I picked the Tuesday Wall Street Journal off of the coffee table today and read with interest that some women with lower-back tattoos are concerned about the safety of getting an epidural during labor and having the anesthesiologist poke the needle through their tattoos. The article said that nearly 25% of women ages 18-50 have tattoos, of which nearly 20% are of the lower-back variety. And apparently 65% of the four million births per year in the US involve epidurals.
Now, one easy way around this is not to have an epidural. Not to brag--and I am well aware that many people think this indicates stupidity or insanity on my part, so don't worry about the old ego too much--but I made it through an intervention-rich, pitocin-assisted 27 hour labor with 4 hours of pushing and no epidural.
An even easier solution: don't get a tattoo! On those occasions when you just cannot let life go by without ornamenting your body, consider henna. Or how about Sharpies? They come in so many pretty colors these days.