Tattoos While Breastfeeding

*Posted as a blog entry June 19, 2009*

After three years of tattoo prohibitive pregnancy and constant breastfeeding, I finally got tattooed!  Sweet wonderful, joyous tattooing.  Any concern I had about the spiceyness of getting my neck tattooed went right out the window as soon as the needles hit my skin.  ‘Cuz of two words.  NATURAL.  CHILDBIRTH.  Hahahaha.  It was a great sit.  I didn’t even clench my teeth or tense up.  After feeling like my entire body was splitting in two with every contraction, starting from my butthole… the discomfort of tattooing suddenly pales.

TattooedLinework for now

Can’t wait to get it coloured in and do the other side.  I feel terribly asymmetrical!

So.  I waited until Maggie was 12 months old and eating more solids to get tattooed.  I never personally recommend nursing mothers (whose nurslings are getting nutrition PRIMARILY from the breast, ie 12 months and under) get tattooed because of the heavy metals. A contrary position to the LLL; from the very simple research I’ve done using MSDS info & the ingredient labeling on tattoo pigment, have found that the molecular weight is small enough to pass through breastmilk.  Unlike the LLL, I don’t believe getting tattooed while breastfeeding can be called SAFE, though I don’t think it is particularly risky either.

Exercise COMMON SENSE & PERSPECTIVE.  Tattoo pigment is not FDA approved, there are no studies.  BUT I don’t want or need the government to slap a safety label on everything I eat, touch or wear, I can figure it out myself, thanks!

So – I don’t sit for hours for tattooed while my nursling is primarily on the breast. In our shop, the decision is up to the woman’s discretion (unlike tattooing a pregnant woman – an unequival NO) and I would think it would be perfectly reasonable for a woman to decide to get some tattooing while nursing. The risk is theoretical, and very small.

There are SO MANY TOXINS in our natural world, in our living spaces. There are chemicals everywhere and while yes, it is (I feel) important to reduce our risk levels by reducing exposure, you get to pick your poisons. Our Britax Boulevard carseats off-gas, but that doesn’t mean I don’t use them. That ice cream cone on a hot summer day from the stand may not be organic, but it is sure delicious. And the heavy metals found in SOME tattoo pigments MAY impact my health if I pound enough of them into my flesh, but by gosh they sure do make me happy! Basic research and the powers of deduction show it’s certainly not akin to smoking butts or eating McDonalds daily, unless you’re talking about being tattooed from your nose to your toes, inside and outside, internal organs and all.

And EVEN THEN… The potential for health impact has essentially no negative impact on my choice to continue to get tattooed. It is a risk I am willing to take personally and I think it’s a pretty small one.  I am not going to expose my tiny little babies to that potential risk, but I am not going to be worried if/when they decide to get tattooed as adults.  I’d be seriously upset if either of my kids became smokers!

ALSO.  You can still make wise tattoo choices. There is no way that you should be getting tattooed with ink that contains formaldehyde or gluteraldehyde or anything like that. If your tattoo artist cannot have a dialogue with you about what is in their pigment, the choice is yours to find another artist. There are also a variety of pigment sources for a number of colours in the spectrum and some are definitely safer than others. You don’t have to be a scientist to realize pretty easily that glow in the dark and black light tattoos are probably not a hot plan.

Another also. The consensus seems to be “well it’s safe in the short term” (for most people, some do have allergic reactions) but what about “the long term” they ask. And about that perspective thing: one of the earliest evidence of Man on this planet, well he had tattoos. Born in ol’ 3300 BC. His body and the pigment placed into his skin were frozen in time. My point? While tattooing has only become really mainstream recently, it has existed for eons in sects of American, Polynesian and Japanese cultures (just to name a few). We’ve seen that this is absolutely one of safer activities man has taken up and has evolved appropriately over the last 53 CENTURIES!

Like anything else, make an informed decision. Use common sense and put things into perspective.



  1. cay · May 1, 2010

    Hello-I love the pictures of you getting tatooed with your baby in your arms! They are precious! I go to a breastfeeding support group and the woman who leads the group collects pictures of woman breastfeeding in public or in unusual places (the train, restaraunt, etc.). Could I share your pictures with her?

  2. Pingback: tattoo
  3. Pingback: Who's breastfeeding? - Page 2
  4. Pingback: Tattoo while breastfeeding?
  5. minnie · May 1, 2010

    hey i want to get one my daughter is two months is ok to get one noe

  6. Twwly · May 1, 2010

    Hi Minnie, it was my personal choice to wait until my daughter was mostly eating solids to get tattooed, for the reasons posted above. :) This would be 9-12 months or more.

  7. -k- · May 1, 2010

    I had just made an appt today and started to have doubts!! My son is 3mos old and I am ebf…which is why I paused for a moment after the excitement of adding to my my bodyart died down. Now…I think I will wait. No need to be stressed out unnecessarily, right?! Thanks for being so open.

  8. ramona · May 1, 2010

    hey thanks for this info it muchly helped as everywhere else i looked didnt realy have any straight information as my bub is 5 weeks prem with a 15 mnts at home ive been waiting awhile already and now knowing alittle more about the ups n downs of it all wats another 6-12 mnts wait till my girls on mostly solids or off the breast to get another tattoo as much as i want one now thanks again

  9. betsy · May 1, 2010

    blacklight ink is actually safer than regular ink, in a lot of cases. in the US it is the only ink that has been tested and regulated by the FDA. the pigment is actually suspended in tiny capsules and never touches your skin, unlike regular ink. i had a long talk with my tattooist about safety concerns before getting tattooed when my daughter was 6mo. i chose UV ink specifically for safety reasons (ok, and also aesthetics). i was too tense to nurse during, but i held her the whole time and nursed right after.

  10. Twwly · May 1, 2010

    Betsy, you’re making the assumption that tattooers using non-regulated inks are using shit, which is largely false. Many use pigments mixed with ingredients that are entirely safe. You’re also assuming people tattooing with UV pigments are using the “approved” ink, and last I read, the one and only FDA approved pigment was only approved for use in FISH.

  11. Randi · May 1, 2010

    Hello. You wrote this article some time ago. I’m thinking of getting a tattoo. I haven’t yet looked into where to get it done, but am looking for information prior to making an appointment. The connection between breast-feeding and tattoo ink shockingly never crossed my mind. do you have any updated information aside from this post?

  12. Twwly · May 1, 2010

    Hey Randi, nothing has changed in tattoo pigment or breastmilk that has altered my opinion on this matter since I posted. :)

  13. Margaret · May 1, 2010

    Hi! I found your blog through a fan on my page. I’d love to know if you have any breastfeeding tattoos? Please email me! My page is

  14. Mimi · May 1, 2010

    Nice article : )
    What does MSDS stand for?

  15. Pingback: Britax Frontier 85
  16. sam · May 1, 2010

    Just wanna say I have a 6 month old and i’ve been very anxious to get a tattoo for a while now and I started her on solids a couple weeks ago, and I only breastfeed her once, or twice a day now. Would it be safe if I would get a tattoo? Just wondering on your thoughts…

  17. Anonymous Coward218 · May 1, 2010

    MSDS= Material Safety Data Sheet
    EVERY product manufactured has one, but YOU have to ask for, and often demand one, but by law, they have to give you one…then YOU get to research the components listed…in other words, it was a LOT of work for Twwly to answer a question that SHOULD be easy to find an honest, and simple answer to!

  18. Anonymous Coward218 · May 1, 2010

    I stumbled into this blog while doing an image search, but was curious….what is the tat on your leg? Actually, your right shin…it pixelates too much when I blow it up….

  19. Twwly · May 1, 2010

    Bride of Frankenstein as the Virgin Mary. :)

  20. Michelle · May 1, 2010


  21. Pingback: Should you get tattooed while breastfeeding? | Mommalogues
  22. 2013 ??????? ?? · May 1, 2010

    I need to to thank you for this great read!!
    I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. I’ve
    got you book marked to check out new stuff you post…

    Feel free to surf to my page … 2013 ??????? ??

  23. Sophie · May 1, 2010

    I don’t think its a good idea..ii totally disagree about this post..Actually i consider that after baby and while pregnancy you should not get tattoo on body.

  24. Robert · May 1, 2010

    Woman have to care after baby and during pregnancy and if she loved to tattoo then she have to forget to do this while the above situation because its a harmful for mother and baby also.

  25. Saragracie87 insta · May 1, 2010

    Rad, was just talking about this with my artist the other day.

  26. The flexible camera and also the all the general types of inspection cameras came
    from the first innovations in intelligence, military and police usage
    within the uk and Europe. Following the production of i – Phone
    4S, Life – Proof introduced its latest Life – Proof
    Gen 2 waterproof i – Phone 4S case whose fame is claimed to be really tough.
    The best waterproof cameras On our report on best
    waterproof case to the Droid X, we have to make mention from the waterproof motorcycle mount.

    Carrying your aforementioned steps might help in viewing the inaccessible photos for the camera.
    So visit your camera store and buy the most recent collections in the best deal.

  27. Paula · May 1, 2010

    I’m not a tattoo fan but you have a beautiful family. The picture of your breastfeeding your baby is priceless.

  28. source · May 1, 2010

    We’re still waiting for that happy ending with Prince Charming.
    If you’re holding an in-house office Christmas party, the guidelines
    for alcohol are simple. Does eggs spoil The old principle was
    that the mattress lasts about ten years, but that is certainly like any guideline.

    Instead of indifferent, they could well be self-conscious
    and non-committal (the quantity of women have you ever passed up simply because you didn’t think you are good enough.

    The machines which the producers use enable
    sublimation for taking place so how the form along with the integrity
    on the food remains to be intact, even so the water inside the food is gone.

  29. 500 gaming · May 1, 2010

    However, the AMD processors be cheaper, and CPU power doesn’t usually limit gaming performance.
    If you report your laptop stolen, however, the notebook tracking device swings
    into action. Laptops with good graphics cards under 500 In this information we’ll take a examine both HP and Toshiba laptops at a variety of perspectives so as to
    determine which brand is advisable.

    Heat management – Heat management is without a doubt
    one on the major concerns when conversing of gaming laptops.

    As a result these similar objectives, both manufacturers offer roughly a similar balance of price as well as.

  30. This ensures that the sunlight emanation from the LED elements is
    collected and after that deflected in a outwardly direction. This might not exactly seem as being a big issue, but at times it is an annoyance to
    ought to slide your soundbar when performing conference calls.

    Is it illegal to drive with a light bar on On the face from the
    device could be the usual display light, then screen, physical buttons,
    trackpad along with the keyboard.

    Once the files are saved inside a folder specified by you, you
    could unzip them later after you have installed your app. They possess a
    modular construction that enables you usage of even the smallest
    parts of the LED light.

  31. By this, you are able to connect approximately five Wi-Fi-enabled devices to the Internet.
    If you still can’t get online with all the correct encryption key or password, then you certainly probably have another

    The Trulink kit comes while using Wireless LAN
    dongle, the extender adapter, power adapter for your extender,
    quick start guide and driver CD. Disable “sharing” options: Make sure to check your privacy settings of one’s phone or laptop whenever you’re using a
    public Wi-Fi network. Best wifi signal booster The wifi antenna inside the iphone 3gs is positioned inside cellphone.

  32. biotin brands but · May 1, 2010

    In certain cases consumers have gotten sick with bad unwanted effects from taking such
    supplements, which ends up in Biotin deficiency. You look good not simply because of one’s facial features but also because of the hair on your scalp.
    Supplement for hair growth Use bariatric supplements to make your fingernails, hair, and skin healthier.

    If you have a very sensitive scalp, you need to consider employing
    a softer type of shampoo or one which has specific medication to help flowing hair.
    A few simple tricks may make even dry, damaged hair more manageable and strong.

  33. nerf longshot cs6 right · May 1, 2010

    The best example of the type of toys are mario plush toys, pokemon and donkey kong.
    As parents, you can push or pull your baby for the toy, until and unless he’s
    in full control from the toy and properly balanced.

    Best adult handy With more and more episodes and series to follow along with, the need for Ben 10 Ultimate alien Toys is sure to keep
    increasing inside coming years.

    They look the same as an average dog toy, but they don’t contain stuffing, thus dogs do
    not have the wish to tear the toy apart plus it will last longer.
    When purchasing toy storage bins, it really
    is important to acquire ones that can be easily reached by kids to take
    out the toys and put them back.

  34. Remember to confirm that you usually are not allergic to any on the ingredients, and when you are understanding of caffeine
    ensure that there’s none within the pill (it’s really a common ingredient).
    I know you wish to take your time to select the best weight loss supplements for
    you and, following this, you’ll have to decide simply how much money you desire to pay to the
    best slimming capsules. Diet max pills It is
    unsafe to adopt any weight loss supplements available for the market
    without first consulting a physician, because this can result in serious
    medical problems.

    As quickly as ephedra rose to stardom, it soon plummeted in ranks in fat
    loss marketplaces. Fat burners are one in the oldest and known categories of fat loss aids.

  35. · May 1, 2010

    Completing 50% of written assignments, writing a webpage with
    80% accuracy and engaged in 80% with the field trips are a few examples.
    The i – Phone has become one in the highest selling devices from the world.

    Latest technology on computer Naturally, your biotech PR
    efforts should include social websites as well as traditional media forms.

    Pest – Trak Professional is meant to improve the efficiencies of minute medium sized Pest Control
    companies. Examples of defining performance in terms of your time are writing for 10 mins a day or sitting inside classroom for 25 minutes for a

  36. This is the location where the wireless security alarms surveillance camera systems access
    play. How do you employ a cam corder as a burglar alarm camera to get superb-quality video clips.
    Security cameras wireless iphone Neither product is usually found in the other’s broadcast region, though, so
    any mix up would almost have being deliberate for it to occur.

    For example, if you’re looking to get a camera to evaluate the
    outdoors of the house, you’ll need a backyard camera which really should
    be dust resistant and waterproof. Spending additional time outside means more kids
    playing near to the street or pool.

  37. best nerf war guns try · May 1, 2010

    Please take this possiblity to remind your sons
    or daughters that no weapons of the kind are allowed
    on school property and encourage these to report unsafe situations.
    I am inside my office pouring over bug reports and entering them into
    your master database. World’s biggest nerf gun This is about to make 2-disease talent builds and rotations
    considerably more desirable.

    They have demostrated a propensity to look with small minor
    changes, give them a number of weeks of testing, then make more changes if necessary.
    What managed to get worse was prior towards the introduction from the highly demanded Wind Up Train Wrecker, there seemed to
    be no way for getting rid in the thing.

  38. In my job I switched from salaried to hourly to salaried One time they screwed up and paid me They deducted $100 per paycheck until it was made Because we’re paid bimonthly I thought it was just the way the days worked out that period so didn’t think much of the higher Better that way than all at

  39. ?????? · 20 Days Ago



  40. ???????/??/?? · 20 Days Ago

    ???????????1? ?????

    ?????????????? ??????
    ?? ???????????
    ????? ????? ???? ?????
    100%???? 100????? ????


    ???? ?????????N??1?