There are countless permanent decisions mothers make in their lives. What will you name the child? How will you care for them? Decisions that might have once been personal are also now related to your child, like getting a tattoo.
Want to Be a Tattooed Mom?
Moms know tattoos are permanent as well as anyone else. However, there are items to consider before getting under the needle.
The first is obvious — what will the tattoo be? This decision will guide every other consideration. Will it be representative of your child or something completely different? Reflect on when your child inevitably asks what your tattoo is. Will you be happy to explain it to them?
Then, you will need to consider placement, especially if you want something sentimental. If you’re feeling indecisive, you may want to consider the tattoo’s meaning and if it relates to anywhere on your body. If you’re getting the name of someone special, consider getting it near the heart. Or, you can always ask the artist for their input — they are professionals and have valuable insight.
Many moms wish to cover up stretch marks. Is this possible? The short answer is yes, but you may want to ask yourself a few things:
- How is my body reacting post-pregnancy?
- Do I see my body size changing in the future?
- Why do I want to cover the stretch marks? If it is just to conceal them, do I want to consider other remedies before putting my tattoo there?
- Do I embrace the stretch marks by incorporating them into the tattoo or cover them completely?
- How raised are my stretch marks and what are their other qualities such as color and size?
Ultimately, be prepared to hear a “no” from an artist if they are not comfortable. If you’re breastfeeding, currently pregnant or a recent mother, the artist can decline services for your safety. Do not let this discourage you, as all artists want to be sure they’re providing the safest work.
Finding the Perfect Studio
Researching for a reputable studio is just as vital as everything else. Finding somewhere clean and professional will make you and your child happier and leave behind a better tattoo.
A proper tattoo studio should be sterile, like a doctor’s office. Never feel afraid to walk out of a shop if you notice any red flags. Some aspects of a quality studio include:
- Controlled cleanliness at stations. Artists should separate their areas from each other, potential piercers and customers.
- Sanitized reusable items. Autoclaves are machines that sterilize multi-use equipment. Look for them.
- Proper use of single-use items. The artists should change and open items like needles and gloves from individual packages before getting anywhere near your skin.
- Freedom to ask questions. Part of the studio’s job is to make you feel comfortable. Consider leaving if the artists become defensive to questions concerning your care and safety.
Getting work done in a clean studio and performing proper aftercare will mitigate most risks associated with tattooing. You may want to discuss concerns with a doctor beforehand for comfort, as allergic reactions, skin infections, bloodborne illness and other complications may occur in worst-case scenarios.
So long as you choose a reputable clinic, have realistic expectations regarding healing and know what the skin should look like, you can rest easy about your decision. Get excited, because you’re about to cherish it for the rest of your life.
You Have Ink, Now What?
There are social and practical things to consider after the adrenaline rush wears off. But, now you have your ink and the first thing to do is admire it.
Next, make sure your aftercare regimen is spot on. The artists will always provide detailed instructions and the right tools. There are classic rules to abide by when caring for it:
- Remove the bandage only when instructed.
- Gently wash the tattoo with recommended soaps and apply ointments to mitigate scabbing.
- Avoid damaging influences like prolonged sun exposure or chlorine.
- Do not pick at it, no matter how much it flakes.
- Be patient, as different tattoos take different times to heal.
For breastfeeding moms, it is also good to know regulations regarding break milk donating and the safety concerns related to breastfeeding and tattoos. Both are deemed primarily safe, but since tattooing has inherent risks, it’s something to consider when you’re in a susceptible position, like breastfeeding.
Feel free to contact your artist if you are worried about your tattoo. They would be happy to look at it if something looks off or isn’t healing in the recommended timeframe.
Tattoos in Future Generations
Though tattoos are slowly becoming more accepted in society, there is still a stigma. Parents are particularly susceptible to potentially awkward comments. Someone may ask you what your kids will think of you being tattooed. Someone may question you on the example you’re setting. Mentally preparing for these comments will increase your resilience and fend off self-doubt.
Spoiler alert — your tattoos may also inspire your child. Your kid might want to get a tattoo too. Help them through the process so everything is just as perfect as your experience. Talk to them about what their tattoo means to them and make sure they’re of age depending on your area’s regulations.
Down the line, some moms consider removing a tattoo. This can be a difficult choice for mothers setting an example, but it’s OK. Research the facility thoroughly beforehand and understand a doctor may deny the procedure if you’re breastfeeding or are in other phases of your pregnancy journey.
The Decision is Yours
Getting a tattoo as a mom can be reinvigorating. Maybe it’s just the change you needed after not sleeping for a year. Or perhaps you want to have a child in the future and are considering how your tattoo will affect pregnancy.
Future or present moms have plenty to consider about getting a tattoo, but if you can handle giving birth, you can figure this out, too.