While not everyone can or wants to nurse their newborn, for many mums breastfeeding their baby can be one of the most memorable moments of motherhood.
That’s why a growing band of mums are choosing to mark the time they spend feeding their little one with a permanent reminder – a breastfeeding tattoo.
From subtle, delicate inkings, to colourful scenes that span across entire bodyparts, the hashtag #breastfeedingtattoo on Instagram is awash with breastfeeding ink from women keen to symbolise the time they spent nursing their babies.
And though many might see getting a tattoo as an unusual way to mark the period, psychologist Sharon Draper, author of Stuck in the Mud, told Essential Baby that the tattoos can offer mums a reminder of the strength they found during breastfeeding.
“They can [also] be a form of self-expression to show the world how proud they are of something they believe in,” she says.
And Sharon Draper also believes that the inkings can send a positive message to other mums to help normalise the practice.
“For other mothers, seeing these mothers embrace breastfeeding in this way can provide a form of support to them, to let them know it’s a positive thing and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it.”
If you fancy getting your own nursing journey immortalised in a tattoo, experts suggest thinking carefully about getting it done while still breastfeeding.
According to Breastfeeding.support it is recommended you wait until your baby is older before getting tattooed due to potential infection risks.
“If you want to get a tattoo while currently breastfeeding it is best to wait until your baby is older (9-12 months) or weaned to lessen the risk of any potential infections or heavy metal exposure and to allow your body time to heal the tattoo fully,” the site reads.
They recommend you visit a reputable tattoo parlour to minimise the risks of contracting a viral infection such as Hepatitis B or C which can be transmitted if the equipment for tattooing isn’t cleaned and sterilised properly.
“As with piercings, the most common risks of tattoos are local or systemic infections. Local infections usually occur due to not following aftercare instructions. Systemic infections include Hepatitis B/C or HIV and generally are a result of the tattoo artist not following universal precautions.”
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