Ok, we’ll admit it – we think every mum is a superhero. And there’s no doubt about the fact that even superheroes have adorable little tattoos tucked away under their cape. But in each superhero tale, there’s a twist – and Supermum has just got pregnant for the second time. And it’s in these kinds of amazing and transformative times that Supermums can sometimes reconsider whether they really want to be an ‘inked’ Mum anymore. So can you get laser tattoo removal while pregnant?
Laser while pregnant: Is it worth the risk?
Believe it or not, given just how important the health of mums and bubs is, there’s actually not a lot of evidence one way or another. In fact, there’s not even a lot of research that has been done into whether you can get a tattoo while breastfeeding or pregnant – which may be surprising given that about 31% of Australian women aged 18-29 already have tattoos.
However, there are plenty of professional medical opinions – published in top biomedical literature, medical journals and elsewhere – that generally advise not doing anything at all that has even a tiny risk of hurting those hard-working, sleep-deprived mums and the precious little ones who rely on them so much. Don’t forget, even with those minor risks, getting a tattoo while pregnant involves needles puncturing the skin – raising the risk of infection, allergic reactions and even transmission of diseases while a mother-to-be’s immune system is already undergoing serious changes. A second question is ‘can you get a tattoo while breastfeeding?’ – and the answer is similar. It’s a very good idea to steer clear of getting tattooed while breastfeeding, so mums don’t have to worry about ink particles or other substances transferring from the tattoo area to the baby’s milk.
But what about laser tattoo removal? Is that safe enough to get done while pregnant or breastfeeding or is it still a good idea to steer clear for a while?:
1. Safety concerns
Laser tattoo removal is incredibly safe. Having said that, there are minor risks – and none of them should be taken by a pregnant or breastfeeding mum, especially when it’s an area that hasn’t been extensively studied and researched. Remember, the only thing that matters is the health and well-being of Mum and baby, so the best advice is to steer well clear of all elective procedures for now.
2. Risk of infection
The biggest risk – while still very small – is infection. When you get laser tattoo removal, your chances of infection absolutely plummet when the facility has impeccable hygiene and sterilisation protocols and offers personalised pre- and post-treatment care. But a bigger unknown is how an individual’s immune response will handle it – and pregnant or new Mums undergo a range of physiological and hormonal changes that can have an impact.
3. Potential harm to the foetus/baby
Laser tattoo removal involves aiming high-intensity light at the skin to break down the ink particles – a safe procedure for just about everyone. And while probably perfectly safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mums too, it has to be said that the impact on a developing foetus or the transferral of substances to breast milk is not well understood.
4. Long-term effects
So far, we’ve been talking about relatively short-term risks – but it bears pointing out that the long-term risks are also under-researched. Remember, pregnancy and breastfeeding involve hormonal changes and – quite often – skin changes and sensitivity for mums, and it’s not well-established how laser tattoo removal can interact with these changes and cause problems.
5. Limited data/research
We’ve mentioned quite a few times already that there’s not a lot of scientific, evidence-based research out there on any of these topics. But if it’s so important, why is that? The answer is that it’s generally fairly unethical to conduct extensive scientific studies on mums and babies, for obvious reasons, especially on something like the removal of tattoos. So there’s unlikely to ever be a lot of research out there, but that’s not really a problem: there will always be time to get that tat removed later on.
Disappear Laser Clinic will see you … soon!
But remember, before making an informed decision about your own body and that of your precious little baby, speak to your GP and follow their advice as well as your gut instinct about what’s best. That’s because, here at Sydney’s leading laser tattoo removal clinic, we genuinely care about each and every one of our clients – especially all those Supermums and Superbubs out there. So when you and Bub are ready, give us a call – we can’t wait to see you both!