Breastfeeding and nipple tattoos
'Tittooing' is the latest craze but could it affect breastfeeding your baby?
According to The Telegraph nipple tattooing has become the latest craze in the beauty world. It's said to help women feel more confident about their breasts and may even be requested by a partner.

This form of nipple tattooing is a semi-permanent procedure which can take up to 2 hours to complete.

The modification which is used to make the nipples "perfect" and round only lasts between 12 and 18 months. After that you'll need a touch up to restore any colour lost as the ink fades over time. Plus it can cost up to £1,200 for both nipples. That's almost R17 000! It doesn't seem worth it.

Is it safe for breastfeeding?

This procedure is fairly new and the issue of whether or not this semi-permanent option is safe hasn't really been covered. The fact that it is not permanent is the reason I would be wary.

If the ink fades with cleaning and time, would a baby sucking on that area not cause the ink to rub off  so to speak? Especially considering that the nipple is made of fatty tissue, thin nerve and muscle fibers and oil-producing glands. All of which could absorb the semi-permanent ink.

The small amount of research that exists on traditional tattooing on the nipples suggests that it should not affect breastfeeding or the baby in any way. "The possibility of the ink migrating into the mother's blood plasma and then into the milk-making cells of the breast is negligible," according to Frank Nice, RPh.

Always consult a doctor before getting a tattoo and be sure to use a professional tattoo parlour that is hygienic and licensed.

Need advice on breastfeeding?

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Would you consider tattooing your nipples?

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