Nipple piercings are pierced through or slightly behind the nipple and are popular for both men and women. Nipple piercings are done slightly differently for each gender. In women the piercing usually passes through the base of the nipple, while in men the piercing usually passes just under the base of the nipple. In both genders it is important not to pierce the fatty tissue behind the nipple as this can lead to mastitis. Nipple piercings can be placed at any angle although horizontal nipple piercings are most popular.
Nipple piercings can be pierced with straight barbells, ball closure rings or circular barbells. Some people find barbells more comfortable to wear under clothes. Initial healing of nipple piercings is usually quick but this piercing may take longer to heal fully. Care should be taken when dressing and it may be necessary to wear a breathable dressing in the first couple of days. Nipple piercings should be kept dry and allowed to 'breathe'. We recommend wearing natural fibres and cleaning the piercing if you become sweaty. Your piercer will be able to advise you on this as opinions vary. This piercing should be cleaned at least twice daily with saline solution. Avoid swimming and submersion in water until healed.
Nipple Piercing Healing Time: 6 to 16 weeks
Having your nipples pierced should not affect your ability to breastfeed in the future but if you are concerned please consult an experienced piercer or doctor. Having previous nipple piercings may actually increase milk flow.
There is conflicting advice when it comes to wearing nipple jewellery while breastfeeding and it is ultimately a personal decision. Piercings can be a breeding ground for bacteria and this could present a hazard to baby. Nipple piercings are easier to keep clean when the jewellery is removed and jewellery is a choking hazard, so most women choose to remove their jewellery at least while nursing. Jewellery can be removed for breastfeeding and reinserted in between or removed until you are no longer breastfeeding. Some women find that removing and replacing jewellery can lead to irritated nipples while others do not. Switching to softer jewellery such as PTFE may help to reduce irritation. If you remove your nipple jewellery entirely nipple piercings may close up but can be re-pierced after you have finished breastfeeding. It is important to take into account the overall health of your piercings, how quickly your piercings have closed up in the past and whether you intend to breastfeed again in the future.
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