Piercing decisions, healing and infection when pregnant

Pregnancy carries risks dependent on health condition, age, and lifestyle; combined with risks of piercing as discussed previously, the harm to mother and unborn baby substantially increases. Making an informed choice of having a piercing is vital during pregnancy. So is the aftercare, and also knowing when to remove the jewellery. The following pages discuss:

  • Considerations when deciding to have a piercing
  • Piercing aftercare recommendations
  • Removing piercing jewellery during pregnancy

Considerations when deciding to have a piercing

A woman may have already successfully had a piercing that has healed with jewellery that gives her joy in self-expression. For this reason, having another piercing may seem the natural thing to do. However, research shows that on a whole, piercings take longer to heal during pregnancy. Women who intend to have piercings should be aware of the risks and also when to avoid piercings. Making the decision to pierce during pregnancy should be strongly thought-through, and some considerations include:

  • Discuss your pregnancy needs, medical conditions, and concerns with a physician who has knowledge and an open mind about piercing; get a second opinion
  • Take care to understand the implications of medical conditions like diabetes, haemophilia and auto-immune diseases on the pregnancy and piercing recovery process
  • Pay attention to any skin irregularities during pregnancy that may heighten inflammation and infection of the piercing region, spreading infection through the body of both mother and foetus
  • Check out qualified professional piercers that are listed on local council registers

Piercing aftercare recommendations

Taking care of existing piercings is extremely important, especially if obtained in the same year of pregnancy. Some piercing aftercare recommendations include:

  • Clean the piercing site with sterile saline solution (no additives) or fragrance-free anti-microbial soap, but do not over clean
  • Do not force moving the jewellery in the piercing hole if a secretion has formed a crust
  • Be patient allowing the piercing site to heal from outside to inside
  • Seek medical attention if bleeding continues, or if there is swelling and severe inflammation (this  may be a sign of infection)
  • Shower rather than bath to avoid bacterial infections, and also change bedding regularly
  • Do not touch the site unless hands are washed and get a professional piercer to change the jewellery and offer advice
  • Avoid heavy jewellery and clothes the jewellery can get caught on

Removing piercing jewellery during pregnancy

If you are pregnant and have an existing piercing, you should have the jewellery removed from the piercing hole by a professional or medical provider if healing has not occurred, if the hole continues to bleed or weep, if the hole is inflamed or infected, if your nipple piercing is affecting breast feeding, and if too much milk is coming out of the pierced hole.

It may be advisable to have jewellery removed from any piercings of the breasts, belly and genitals to prevent possible infection. Being safe than sorry is better and piercings can always be re-done after the birth of the child.

Sleeping during Pregnancy:

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