Body piercings are pretty commonplace in the world today. Many girls will get their ears pierced at young ages. In fact, the oldest known ear lobe piercing is found in a body that was over 5,000 years old. Lip piercings, eyebrow piercings, tongue piercings and naval piercings have gained popularity – but what about piercing your nipples?
History of Nipple Piercings
Nipple piercings have actually been around since the times of the Romans. Queen Isabella (of Bavaria) routinely wore dresses that revealed the entire front of the woman, from the neck to the naval. With her unique fashion came a full view of the woman’s breasts – and of course, her nipples. Eventually, woman began to show off their attributes by adding gold chains to their nipples (through newly pierced holes) as well as various diamond studded rings and caps, or shields. Queen Isabella is the first known person to pierce her nipples during the 14th century.
It is also reported that the Kabyle people of Algeria practice nipple piercing commonly. In addition to this, male nipple piercing was practiced by the Karankawa Indians (one of the Native American tribes prominent in the Texas area.)
The reason for men and women continually piercing their nipples has not changed since the 1800s. Having nipples pierced increases sensitivity and many individuals find nipple piercings more sexually attractive.
Getting a Nipple Piercing
When an individual is getting their nipple(s) pierced, the piercing is generally centered at the base of the nipple. Of course, as with any piercing, it can be pierced at any angle but is typically done at a horizontal angle.
After the piercing is complete, it generally takes 2 to 4 months for the nipple piercing to heal. However, this can vary greatly based on the size and shape of the nipple, as well as the size of the breast. In addition to these body factors, it can also take longer if there is frequent agitation to the nipple or surrounding areas.
Nipple Piercings and Breastfeeding
Generally, properly pierced nipples will not affect breastfeeding. Unfortunately, if the piercing area is not kept clean then infection will occur. Any infections that occur could further complicate breastfeeding. Women who are pregnant are generally turned away by piercers because piercing will cause stress to the body, which in turn could complicate a pregnancy.
If breastfeeding with a nipple piercing, it is always recommended that the jewelry piece is removed prior to feedings. Nipple piercings present many choking hazards for infants. In addition to this, the baby’s hard palate or soft palate (the soft area at the upper back of the mouth) could be injured by the jewelry, as well as the tongue or the gums.
Some famous male celebrities not afraid to show their nipple piercings include Lenny Kravitz, Tommy Lee and Axl Rose. Meanwhile, famous females include Janet Jackson, Nicole Richie, Pink, and Christina Aguilera.
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Cheyenne Morrison, The Piercing Temple; “Body Piercing History”
Torim, LoveToKnow; “Nipple Piercing”
Wikipedia; “Nipple Piercings”