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Aussie Mom Banned From Breastfeeding For Having A Tattoo

Photo: gpointstudio / Shutterstock
woman holding baby

When it comes to debates and conversations surrounding breastfeeding, we're usually talking about whether it's better than formula.

There are also discussions concerning mothers breastfeeding in public, and if they should be shamed for using their breasts for their actual function.

But while a lot of progress has been made concerning breastfeeding in public, there is still a stigma around it

And as the world turns, you can always find someone making it worse out there for mothers.

RELATED: I Fed My Daughter Breast Milk I Found On The Internet

This time, it happened in Australia. On June 5th, 2015, a judge banned a mother from breastfeeding her child because she got a tattoo.

The judge believed that she might have risked her then-11-month-old baby's chances for infection by getting the tattoo four months prior. However, her results were negative for both hepatitis and HIV.

Well, this is just a gigantic overstep. Judge Myers had deemed the tests as not conclusive, but breastfeeding advocates were rightfully angry over the decision.

"Tattooing is a regulated industry, so if you go to a tattoo parlor that is reputable then the chances [of contracting an infection] are very low," Dr. Karleen Gribble from the University of Western Sydney revealed. "I think unless there's evidence that she has contracted an infection as a result of that tattoo, then it is unreasonable."

This wasn't the first time a mother had been banned from breastfeeding. In 1999, a mother tested positive for HIV and was ordered not to do so. But since the test results were very different in this case, it's still shocking this was pushed through.

RELATED: I Breastfeed My Baby ... And His 3-Year-Old Brother At The Same Time

Luckily, his ruling was eventually overruled by the Family Court of Australia, because Judge Myers had based his ruling on an internet search. 

"Judges must not mistake their own views for being either facts not reasonably open to question or as appropriately qualified expert evidence. That those views may have been obtained by the judge searching the internet compounds, rather than alleviates, the difficulty," Judge Murray Aldridge said at the time.

At least there is some hope in the world that can put an end to this uproar. Shouldn't we be thinking about the child, and respecting a mother's decision on whether or not she wants to breastfeed?

RELATED: I'm Tired Of People Shaming Me For Still Breastfeeding My 2-Year-Old

As Dr. Gribble said, "I think when it comes to mothers and breastfeeding, we need to consider that mothers are people, they do things. Sometimes there's a risk associated with what they do, but we generally think that they don't need to protect their children from all risk and it [comes down to] considering, is this a reasonable risk? 

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 infinitesimally small."

Hopefully, this judge learned a thing or two about being subjective and not letting his beliefs get in the way of a woman's personal choice.

RELATED: I Breastfed Another Woman's Baby — And Have Zero Regrets

Nicole Weaver is a love and entertainment writer and the senior editor for Cheatsheet.