There are many places on the body that can be pierced, but not all of these are meant to be seen everyday; nipple piercing is a type of body modification that can be either private or on display.
What is Nipple Piercing?
Nipple piercing involves putting a piece of body jewelry through one or both nipples. Both men and women can get this sort of piercing done, although women usually find it an easier piercing experience than men do. This is due to the fact that there is typically more area to work with on a woman's nipple.
There are two ways you can pierce a nipple: horizontally, going through the nipple from left to right, or vertically, going from the top of the nipple through to the bottom.
Why Get a Nipple Ring?
People choose to get piercings in their nipples for many reasons. Most men who get this procedure do so in order to show off their nipple rings. These are men who enjoy going out without a shirt on or who want to accentuate their muscles or pecs. Women, on the other hand, tend to get theirs pierced for different reasons. Some women feel that a pierced nipple enhances sensual pleasure, and others do it to appear more attractive to their mate. Still other females choose a nipple piercing because it can correct a physical issue such as inverted nipples. If you do have inverted nipples, be sure that your piercer is comfortable working with this type of nipple.
- You will want to choose a sterile piercing shop that you feel comfortable with. Some women prefer female piercers for this procedure.
- You'll also want to choose what sort of jewelry you want (CBR, barbell or horseshoe barbell) and whether you want vertical or horizontal piercings.
- The piercer will examine your nipples and mark the spot where he/she will be piercing, making sure to keep them aligned.
- A clamp will be applied and the piercer will then stick the needle through (usually a 14 ga or 16 ga needle).
- Your jewelry will be inserted and you will be cleaned of any blood or marker left over. Since everyone is different, you may bleed a little or not at all.
- Your piercer will give you aftercare instructions.
Don't do any heavy lifting for at least 48 hours after the piercing, and DO NOT rotate the piercing in its hole. Instead, clean your nipple area with the recommended solution, usually either antibacterial soap or a saline solution spray such as H2Ocean. Your piercer may recommend application of an antibacterial ointment, such as Bacitracin, as well. It may take 6-8 weeks for your nipple piercing to fully heal.
Nipple Rings and Babies
Most women are able to successfully breastfeed after having their nipples pierced, and some are even able to nurse while wearing their nipple rings. It should be noted that breastfeeding while wearing nipple jewelry has the potential for several problems. Possible complications include:
- Baby may not be able to latch on properly.
- Jewelry may not stay in place.
- Jewelry may dislodge and choke baby.
- Jewelry may cut or scratch baby's delicate gums, tongue, lip, or palate.
For safety reasons, it is preferable to remove rings, bars, and studs for each nursing session. If you want to leave your jewelry in place while nursing, you should consult with your pediatrician and piercer. You may also have to remove any nipple rings while pregnant, due to the changes your breasts go through during this time.
Nipple piercings are a great way to be adventurous with body modification while not having to show the whole world.