Piercings, especially nipple rings are in vogue right now. If you are someone who has taken the effort and time to get a nipple piercing, then you would want to keep it on for as long as possible. But does finding out you are pregnant affect it in any way? Are you wondering if the positive pregnancy test means you might have to say goodbye to your favorite nipple piercings?
The answer to your question is not as simple as a yes or no. It depends on a lot of factors. But here are 5 facts you should know about nipple piercings during pregnancy.
- Nipple rings, or any other body piercing during pregnancy, don’t affect the baby in any way.
- You don’t need to remove your nipple piercing until you start breastfeeding.
- Nipple piercings don’t affect your ability to breastfeed in the long term.
- Pregnancy makes the skin extra sensitive, so if you experience any kind of itching or sensitivity around the nipple area, get your piercings checked.
- You will have to remove your nipple rings once you start breastfeeding as it might hurt the baby, make latching difficult, or lead to infections.
Let’s discuss more details about nipple rings and body piercings during pregnancy.
Can I Get Nipples And Other Body Parts Pierced While Pregnant?
Pregnancy is a time when the body goes through many changes and these changes are happening constantly. This compromises your immune system. As a result, any new piercing whether nipple rings or belly button piercings or even genital piercings can take longer to heal. They could even get infected and cause complications.
Doctors and piercing experts recommend that any new piercing, especially nipple piercings, should be avoided during pregnancy.
Nipple piercing in particular can be a cause of concern because hormonal changes affect your breasts and make them tender during pregnancy. This can increase complications, infect the nipple, and even affect your and the baby’s health. That’s why it is best to get nipple piercings before or after pregnancy.
Other body piercings like nose, earlobe, and eyebrow are relatively safe, but even these need time to heal. The suppressed immunity during pregnancy can cause these piercings to get infected, and cause scarring or other complications. While severe complications happen rarely, it is best to stay safe and healthy during these nine months. There is always a small chance that an infected piercing can harm the fetus. Studies show that some maternal infections can lead to stillbirth, miscarriage, and congenital defects.
But remember that every pregnancy is different. If you’re keen to get a piercing done, then speak to your healthcare practitioner and a piercing expert. They will be able to guide you with all the precautions you need to take during this time.
Should I Remove My Nipple Rings While Pumping Or Feeding?
The answer to this question is yes!
Breastfeeding whether you have piercings or not is an uphill journey for every mom. You learn as you go along an, like pregnancy, the breastfeeding journey is different for every mom. But if you’re a mom with nipple piercings, then yes, you should remove your nipple rings whenever you are pumping or feeding your baby. Here are three main reasons why you need to do this:
- It Could Hurt Baby’s Mouth
When it comes to breastfeeding, nipple rings or studs can affect the baby’s mouth tissue or cause cuts on the tongue or mouth. Babies apply pressure when they try to latch or suck during breastfeeding, which can cause the edges or corners of your jewelry to hurt them.
- Higher Chances of Infections
Nipple rings can get infected during breastfeeding or pumping. Your breasts and nipples are tender and sensitive during this time, which increases the chances of infection and pain. Many women also suffer from mastitis during breastfeeding. This could get aggravated and cause infection if you have your nipple jewelry on during breastfeeding or pumping.
- Choking Hazard
Doctors and lactation experts always recommend removing your nipple rings because in the worst cases they can be a choking hazard for the baby while nursing. When your baby is sucking on your nipples, your nipple ring or stud can possibly get dislodged and cause a serious problem of choking. The safest and best thing to do when you begin your breastfeeding or pumping journey is to remove your nipple piercings.
While it’s not recommended, if you decide that you want to remove and then reinsert your nipple jewelry after every breastfeeding or pumping session, you have to make sure to keep your pierced nipples and even your nipple jewelry clean. Wash your hands with soap and water first while removing your nipple piercings and also while reinserting them. It’s important to sterilize your nipple rings or studs before reinserting them every time. Additionally, clean your nipple and the area surrounding it every day to remove dead skin cells and avoid any chances of infection.
One more step of precaution that you can take is hand press or pump for a minute before you start breastfeeding to ensure you have cleared any debris. Some pregnant women also prefer keeping their nipple piercings open between feeds by wearing a nipple bar. But it can get a bit uncomfortable because your nipples will initially be sore. You can give it a try if you are keen on keeping your nipple piercing on.
Another thing to remember is that your milk might flow out faster or in different directions because of your nipple piercings. This could make breastfeeding difficult. If you feel that your baby is finding it difficult to handle the amount of milk or is in discomfort, then try lying on your side or leaning back. These positions help slow down the flow of milk and can make your baby more comfortable while nursing.
Breastfeeding or pumping is not easy. At any point in time if you feel that your nipple piercings are making it difficult for your baby to latch or are causing any other discomfort, then consult a lactation expert or your doctor immediately.
Will My Nipple Piercing Close If I Remove My Nipple Rings?
As it is recommended to remove your nipple jewelry during breastfeeding, you might be wondering if your piercing will close. It’s a valid concern and like any other piercing, yes, the hole might get smaller slowly and eventually close in a few weeks. Whether you got your piercing recently or have had it for years makes no difference, the hole does close for most women. Obviously, there are exceptions but they’re rare.
If you notice that your piercing has closed, you can go to a professional to have it redone after you finish breastfeeding your baby. Getting a nipple ring again is completely fine, and no, it doesn’t cause more pain the second time around.
Plastic Nipple Rings For Pregnancy
Pregnancy as you know changes your body and this happens every day. One of these changes is bigger boobs!
Bigger, tender, hard, and sometimes even painful boobs are common during pregnancy and if you have nipple piercings, you might want to find something that will keep you comfortable during those nine months.
We know that nipple piercings need a lot of care, and you might have spent months or maybe a year reaching a point where they’re finally fine and healed. So, it’s natural to want to keep them on even during your pregnancy. If that’s the case, then a plastic nipple ring is your best option. You want a nipple ring that is comfortable and flexible with your body’s changing needs and that’s exactly what plastic nipple rings are!
Plastic nipple rings are made of Teflon or BioFlex and are skin-friendly, lightweight, comfortable to use and biocompatible, they’re also easy to use. You can either have plastic nipple rings or even barbells that can be worn and even taken off easily. They’re also available in a range of different sizes and shapes and known as plastic retainers. You can comfortably wear them throughout your pregnancy, but just remember to remove them during your feeds.
Always remember that every person and skin type is different, so you might want to check if it suits your skin.
Piercings, Pregnancy, and Everything In Between
Pregnant women have enough changes to deal with in their bodies and minds during those nine months and beyond. So, it’s natural to feel like you want to hold onto things that make you feel YOU. Most piercings whether it’s a nipple ring, belly button ring, clitoral piercing, or any other body piercing don’t affect your pregnancy or baby in any way. Yes, you might have to remove them and switch to something safer for your pregnancy, but there are always options.
If you do have to remove them, like in the case of nipple rings during breastfeeding, then remember that you can always get them reinserted after breastfeeding. What is important is that you enjoy your nine months and love your body through this journey because you’re doing something amazing, something beautiful, and something extraordinary.