Body piercings and the birth process

Some woman who have existing piercings to the belly, clitoris and/or nipples, may not want to go through the process of re-piercing and healing. However, it is recommended that jewellery in the belly, clitoris and nipples are removed to lower risk of infection due to the expanding piercing site, the implications during birth and also breastfeeding. The following pages provide some information on:

  • Belly piercings and birth
  • Clitoral piercings and birth
  • Breast feeding and piercing jewellery

Belly piercings and birth

A  pregnant woman's womb and abdomen rapidly swell during pregnancy and if the belly button is pierced, the jewellery, such as the navel ring, may protrude even more. This does place a risk of getting caught on clothing or other items. Removing the jewellery is a safety precaution against harm to the mother's pregnant tummy and the developing foetus inside.

Some pregnant mothers with belly piercings choose not to remove the jewellery from the already healed site. Instead, they tape down the jewellery to the belly or have the jewellery professionally replaced by a flexible PTFE barbell that bends as the abdomen expands. Some medical doctors will insist on removal of belly piercing jewellery during birth, and such requests should be respected for health and safety of both mother and soon to be born baby.

Clitoral piercings and birth

The genital region does change during pregnancy because of additional vaginal discharge, higher likelihood of thrush and also infections. More blood runs to the pelvic area to make the joints more flexible for child birth, but at the same time also swells the genital area. The swelling can cause irritation and infection, and can also result in tearing during birth. For this reason, it may be advisable to remove the clitoral piercing jewelry during pregnancy.

Breast feeding and piercing jewellery

When nipple or breast piercings have healed before pregnancy, some women opt to leave their nipple piercings in even while breast feeding. Care should be taken to discuss the type of jewellery material with a medical professional, for impacts on infection and the health of the suckling baby.

It is recommended to remove all breast piercings when deciding to breast feed in case the baby latches onto the jewellery. Nipple jewellery can damage the gums and palate of the developing baby, and there is also the possible risk of the jewellery being swallowed if sucked loose. The nipples may also feel much sorer during pregnancy and also breast feeding, and removing the jewellery may be more comfortable. Irritations to the body also raise stress levels that are not good for both the expectant mother and the unborn child, or to both after birth.

Sleeping during Pregnancy:

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