Q&A: Can I Get A Tattoo While Breastfeeding?

Posted in Breastfeeding Q&As and tagged .

Question & Answer

Motherhood is a rite of passage, so it’s little wonder that getting a tattoo after becoming a mum has become a popular way to mark the journey. But is getting a tattoo while breastfeeding safe?

We’ve had a look at the research, and there are a few things to weigh up when making the decision to get a tattoo while still breastfeeding your child.

Is it okay to get a tattoo while breastfeeding? I really want to get one but not sure if it’s safe to get one now, while I’m breastfeeding, or if I should wait.

Carol, Mum's Grapevine Group Member

Health risks of getting a tattoo while breastfeeding

Can you get a tattoo while breastfeeding? | Mum's Grapevine

It’s possible for bacterial infections to be transmitted while getting a tattoo, but the Australian Breastfeeding Association says risks are likely to be low when visiting a trusted parlour that follows strict hygiene and sterilisation guidelines.

According to Family Planning Australia, serious viruses like Hepatitis B or C and HIV can be transmitted during tattooing. This is especially true if the equipment isn’t cleaned and sterilised properly between users. For breastfeeding mums, the main concern is that HIV can be transmitted via breast milk. However, according to the Centre for Disease Control in the USA, there are no known reports of HIV transmission through tattooing.

In Australia, laws relating to tattooing are different in each state and territory, but Better Health suggests you should always choose a tattooist whose business is registered with their local council.

For peace of mind, your best course of action is to speak to your own GP before booking in for a tattoo while breastfeeding.

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