Tattooed woman banned from breastfeeding

A woman has been banned from breastfeeding her baby boy because she has tattoos.

The decision was handed down to the 20-year-old mum by a Sydney judge on June 5, preventing her from breastfeeding her 11 month old son.

The woman reportedly received the tattoos in May, but failed to inform the tattoo artist that she was currently breastfeeding.

The ruling was made at an interim hearing of the Federal Circuit Court, after the baby’s father requested primary care of the infant, claiming the woman had mental health and drug problems.

While the hearing agreed the baby should remain in the care of his mother, it was ruled she must not breastfeed due to the risk that she contracted a bloodborne disease during the tattoo procedure.


The ruling was handed down despite negative HIV and hepatitis tests.

The Australian Breastfeeding Association told ABC radio that a decision to ban breastfeeding on this basis could set a dangerous precedent.

“Tattooing in and of itself, as long as it’s done in a reputable way and the infection control procedures are followed, the risk is low and so no, we would absolutely encourage women who have had tattoos to breastfeed their babies for as long as they choose to,” ABA CEO Rebecca Naylor said.

“I think unless there’s evidence that she has contracted an infection as a result of that tattoo, then (the ruling) is unreasonable.”

The woman has lodged an appeal against the decision that will be heard in the Family Court in Sydney today.

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