There are no agreed upon guidelines about the compatibility of tattooing and breastfeeding however it is generally agreed that tattoos already present do not impact breastfeeding. The possibility of the ink migrating into the mother’s blood plasma and then into the milk is negligible according to Frank Nice (Roche-Paull 2005)
Most tattoo artists will not knowingly tattoo a woman who is currently breastfeeding. It is felt that the body needs time to heal the tattoo and this is harder to do when the body is also working to produce breastmilk. There is concern also about the risk of an infection being passed from mother to baby. As tattoos are created by needles piercing the skin and injecting dye it is not surprising that local or systemic infections are the most common risks of this form of body modification.
Tattoo removal has similar aftercare to having a tattoo created and the risk of infection is similar. Laser removal of tattoos works by producing short pulses of intense light which pass through the skin to be absorbed by the tattoo pigment. The laser energy causes the tattoo pigment to fragment into smaller particles which are picked up by the body’s white cells and filtered out of the body. According to Dr Jack Newman” It is very doubtful that tattoo removal would influence breastfeeding in any way” (Roche-Paull 2005)
For a lovely photo of a breastfeeding mother with tattoos from the LLL Switzerland website click here
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