Last week over a latte, my friend confided that her teenage daughter was keen to get her belly button pierced.
She was ok with the idea of belly adornment, but concerned about how the piercing might mutate as she aged, and in particular, what would happen to it when she got pregnant.
Would it stretch and hurt?
And what would happen afterward?
A post-baby belly is confronting enough without a gaping hole, or a piece of extra skin flapping around…
In the name of research, I’ve asked around about navel piercings and what happens to them during pregnancy and beyond.
I discovered 5 things:
1. Everyone’s experience is different.
My cousin Cheree, pregnant with her fourth child said:
Mine has stayed the same through all 4 pregnancies…just the belly has changed! hehehe…no infections or any extra care needed.
Yet, my friend Alinta had a completely different experience:
I took it out while pregnant with my first because I just didn’t think it looked that nice anymore, and I was over it anyway. 5 years and two more pregnancies on, the hole is still there, looks yuck, and is the only stretch mark I have over my entire body.
I have mine done, and didn’t need to take it out while pregnant. Although some of my friends had to take theirs out or use an extender.
An extender??? Sounds like something to be avoided if possible…kind of like seafood extender.
2. You can get special bling for your belly.
Flexible body jewellery, or an ‘extender’ can make your piercing more comfortable while your belly expands, and can minimise scarring around the site.
Certainly a much better option than the alarming DIY approach my friend Pene shared with me:
I knew a chick who threaded fishing line through her’s when she was preggers so that it wouldn’t close up (she was told by her Doc to take it out!!)
3. It affects your energy flow.
My friend Meegs suggested that a belly button piercing could affect your Qi (pronounced ‘chi’), or energy flow.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a navel piercing can disturb your meridian flow, which in turn can impact your fertility.
4. It shouldn’t close up.
If you do choose to remove the piercing, it is unlikely to close up if you had your belly button pierced more than 3 years ago. But check with a professional piercer or a doctor if you are unsure.
5. It is not safe to get your belly button pierced while pregnant.
Piercings can increase your chance of infection, which is to be especially avoided when you are pregnant. In addition, as the immune system is working harder in pregnancy, you are more susceptible to infection.
If you want to get pierced, do it well before you are thinking of having children, or wait till later.
Had an experience with piercings while pregnant?
What do you think of pierced belly buttons?
Would you let your child get one?