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Court bans mom from breastfeeding because she got tattoos

Rebecca Bracken is a news and views writer.






Crazy Australian court ruling bans woman from breastfeeding because she got tattoos

A 20-year-old Australian mom has been ordered by a court to stop breastfeeding her 11-month-old son because she got tattoos on her finger and foot.

The judge, Matthew Myers, is worried the tattoos are putting the baby at risk of contracting HIV, according to reports from The Telegraph.

"Looking at perhaps the benefit to the child, who is 11 months old, breastfeeding, as opposed to what would be a lifelong issue in circumstances where the child contracted HIV, it is the view of the court that it is not in the best interests of the child that the mother continue to breastfeed," Judge Myers said.

The woman reportedly got the tattoos about four weeks ago. She has since tested negative for HIV, but the judge isn't convinced. He wants her to wait a full three months and get tested again, just in case.

This entire matter came out of a custody dispute between the mother and the baby's father.

The judge supposedly relied on information from the Australian Breastfeeding Association for his ruling.

"Although the risk of infection from getting a tattoo is low, especially if done at a reputable parlour, it is a health risk which must be carefully assessed before a breastfeeding mother, or anyone for that matter, decides to get a tattoo," according to the organization.

But even the Association's CEO, Rebecca Naylor, says the judge is being a little ridiculous.

"Women do need to be careful… But it doesn't mean that you have to wrap yourself in Glad wrap," Naylor says. "As long as it is done in reputable way and that the infection control procedures are followed, the risk is low and we would absolutely encourage women who have had tattoos to breastfeed their babies for as long as they choose to."

The mother has appealed the decision, and the issue will be back in front of a judge in Sydney on Friday.

More on the breastfeeding struggle

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Ikea sends the right message to breastfeeding moms with this sweet sign
Doctor refuses to accommodate breastfeeding mom in his office

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