Judge Forces Mom to Stop Breastfeeding Because of Her Tattoos

woman with tattoos

A judge has ordered a mother to not breastfeed her 11-month-old baby for a very strange reason: Mom got a tattoo, which poses a slight risk of HIV that could be passed to her child.


Matthew Myers, a Federal Circuit Court judge in Australia, made this ruling over the 20-year-old mom during a custody battle between her and the baby boy's father.

Myers cited info from the Australian Breastfeeding Association, which says that HIV can be transmitted from tattoo needles to moms to their babies via breast milk.

Even though the mom has tested negative for HIV, the judge pointed out that she'd only gotten the tats four weeks ago, and it would take three months before a test would reveal if she's truly HIV free.

More from The StirBreastfeeding: How Much Do You Know About What's Legal? (QUIZ)

The mom has issued an urgent appeal, and many experts are on her side, pointing out that at a reputable tattoo parlor, the odds of HIV infection are "absolutely minuscule." Honestly now, if the odds of HIV were decent at tattoo parlors, would anyone be getting tattoos at all?!

While I do think the courts should intervene when a mom is putting her child in a clear path of danger, the "danger" here seems ridiculously overblown. It's akin to a judge telling a mom, "You know, there's a one in a million chance you'll get in a car accident if you drive your kid somewhere, so just don't drive at all."

I feel terrible for this mom, and it makes me worry what's next for breastfeeding moms. Will judges start telling other moms they can't breastfeed because they drank a beer? Or that they can't breastfeed because they smoked one cigarette? It's a scary precedent.

People seem to love telling moms what to do when it comes to breastfeeding, from where they can/can't nurse, how long, the list goes on and on ... the last thing moms need is a judge stepping in and telling moms they can't breastfeed at all for something as silly as a little tattoo. Sigh.

Do you think moms who get tattoos should be allowed to breastfeed?


Image via pio3/shutterstock

Read More >