How does pregnancy and breastfeeding affect piercings?
One important safety consideration is that we are not permitted to pierce anyone while pregnant or for the first 6 months of breastfeeding. This is due to changes in your immune system as well as rare potential complications to the fetus/baby.
For existing piercings, pregnancy and breastfeeding can have the following effects on your piercings.
Since your whole stomach and breasts will change and stretch, you can anticipate some change in your piercings such as navel and nipples. You may also have generalized swelling due to water retention However, these changes vary widely. Not everyone changes their jewelry as they progress, but some women find that the most comfortable option for pregnancy isn’t the jewelry they started out wearing.
A small percentage of women find that their piercings are rejected from the body, but this is far from the most common occurrence. The process of rejection usually sets in when the area lacks circulation, such as if your navel jewelry is too tight to allow your belly to expand. If you are experiencing discomfort, let us know so that we can determine more suitable options such as a looser fit for your jewelry.
It is also a good idea to ask your healthcare practitioner whether or not they allow you to leave the jewelry in during the birth. Our clients and friends have worn body jewelry of all kinds through labor and delivery over the last decade. If you will be removing it, we can help you in advance and show you how to remove and reinsert the jewelry if you are not already familiar with it.
Nipple piercing does not prevent breastfeeding from happening. In fact, many lactating women find that a small amount of milk will also come out of the piercing, which is harmless. However, you will want your nipple piercings to be very well healed by the time you conceive. The changes that a woman’s body undergoes during pregnancy can make it next to impractical for these piercings to finish healing at that time.
Most mothers choose to remove the jewelry when breastfeeding to avoid injury to the piercing and for maximum comfort for both mother and baby. Beads, threaded balls, and rings are choking hazards for infants if they come loose accidentally with the motion of feeding. If the piercings are very well healed by the time breastfeeding begins the jewelry may be easily removed and reinserted. If the piercings are not well healed, consistent removal and reinsertion will probably prove to be impossible. Remember to wash your hands with a liquid soap before removing the jewelry or touching the piercing. Also, be sure to keep your jewelry on a clean surface, such as in a jewelry pouch or in a disposable cup. If you are pregnant, trying to conceive, or nursing and are interested in getting a nipple piercing, wait until you are finished breastfeeding.