Piercings during pregnancy – Dr Alison Munt
Sometimes pregnancy can feel like a period of sacrifice to protect the best interests of your growing baby. It can feel like you’re giving up a few things you enjoy, like soft cheeses, alcohol or smoking. Do you have to give up that piercing that you’ve been wanting to get?
No, you can still get a piercing during pregnancy as long as a few common-sense rules are followed.
Piercings in more intimate areas may become uncomfortable during pregnancy due to the physical changes your body experiences. I would encourage women trying to conceive not get new piercings in intimate areas as there may not be time for healing. This could lead to increased risk of infection.
During pregnancy, new piercings are fine as long as they’re performed at an experienced piercing provider. Strict sterilising protocol should be followed. I would suggest making sure you go to a clean, safe and reputable piercing establishment. Piercing needles and instruments should all come from a sealed packet to protect it after being sterilised. If you don’t feel comfortable with a piercing place then shop around! Don’t risk infection that could harm you or your unborn baby.
Complications to be mindful of:
Nipple piercing can cause difficulty breastfeeding due to the increased risk of infection (which can quickly travel through the milk ducts and into the lymph nodes under the arm) or the growth of a cyst inside the nipple. Irritation or trauma may mean a woman with a nipple-pierced breast may be more likely to experience infant attachment problems or blocked ducts.
Belly button piercings are prone to getting irritated and potentially infected during pregnancy due to the stretching of the skin as your belly grows. Most women find they have to remove it early on.
If you require a caesarean delivery all piercings should be removed.
Discuss any concerns you have with you obstetrician at any stage of your antenatal or postnatal care.