RETAINING YOUR BODY PIERCINGS DURING PREGNANCY
This Guide has been brought to you by the International Shop of Mystery to help you to retain your piercings during pregnancy. At the International Shop of Mystery we want you to be happy with your maternity body jewelry, so please don't hesitate to contact us if you need any additional information, and we'll do our best to help!
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Why do I need maternity body jewellery?
As your bump gets bigger during pregnancy, your navel piercing stretches with your bump, and also becomes straighter. If you leave in your usual metal belly bar, the skin will become pinched, tight and uncomfortable, and may tear, which can lead to scarring and / or infection. The same can happen with nipple rings during pregnancy. In the past, before maternity body jewellery was available, it was usually necessary for pregnant ladies to remove their belly or nipple rings during the later stages of pregnancy, and then go through the cost, pain and inconvenience of re-piercing after their baby was born - fortunately this is no longer the case.
What is maternity body jewellery?
Maternity body jewellery is of maternity length, and made of flexible plastic that bends as your shape changes. The balls are plastic as well as the bar, this means that you should be able to keep the bar in for sonograms, scans and Dopplers, and during labour. In navel bars, both balls are typically small, rather than one being larger than the other, to avoid a larger ball snagging on clothing as your piercing sticks out on your growing bump
How flexible should my maternity body jewellery be?
As you progress through your pregnancy you will find that you need a staighter bar, therefore you need to use maternity body jewellery that can go from curved to straight (and vice versa for after your baby is born, as you regain your shape). I have seen standard plastic navel bars on sale as maternity navel bars, but these are not flexible enough or long enough - typically these sellers don't last very long as their feedback gives them away - always check a seller's reputation, and if they have a lot of feedback for maternity belly bars saying that they are not flexible or not long enough then it's a good idea to look elsewhere (although do bear in mind that there is no pleasing some buyers, and most sellers will have a few negative feedbacks which are nothing to worry about).
How long should my maternity belly bar be?
Maternity belly bars should be longer than standard belly bars, although not necessarily much longer - it depends on the size of your bump, and on the size of belly bar that you wore that you wore before you were pregnant. If you wore a standard 10mm (3/8"), or shorter, belly bar before you were pregnant, and are expecting a single baby, then a 16mm maternity belly bar should be sufficient for your entire pregnancy. If you wore a long 12mm, or longer, belly bar before you became pregnant, or you have a larger bump (for example if you are lucky enough to be expecting twins), then you are likely to need a 19mm maternity belly bar.
Should I buy a longer bar just in case?
No - you should only bar a bar as long as you need. Having a bar a few millimetres too long that you can grow into is ok, but you should avoid buying a bar that is much too long. Some sellers offer 22mm bars as standard, but having a bar of this length may introduce infection into your piercing, as the part of the bar that is exposed because it's too long can get dirty or germy and then be pulled into the piercing, getting the dirt and germs inside. If you choose to buy a 22mm bar and find it's too long, you should be able to cut it down to fit - flexible bars are usually self threading, i.e. they thread themselves as you screw the ball on - snip the bar down to size with scissors (allow for the thread) and screw the ball back on. It's often easier to use an old metal ball off a pre-pregnancy bar to re-thread, as metal balls are stronger for this purpose; but whatever ball you use it's a fiddly job, and it's generally easier to buy a 16mm or 19mm ball in the first place.
How do I know I'm buying good maternity body jewellery?
A good seller will offer a range of flexible bars in suitable lengths, and will have plenty of good feedback about their maternity body jewellery. The International Shop of Mystery has excellent feedback for maternity body jewellery, and as a mum and a professionally trained piercer I wholeheartedly recommend our products - I used one of our bars throughout my pregnancy with no problems, and so have hundreds of other women. The International Shop of Mystery also offers excellent value for money, and doesn't overcharge just because pregnant women need these bars.
What should I do if my piercing becomes infected during pregnancy?
Your piercing may become infected from leaving your metal bar in too late into your pregnancy, or from using a maternity bar that is too long, or for a number of other reasons - sometimes there is no obvious reason. The first thing to do is to make sure that you have a proper maternity belly bar of the correct length (see above) - if your bar is too long, trim it to fit (see above) or buy a shorter one, if it's too short then buy a longer one. When you are pregnant you have to be very careful about what you consume, and what you rub and your skin, because anything you rub onto your skin can be absorbed and may hurt your baby; so to clean an infected piercing you should only use a mild salt water solution (this is all you need in any case). Dissolve half a teaspoon of table salt in a cup of boiling water, allow it to cool to luke warm, and clean your piercing with a clean cotton bud dipped in the salt water. Don't dip the dirty cotton bud back into the water, use a clean one, and it's best to keep a store of clean cotton buds in a closed container solely for this purpose. Do this twice a day until the piercing is better. Clean your hands before you start. There is no need to remove the bar during this procedure. It's also worth consulting your doctor or midwife, although typically medical advise will be to remove the body jewellery - you will need to use your judgement as to whether you think this is necessary or not, I do not advocate ignoring the advice of medical professionals.
Can I breast feed with pierced nipples?
'Breast is best' and it is advised to feed your baby nothing but breast milk for the first six months of life, and to continue breast feeding alongside solid food until your baby is two years old, or longer of you and your baby wish. There are reported cases of mothers with pierced nipples breast feeding, so it is possible, although most mothers who plan to breast feed prefer to remove their nipple rings at the start of pregnancy to give the piercing a chance to heal before breast feeding, and then get them re-pieced after their baby is no longer breast feeding. Whatever you choose to do, you cannot breast feed with your nipple jewellery in. Your baby can suck out your jewellery and choke on it or be injured by it, so YOU MUST NOT WEAR NIPPLE JEWELLERY DURING BREAST FEEDING - you may choose to remove it before each feed and put it back in afterwards, this is up to you and doesn't work for everyone, and may introduce infection, but if you want to try it then just make sure you don't forget to take it out for every feed. It's also worth consulting your doctor or midwife about this.
Any other Questions?
As a mum and a professionally trained piercer, I am happy to answer any questions you may have on this topic as best I can, just visit any listing at the International Shop of Mystery and use 'ask seller a question'.
The above information is a guide only, always consult your body piercer, and your midwife or GP, before taking any action or inaction relating to your body piercings during your pregnancy or after the birth of your baby.
For a full range of Maternity body jewellery, and body jewellery for after your pregnancy, please visit the International Shop of Mystery
*If you found this guide helpful, please don't forget to vote at the bottom of the page*