Long arm of the law

Australian judge bans mother from breastfeeding over tattoo


Federal Circuit Court Judge Matthew Myers banned a mother from breastfeeding because of her new tattoo. The baby’s father brought up the tattoo during a parenting dispute, raising concern of hepatitis and HIV. Though the mother tested negative for both, the judge granted an injunction to stop her from breastfeeding her 11-month-old son. Rebecca Naylor, CEO of the Australian Breastfeeding Association brought up concerns that this case could set a dangerous precedent regarding “a judge’s right to control the risk taking behaviors of women.” Naylor added, “tattooing is a regulated industry … unless there’s evidence that she has contracted an infection as a result of that tattoo, then it is unreasonable.” Dr. Karleen Gribble from the University of Western Sydney reportedly said, “I think when it comes to mothers and breastfeeding, we need to consider that mothers are people, they do things … Most people consider that the risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis from using a tattoo parlor, and particularly if they’ve been careful about checking it out, is infinitely small.” On Friday in Sydney, the Family Court will hear an urgent appeal against the ruling.

Read the full story at ABC News Australia.

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