That’s why a growing group are choosing to mark the time they spend feeding their little one with a permanent reminder — a breastfeeding tattoo.
Though not every mother nurses her newborn, breastfeeding for many women can be one of the most memorable moments of motherhood.
From subtle, delicate illustrations, to colorful scenes that span across entire limbs, the hashtag #breastfeedingtattoo on Instagram is awash with breastfeeding ink from women celebrating the time they spent nursing their children.
And though many might see getting a tattoo as an unusual way to commemorate it, psychologist Sharon Draper, author of Stuck in the Mud, told Essential Baby that the tattoos can offer moms 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 Draper also believes that the artwork can send a positive message and help normalize 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 memorialized 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, owing 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 to 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 says.
The site recommends you visit a reputable tattoo parlor to minimize 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 sterilized 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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