A 20 year-old Australian mom was banned from breastfeeding her 11 month-old child by an Australian Federal Court Circuit Judge this week because she recently got a tattoo. Getting inked while breastfeeding is probably not the ideal time, but having a tattoo done at a reputable parlor that follows stringent safety and hygiene codes makes the chance of infection a rarity, and it’s certainly not illegal for a breastfeeding mom to get a tattoo. Furthermore, the mother received negative results on HIV and hepatitis tests, and most medical professionals agree that the injected ink will not affect her breast milk. This unusual case came to court during a parenting dispute as a result of the baby’s father expressing concern about the tattoo.
While we understand that the baby’s best interests may have driven the case, we’re happy to hear that the ruling was overturned and a dangerous precedent has not in fact been set wherein courts can decide breastfeeding relations. Judge Matthew Myers said he based his decision on the information provided on the Australian Breastfeeding Associaton‘s website — but the Association argued that the ruling could prevent other mothers from breastfeeding and failed to take into account the emotional bond breastfeeding builds between mother and child.
As a side note, instead of chastising the mom’s right to make decisions about her own body, let’s give her props for continuing to breastfeed her 11 month-old.