Australia: Tattooed mother is allowed to breastfeed her own child after judgment

Australia: Tattooed mother is allowed to breastfeed her own child after judgment

Tattooed Australian is allowed to breastfeed her baby
A court ruling in Australia had caused a sensation worldwide: judges had imposed a breastfeeding ban on a young mother. The reason for this was that the woman had had a tattoo shortly before and there was therefore a health risk for the baby. The sentence has now been set aside.

Breastfeeding prohibited by law
Numerous studies have shown that breastfeeding can protect against allergies, reduce the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and strengthen the immune system. In addition, scientists pointed out a few months ago that breastfeeding can also make you intelligent and wealthy. This was mainly due to the long-chain saturated fatty acids in breast milk, which are important for the development of the brain. However, a young mother in Australia was legally prohibited from breastfeeding. The case caused a sensation worldwide. The judgment has now been set aside.

Young mother had had a tattoo
Earlier this month, a judge ruled that the mother, who recently had her fingers and feet tattooed, could pose a health risk to the child. This was not justified with questionable ingredients that could be in the tattoo colors, but with the fact that the 20-year-old could have been infected with diseases such as hepatitis or HIV. As the AFP news agency reports, the case got started by a custody battle. The mother had gone to court because her ex-partner had not brought her son back.

Infection was not excluded
During the hearing, the judge highlighted that the woman had been taking postnatal depression medication and had used cannabis for longer. He also went into the freshly engraved tattoos of the woman, which could pose a risk to the boy despite a negative HIV test, since an infection can only be ruled out after three months. Therefore, considering the benefits of breastfeeding versus lifelong harm from HIV infection, it is in the child's best interest not to be breastfed.

Emotional and physical benefits of breastfeeding
A family court has now overturned the ban on breastfeeding. The previous judgment, which prohibited the mother from breastfeeding her 11-month-old son, was repealed unanimously. The indications of a possible risk are not sufficient. It also states that the judge did not adequately appreciate the emotional and physical benefits of breastfeeding on the one hand and the possible negative effects of an abrupt stop of breastfeeding on the other. The Australian Breastfeeding Association, the breastfeeding mothers association, had criticized the original verdict and warned that it could create a dangerous precedent. "Tattooing is a regulated industry," said chair Rebecca Naylor on Australian radio. Therefore, the likelihood of contracting an illness is very low. "I think as long as there is no evidence of a disease from the tattoo, there is no reason for it," said Naylor. She asked all tattooed women to continue breastfeeding their children. (ad)

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