Tags: breastfeeding | ban | tattoo | moms | hiv

Breastfeeding Ban: Tattoo on Mom Puts Baby at Risk of HIV, Says Judge

By    |   Thursday, 18 Jun 2015 01:27 PM

An Australian judge banned a mother from breastfeeding her newborn because her recently obtained tattoo put the 11-month-old child at risk of contracting HIV.

According to The Australian Business Review, Federal Circuit Court judge Matthew Myers said as much in his injunction, handed down June 5 in a child-custody case between two 20-year-old parents.

The injunction was originally requested by the baby's father, and the mother was compelled to undergo testing for HIV, as well as hepatitis B and C. The tests came back negative, however the judge reasoned that because the diseases can take many months to manifest — and the mother had gotten tattoos on her finger and foot just four weeks earlier — there was still some risk for the baby.

Court documents revealed that the child's home life was fraught, with both parents admitting to marijuana use, the mother suffering from post-natal depression, and the mother's cohabitating stepfather facing sexual abuse allegations.

While the judge relied on medical documentation about tattoos and breastfeeding from the Australian Breastfeeding Association, ABA spokeswoman Nicole Bridges said the decision was "extremely concerning."

"The National Health and Medical Research Council and the World Health Organization advocate breastmilk to be the most import part of a child’s diet until they’re at least 12 months of age," she said.

"The rates of HIV in Australia are very low and it’s extremely common for people to get tattoos. I think that’s just completely crazy," she added, concluding that the benefits of breastfeeding outweighed the risk of HIV at this point.

A full bench of the Family Court is expected to hear an appeal of the ruling on Friday.

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An Australian judge banned a mother from breastfeeding her newborn because her recently obtained tattoo put the 11-month-old child at risk of contracting HIV.
breastfeeding, ban, tattoo, moms, hiv
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2015-27-18
Thursday, 18 Jun 2015 01:27 PM
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