Mom With Tattoos & Piercings Says She Was Denied An Epidural While Giving Birth & Subjected To Extra Testing

She's calling out biases that stopped her from getting the care she needed.

Mom with tattoos and piercings on TikTok TikTok

A mom on TikTok is addressing some of the stigmas women face while seeking medical care during their pregnancies and she believes her tattoos and piercings were the cause.

The mom, who posts under the TikTok account @cinnamonstyx, says women with tattoos are subjected to medical profiling and points out that many of them, including herself, experience cruel assumptions from medical professionals and unnecessary testing. 


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The mother claimed that she was drug tested without her knowledge and denied pain relief due to her tattoos and piercings. 

The woman shares her traumatic experience in a TikTok response to another video with posted by a certified high-risk OBGYN, who criticizes medical professionals who secretly drug test patients based on whether or not they have tattoos, are a person of color, or if they come from a low-income family. 

An April 2023 study that analyzed the electronic medical records of 37,860 patients who delivered a baby at a large health care system in Pennsylvania between March 2018 and June 2021 found that Black mothers were tested for drugs at a much higher rate than pregnant white women.


But medical profiling doesn't end at race, women are also profiled based on their physical appearance and assumptions made about their class.

The mother on TikTok confirmed that she was a victim of medical profiling while she was in the hospital giving birth to her daughter after a nurse caught sight of her tattoos and piercings. 

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She explains that she has several visible piercings along with tattoos and suspects this caused a bias in the care she received. “Because I had tattoos and piercings and I didn’t look the average way… I was drug tested multiple times,” she says. 


She claims that she had to request a nurse to be removed from her care after they told her that she “didn’t need” an epidural while giving birth since she had tattoos, believing that if she was able to get them without any pain relief, she should be able to have a natural birth as well. 

Additionally, the nurse disclosed personal information regarding the woman’s pregnancy to other staff members in the hallway. 

“[She] announced to everybody that I had nipple piercings and a tongue ring and I needed to take them out because I was going to have a crash section when I was induced at 37 weeks because I had preeclampsia and had high blood pressure,” the woman says. 

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After the nurse was forbidden from caring for the pregnant woman and her unborn baby, she instructed the new nurse taking over to “order a drug test” for her because she was “inconsolable.” 

The mother admitted that her heightened emotions were a result of her difficult pregnancy. “Profiling is real,” she says. 

Medical profiling is most common among people of color and is known as "racial profiling in medicine" or "racial bias in healthcare.” It can lead to significant disparities in healthcare outcomes for marginalized groups. However, this does not mean that other patients who do not fall under this category are free from medical profiling. 

Other TikTok users shared their own similar experiences in the comments section. 

“I was secretly drug tested and I found out because they posted the results to my medical record by mistake and then charged my insurance company,” one user commented. 


“When I  had my daughter at 19 and I said I wanted an epidural and my nurse said welfare patients don’t need it,” another user revealed. 

“The same happened to me because my husband and I weren’t married at the time, low income, and I have tattoos. My married affluent friend didn’t get tested,” another wrote. 

However, other users argued that drug tests were standard protocol during pregnancy and that as long as she was not doing drugs she should have no issue with it. In a follow-up video, she responded and pointed out the bigger issue regarding drug tests during her pregnancy. 

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“It’s all about consent,” she says. “It’s the fact that your assumption of me, you decided to do it.” 

In most cases, women are not required to get drug tested during pregnancy. However, some healthcare providers may recommend drug testing if they suspect drug use or abuse that could potentially harm the mother or the fetus. 

Additionally, some states in the United States have laws that require healthcare providers to perform drug testing on pregnant women if certain risk factors are present, such as a history of drug abuse or if the mother or infant is experiencing medical complications. 


Although this was not the case for this woman, who suffered several miscarriages before finally becoming pregnant with her daughter. 

In a second follow-up video, she shares that she was not only drug tested during her daughter’s birth but for most of her pregnancy at prenatal appointments. 

She only realized after looking over insurance documents to see several drug screens she was placed under. 



“When I asked them why I was getting drug screened at every single appointment they told me that it was because I looked like I did drugs and because I have a history of domestic violence” the mother shares. When she asked her doctors what about her made them assume she was doing drugs, they noted her tattoos and piercings. 


She calls out the medical professionals who unfairly profiled her based on her physical appearance and pointed out that they did not obtain her consent to drug test her. 

Discriminating or stigmatizing patients based on their appearance, social status, and ethnicity can harm their mental and physical well-being and further exacerbate health inequalities. It is a fundamental human right to receive fair and equal treatment. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.