Pregnancy is a beautiful time when you’re sharing your body with your growing child and transforming into an amazing vessel of creation. But what happens when the body that you’re sharing is pierced?
The short answer is that if your body piercings are fully healed at the time of conception, then you don’t have too much to worry about. Besides making adjustments for discomfort as your belly grows and your body changes, you shouldn’t experience complications due to your body piercings. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind as you prepare for the little bundle of joy to arrive.
For the most part, your biggest belly ring challenge will be that you’ll probably have to change the jewelry as your belly grows since there is a good chance that your current jewelry will pop out. Piercers recommend using a plastic barbell or retainer during pregnancy since these are more flexible than metal jewelry and can be worn during ultrasounds.
Body jewelry in the belly region, including belly button rings, may or may not need to be taken out during childbirth. Of course, if you opt for or need a cesarean section, jewelry will need to be removed. For natural childbirth, this is up to the doctor, and often it poses no issues.
During pregnancy, nipple rings are little cause for concern. Your breasts will be more tender during this time, so you may choose to take out or change your jewelry for comfort, but healthwise, nipple piercings are perfectly fine.
If you choose to breastfeed, you will want to take out your nipple jewelry. The jewelry can get caught in your baby’s mouth, risking ripping the nipple, or more seriously, it can fall out in your baby’s mouth and become a choking hazard. Some women take out their jewelry for each breastfeed, but this can become tedious after a while, especially when breastfeeding in public.
As you breastfeed with nipple piercings, be sure to clean the piercing area frequently. Even healed nipple piercings pose some risk of infection, so it’s important to be vigilant. It’s also important to note that nipple piercings can take up to a year or more to heal; if you received your piercing shortly before becoming pregnant, your piercing may not be fully healed by the time you start breastfeeding.
Similar to belly piercings, you don’t need to worry too much about your genital piercings until you give birth. The doctor or midwife will ask you to remove your jewelry so that the jewelry doesn’t harm your child or rip during childbirth. Throughout your pregnancy, you may want to change or remove your jewelry due to discomfort.
If you are trying to get pregnant, you need to keep in mind that many body piercings take a year or more to heal. In cases like nipple piercing, it may mean the difference between breastfeeding and using formula. Talk to your piercer about different healing times and whether your new piercing will affect your pregnancy.
As part of your body’s natural defense, your immune system views a new piercing as a compromise to your system, which is why proper piercing aftercare is important. It’s also why you need to be very careful when getting a new piercing while pregnant. Many piercers refuse to pierce pregnant women in the belly, nipples, or genital area because of the way your body will change during pregnancy. Although other areas, such as the face, present less of a risk, your body will be more susceptible to infection; after all, much of your body’s energy is being used to grow your new baby! Talk to you piercer about the risks, and keep in mind that you can always wait until your baby is born.
Body piercings are a wonderful expression of the beautiful human form, and bearing life is one of the most beautiful things that the human body can do. Luckily, body piercings and pregnancy don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Simply pay attention, talk to your piercer, and enjoy both your baby and your body jewelry.