December 10th, 2010
I received a message about navel piercings (belly piercings) and pregnancy
I've recently gone deeper into thinking about getting my navel pierced, I know it will look cute, but I'm concerned about long term side effects. First of all, when you become pregnant, will it scar? And when you lose your baby weight will the hole shrink to the regular size or stay floppy? Also, what is the smallest gauge possible? I want to get the smallest gauge because I feel as though the larger the hole the more obvious it would be when no jewelry was in it, which is rather irritating. Respond as soon as possible! Thanks! S.
Nobody can tell you whether you will end up with stretch marks from a pregnancy, nor exactly what your piercing will do. Ordinarily the area stretches out and shrinks back down--like the rest of the abdomen. I haven't really seen any problems from piercings, and women usually go back to wearing their jewelry as before.
Here's a brief section about navel piercings and pregnancy from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing:
Navel Piercings and Pregnancy
If your navel piercing is healed and does not cause any problems, simply leave the jewelry in place. However, dramatic alterations to the size and shape of your navel are normal; your innie can become an outie. Once the tissue begins to stretch, many women experience discomfort, inflammation, and sometimes migration. Switching to flexible plastic jewelry usually resolves these problems. If the piercing still doesn’t feel comfortable, you should abandon it until after delivery.
A 14 gauge is the thinnest size used by responsible piercers. With a smaller gauge, it is more likely you'll experience cutting or tearing and possibly other problems such as migration.