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Australian woman banned from breastfeeding – because she has tattoos

She is locked in a custody dispute with the baby’s father.

breastfeeding-3 File photo of a breastfeeding woman Source: M. Spencer Green/PA

A WOMAN IN the Australian city of Sydney has been ordered by a judge to stop breastfeeding her 11-month-old son, after she got two small tattoos.

The 20-year-old woman became locked in a custody dispute with her former partner, and the baby’s father, after it emerged she had gotten tattoos on her finger and foot, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Earlier today, Judge Matthew Myers of the Federal Family Court, cited advice by the Australian Breastfeeding Association, which warns of the risk of HIV and Hepatitis infection and transmission:

Hepatitis B or C and HIV are serious viruses which can be transmitted if equipment for tattooing is not cleaned and sterilised properly between users.
The main cause for concern out of these viruses for a breastfeeding mother is HIV because it is known to be able to be transmitted via breastmilk.

The risk of infection and transmission is low, however, and ABC News reports that the woman had received negative results after being tested for HIV and Hepatitis.

Despite this, Judge Myers ruled that she was still in a preliminary period, when the test results could yet prove false.

The mother immediately appealed the ruling, and a full hearing of the Family Court has been scheduled for tomorrow.

Read: The pressure to breastfeed can be overwhelming and failure can be crippling>

Poll: Do tattoos change how you view a person?>

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Dan MacGuill

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