Last update: March 22, 2018


Low Risk for breastfeeding

Moderately safe. Probably compatible.
Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended.
Read the Comment.

Tattooing must meet all known safety and sanitation standards in order to avoid transmission of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV infections. As a safety measure, blood banks and many human milk banks do not accept donation of biological products until that a 4 to 12 months period has elapsed after tattooing. Based on this, some authorities recommend to wait until breastfeeding is finished for tattooing.

Aluminum, Cadmium (yellow), Charcoal (black), Cinnabar (red), Cobalt (blue), Chromium (green), Iron (brown), Magnesium (violet), Mercury (red), Titanium (white), Zinc (white), plastics and Formaldehyde are some products used as dyes and pigments for tattooing.

Although dyes and pigments used for tattooing may pose a risk for toxicity are kept under skin that prevents them from entering into blood stream. This is the reason for what an old tattoo or a new one done while breastfeeding is not contraindicated, provided that best standards of safety and sanitation are followed to warrant the prevention of infectious disease transmission.

Creams used for anesthetic, antiseptic or anti-inflammatory purposes before or after tattooing are compatible with breastfeeding, so as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen used for pain relief.

Tattoos on the nipple should be avoided since it poses a risk for swallowing of dyes that may be toxic.

Hide a tattoo with make-up or cover-up is compatible with breastfeeding. Removal by Laser-ray may disaggregate pigments of tattoo that get into lymph and blood and would be excreted into breast milk that is a reason to prudently wait, depending on the dye to be removed, until breastfeeding is finished.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

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  1. Kluger N. Can a mother get a tattoo during pregnancy or while breastfeeding? Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2012 Abstract
  2. Karp JK, King KE. International variation in volunteer whole blood donor eligibility criteria. Transfusion. 2010 Abstract
  3. Kluger N. Body art and pregnancy. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2010 Abstract
  4. Boccola MA, Savage J, Rozen WM, Ashton MW, Milner C, Rahdon R, Whitaker IS. Surgical correction and reconstruction of the nipple-areola complex: current review of techniques. J Reconstr Microsurg. 2010 Abstract
  5. Wong LP, Chin CK, Low WY, Jaafar N. HIV/AIDS-related knowledge among Malaysian young adults: findings from a nationwide survey. Medscape J Med. 2008 Abstract
  6. Millner VS, Eichold BH 2nd. Body piercing and tattooing perspectives. Clin Nurs Res. 2001 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)

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