your piercing
Can you get a nipple piercing while breastfeeding?
While most body piercings are okay while breastfeeding, nipple piercings are the exception. It is not considered safe to get a nipple piercing while you’re breastfeeding your baby. 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.
If you do have to remove a nipple piercing, the holes from your piercing 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.
Since it’s 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?
If you plan on getting a nipple piercing after you’re done breastfeeding, it’s recommended that you wait until three months after your 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.
Is it safe to 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 likely be interesting to your baby, so they 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 it’s important to be careful about cleaning your piercing. You can use mouthwash to ensure you are killing bacteria effectively.
Can I 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. A lip piercing has similar risks to a tongue piercing because there are more germs in your mouth, so be sure to carefully clean your piercing. Avoid touching your lip piercing too much, and consider the age of your baby too. A lip ring will likely 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.
Is it safe to 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 that follows all necessary safety precautions.
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.
For this reason, 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 baby wear often or co-sleep, it may be safer for you to wait until your child is older.
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 your little one to try to grab at it.
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.
Do piercings impact the breastfeeding relationship?
Even if you’re eager to get the piercing you’ve been thinking about, you’re probably considering how it might impact your breastfeeding relationship. In most cases, if you get a piercing somewhere such as your ears or face, it won’t impact your ability to nurse your baby. You will need to think about taking care of the piercing and keeping the area clean, so consider whether you have the time or will be able to put in the effort to do this.
It’s also important to consider the possibility of infection. Although it’s unlikely that an infection from your piercing will transfer to your baby, if you have to take antibiotics, this could impact your little one. Think about how long you plan on nursing your baby and whether it makes more sense for you to wait and get the piercing after you wean them.
Remember that getting a nipple piercing while breastfeeding isn’t safe for you or your baby, and even if you already had a nipple piercing, you should remove it until your baby is weaned.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it safe to breastfeed with nipple piercings?
It’s not considered safe to breastfeed with nipple piercings, even if you had them prior to pregnancy. If you do have a nipple piercing, it’s safest for you to remove it while you’re breastfeeding and wait to reinsert it after you’ve weaned your baby.
What if I get an ear piercing infection while breastfeeding?
As with any piercing, it’s important to keep the area clean and take any necessary safety precautions. Infections do sometimes happen, so if your ear or other piercing does get infection, you should consult your doctor for treatment.
When can I get a piercing after having a baby?
After having a baby, it’s recommended to wait at least three months before getting a piercing of any kind. This allows your body to heal and your hormones to balance out as well.
Why can’t you get a piercing while nursing?
You can get a piercing when you’re three months postpartum, however, nipple piercings are not safe to get while breastfeeding. Not only is it unsafe for your baby, there’s no way for you to keep the piercing site clean, making it unsafe for you as well.
Can you get a tattoo while breastfeeding?
Tattoos often come with their own set of risks, such as possibility of infection or an allergic reaction to the ink. Many tattoo artists will not give you a tattoo while you’re breastfeeding due to the risk of infection and time needed for healing from the tattoo. If you do want to get a tattoo while you’re breastfeeding, it’s best to wait until your baby is 9-12 months old.
Can you get a tattoo removed while breastfeeding?
Tattoo removal has become increasingly common as many people no longer like what they chose for their tattoo. The particles that the tattoo pigment is turned into during a tattoo removal don’t pass through the breastmilk, but it is still important to keep any possible risks, such as infection, in mind.
If you’re considering getting a piercing while you’re breastfeeding, it’s natural for you to wonder how it may impact your baby. While there are always possible risks involved when getting a piercing, most piercings are safe to get once you’re three months postpartum. Nipple piercings are the exception and are not considered safe for you or your baby while you’re breastfeeding. Even if you already had a nipple piercing prior to giving birth, be sure to take it out until your little one has weaned.