Becoming pregnant is probably one of the most exciting and daunting things you can do! Not only is it mentally intense, but physically it can take a toll on your body. So why should you think about piercing while pregnant? You might not even be thinking about your piercings, but read this blog and find out what to expect when you’re expecting as a pierced person!
Can I Get Pierced Whilst Pregnant?
The short answer is no! Absolutely not, with no exceptions! The longer answer is…
As you probably know, your growing foetus will be sharing everything with you – Your oxygen, your nutrients, and any bacteria or infections you may have. This means that there is a risk of transferring bacteria to your baby if you receive a piercing during your pregnancy.
This risk is small, especially when you are receiving high quality piercings from a safe studio such as Rogue, however this is not a risk we would ever want to take when there is a tiny human life involved! Not only is it a morally grey area, but no insurance policies in the UK will cover the piercing of a pregnant person, and no piercing licenses allow it either. It is simply not worth it.
Can I Get Pierced Whilst Breastfeeding?
Again, the best option is to avoid it. The chances of passing infections through breastmilk is pretty low but not impossible! Most licensing councils will not allow piercing studios to pierce people who are breastfeeding simply to turn this risk from small to zero.
The main reason that we do not want to pierce pregnant or breastfeeding people is because your body is already under a huge amount of strain! Whilst pregnant, you are growing an entirely new person! And when breastfeeding, you are probably going to be tired, sleep deprived, and physically drained. Your tiny new person is going to be taking up a large part of your time and brain-space, and it is always best to be able to focus on the new kid on the block as opposed to having to care for a new piercing.
We are open all year round, seven days a week. We will definitely still be here when your little one is weaned and you can sleep through the night!
Pregnancy and Your Existing Piercings
Something that few people consider is that your existing piercings might get a bit grumpy when you are pregnant! The reason for that is…
Hormones play a huge role our bodies. From dictating when we wake up and fall to sleep, to our menstrual cycles, to our stress responses! Unsurprisingly, our hormones go absolutely nuts when we are pregnant.
The main hormone that will affect wound healing during pregnancy is oestrogen, or estrogen if you are a terrible American. Pregnancy causes oestrogen levels to skyrocket, which can negatively affect your natural wound healing process. This means that any minor knock, bump or snag to your piercings that under normal circumstances you may not even notice, can cause irritation!
Your immune system in general is dampened during pregnancy, meaning that you might experience irritation and general ‘grumpiness’ of your existing piercing while pregnant during those months. If you are experiencing this, definitely book a checkup appointment so that we can assess your piercings, and help you to make them as comfortable and happy as possible.
Navel and Nipple Piercings
Another really common question we get is: Can I wear a pregnancy navel bar and avoid having to take it out? Should I get nipple piercings if I am planning on breastfeeding later down the line? Will nipple piercings stop me from being able to breastfeed?
Lets answer these questions one by one!
Pregnancy Navel Bars
You can buy them pretty much anywhere. Extra long, often soft and flexible plastic barbells that will keep your navel piercing while pregnant open as your body expands. They are often a terrible idea for a few different reasons!
Firstly, we have covered the topic of plastic body jewellery time and time again on our blog. In short, there are no safe plastic jewellery options available on the market. Plastics are unsafe, can release toxic chemicals when exposed to heat and moisture, and can cause serious irritation to your piercing.
Secondly, it is never a good idea to wear jewellery in a piercing that is going to be placed under a huge amount of stress and expansion. As your pregnancy continues, the skin will stretch. Wearing jewellery in your piercing during this time will put a lot of pressure on the piercing channel, and seriously increases your risk of rejection or tissue splitting. Even if your piercing remains relatively healthy, there is a very high chance that it will be left very thin, fragile, and most likely off-centre or crooked in some way.
The best step to take is to remove your piercing in the early stages of pregnancy, and wait until you have finished breastfeeding. At this stage, you will be nice and ready to be repierced and have a beautiful, well-placed navel piercing!
Nipple Piercing While Pregnant and Breastfeeding
We cover this topic briefly in our Nipple Piercings 101 blog, however lets go deeper today!
Can I breastfeed if I have had nipple piercings? The answer is of course, yes! You can definitely still breastfeed if you have had nipple piercings. The common myth is that nipple piercings will damage your milk ducts, but this is simply untrue. You have hundreds of microscopic pores for milk to be expressed from, and a nipple piercing will only impact on a handful. You will still be able to breastfeed completely as normal.
That being said, should you breastfeed with jewellery? The answer is no, definitely not. Nipple barbells pose a significant risk to your infant. Not only are they a choking hazard and can damage your infants mouth, but having jewellery in the way might stress your infant out and discourage them from latching correctly. We always recommend removing jewellery during the breastfeeding process.
So do you have to retire your nipple piercings entirely during breastfeeding? Generally, yes… Hypothetically, you could definitely remove and reinsert your nipple jewellery every few hours for feeding time, but this is probably not going to be at the top of your list with a newborn baby in the house! Having spoken with breastfeeding parents before, the nipple can become chapped, irritated and very sore. Fiddling with nipple jewellery sounds like an added problem that I would not personally want to deal with…
So yes, we probably recommend retiring your nipple piercings and having them reopened or repierced once you have finished breastfeeding.
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Genital Piercings
Less commonly, we are asked by parents with intimate piercings what the jazz is – Are they ok to be left in? Will my Obstetrician be ok with them? Will I be judged for having intimate piercings? What do I do with my intimate piercing while pregnant?
It’s a tricky question to answer, and depends a lot on the intimate piercing in question. Most intimate piercings are totally fine to be left in place for your pregnancy, however some may pose a problem when it comes to delivery. Most piercings in the area such as Christina piercings, VCH and HCH piercings, and outer labia piercings, will not cause any issues during pregnancy. However, be prepared to answer innocent and/or curious questions from your Obs and Gyns team! It’s always best to mention the piercings beforehand, and have some jokes or one-liners prepped to make the process more entertaining.
In general, we would recommend removing inner labia piercings, fourchette piercings, and Princess Albertina piercings well in advance of your due date. These are the piercings that are closest to the vaginal canal, and are the piercings that are most likely going to get ‘in the way’ during the delivery! Given the huge physical demands of childbirth, your vulva and vaginal canal are going to be rearranged in ways that are a little intense, and having jewellery in place could increase risk of tearing. In addition, if you have to undergo any interventional procedures such as an episiotomy, your fourchette piercings and other vaginal-canal-adjacent piercings will need to be removed to allow the delivery procedure to continue.
The most important thing however, is to seek medical opinion. Depending on your piercings, and your birth plan, your team may recommend total removal of all piercings. It is better to know in advance as opposed to being surprised on the day!
So there you have it! A pretty good overview of what to expect from piercing while pregnant. Most of all, if you are pregnant and reading this, congratulations!
We hope this has helped you make informed decisions about your body, your piercings, and your pregnancy. It’s a big change for anyone, whether it is your first child or your fourth! If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via email, or through our professional Instagram page.