Piercing Lactating Nipples?

I received this email from a piercer:

I written you before on the topic of aftercare products, and the use of pierced ear antiseptic and am proud to say the studio I work in now carries Satin! Anyway the purpose of this email is to address piercing lactating nipples. Over the weekend I had a very nice young lady request to have her nipples pierced, as we began the "paperwork" she informed me she was no longer breastfeeding but was still lactating. I have never encountered this before, so I phoned some of my  fellow piercers with a few more years under their belts, and asked some information. As it turns out this young lady was already at one of our studios on the other side of town and was told no. The other piercers and I all agreed, because we do not fully know what complications could arise that we would not do it. I told the young lady this, and explained why I wasn't comfortable preforming the procedure. I also explained that there could be a potential for mastitis, and suggested she speak with her doctor, or other piercing friendly medical staff. She promptly left in search of another piercer that would do the piercing for her. With all your years of experience, have you ever encountered this before? I've had little to no luck finding information on the Internet and wondered if you could shed some light on this. Thank you for your time, Myke The Piercing Lounge, Madison, WI www.piercingmadison.com

I told Myke that he was correct in declining to pierce someone who is actively lactating and directed him to this information from my book, with info on this point at the very bottom:

The Pierced Consumer

The entry I wrote about safer sex got picked up as a Valentine's Day post by another blog, The Pierced Consumer. Cloud, the woman who writes the blog is not a piercer--she is a piercee.  She is very knowledgeable about many aspects of piercings, and provides a different perspective than mine, which (naturally) is from a piercer's point of view. You can read about her and why she started the blog, here. If you are a pierced consumer and looking for additional information, I suggest you pay her blog a visit regularly. She is very responsive to answering your questions.

Spreading the Information Around

Today I was contacted (as Medical Liaison to the Association of Professional Piercers) by the media relations department of the Loyola University Health System. They are planning to write a press release on "clitoral piercings" because their obstetricians have been seeing a rise in the popularity of genital piercings. I clarified to her that piercings of the clitoris itself are quite rare, but that female genital piercings--especially of the hood area--are extremely popular. She wanted to know if they were more painful than other areas, or more prone to infections. These are common questions, and the answers are sometimes surprising: no--they aren't necessarily more painful than other areas (when the piercer is skillful and well trained), and they tend to be easy and quick to heal. From my book, I also filled her in on the very important rules for having safer sex while you're healing a genital piercing:

I'm Back

I had a fantastic time in San Diego with the members of the APP Board of Directors. We came from all over: Mexico City, the Yucatan, Atlanta, and Philadelphia to name a few places! Working on the book had been a very solitary endeavor, so it was great to be among my peers and spend some time catching up with everything. While I was there, I did a few piercings. That was also marvelous, as my recent life has involved only writing about it and not DOING it. And, I also got a new ornament of my own. Not that anybody has noticed, since it simply replaces a crystal I used to glue onto my face. I had APP Vice President, Didier Suarez, of Enigma Professional Body Piercing do a surface anchor below my existing bindi piercing. It was SO easy and painless, and it seems to be healing extremely well. The board was great about letting me work on my book, but plenty of tasks and duties have been waiting for my attention in the meantime. So, I've been busy writing and editing articles for The Point, and writing and editing the APP brochures. I also had a lovely visit with my family including my mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and two nieces. And an uncle of sorts, too. He is actually my dad's partner when they did a hand-balancing acrobatic act decades ago in Atlantic City! While I was out there, I managed to fit in some visits with friends from high school, too. It was a non-stop trip and I enjoyed every hectic minute of it. Though, I'm glad to be back home with my husband and our house full of pets.

APP Board Meeting

Now that the book is done and has been sent off to the printers, I'm able to get back on track with my volunteer work for the Association of Professional Piercers. The board has been kind enough to I am attending a board meeting in San Diego, California. I spoke with the President of the organization. He has been editing the quarterly journal, The Point, in addition to his other duties, and he'd like to have me help. So it looks like I'm not off the hook for writing, editing, and publishing--just moving on to a different publication.

Surface Piercing vs. Dermal Anchors

I struck up this conversation with a gal who made a comment on a post I made about surface piercings. She wrote:

… I'm getting a five point star surface piercing/s on my right hip in a few days :] gotta talk it over with my piercer but should be cool to go :] ...

I asked her:

Has your piercer been clear with you that the surface piercings are unlikely to stay long-term and that you will most probably end up with scarring instead of jewelry there?

Her reply:

Yeah I've been told that before. I knew it wasn't going to be long term/permanent anyways. Does a surface piercing count as one that goes under the skin, with two balls on each end? because I was thinking of doing that instead of where you can only see one ball. Does that make sense? Sorry if I'm confusing you but id like to get more background info before I get it done. thank you

I provided her with some additional information and I hope it will make her decide to take more time figuring out the best course of action:

I'm DONE!!!

As of Friday, January16, 2009, I'm done with the manuscript. The front and back covers have been completed, and it is being sent to the printers this week. Whew! I'm so excited that it is complete and that I'll be able to hold a copy of the finished product in my tattooed little hands soon! After I completed the project of providing the correct page numbers for each of the cross-references in the book, I took it for a spin: I got to read it. Since it was a final draft there was very little to change or correct, so it was the first time that I'd actually READ the book, rather than worked on it, which is quite different. I'm happy to report that I enjoyed reading it, and that I feel very proud of it. I didn't really know what I'd think of it by the time it got published. And there were plenty of times I was sure it never would get done; it was a long and winding journey. Now that it is a finished product, I can definitely say I've never read anything else like it. ; ) I can't wait for some other people to read it and let me know what they think... Soon enough. I'm absolutely certain many piercers won't agree with everything I've written. But it clearly states at the front of the book:
Substantive research studies, statistical analyses, and other definitive resource materials related to modern piercing are in short supply; therefore, the information, practices, and procedures described in this book are largely based on my own extensive, clinical experience. I’ve integrated industry standards where they exist, but there is still precious little that is truly standard, so my opinions are a primary component of many chapters.
I'm off for a vacation to visit with my family and to attend a board meeting for the Association of Professional Piercers.

The Nitty Gritty

My editor, Lisa, sent me back my manuscript one last time (in .pdf format) so I could look it over and put in the correct page numbers for all of the cross-references throughout the book. Much of the information is quite interrelated. To avoid redundancy (it still came in at a higher word count than planned) there are areas where it says, for example: See "Overstimulation, Sensation, and Desensitization,” page 257, for related information." But since the page numbers continued to change until the final version, the manuscript says, See "Overstimulation, Sensation, and Desensitization,” page XX, for related information." My job now is to go through, and insert the correct page number so that all of the cross-references are properly identified. It is a big job! I'd better get back to it...
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