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Australian judge pumps brakes on mom’s breastfeeding

Australian judge pumps brakes on mom’s breastfeeding

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As I prepare to embark on my next great adventure in life, I’ve learned a lot about things I never thought I would know much about — the female reproductive system, for example, and hair bows.

I’ve also learned a lot about breastfeeding and its accoutrement, what with the pumps and the travel bags and lactation consultants. We are going to try breastfeeding (although I’ve heard it might be difficult for me) and pumping so I eventually can be on duty for those middle-of-the-night feedings.

People seem to be very passionate about breastfeeding, which is why a story from Australia got my attention. There, a judge banned a mother from breastfeeding her 11-month-old son because she recently got a tattoo. The mother had negative results on hepatitis and HIV tests but the judge ruled there was still an “unacceptable risk to the baby because the tests were not conclusive,” according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

A judge was ruling on this in the first place because the baby’s father raised concerns about the tattoo during “a bitter parenting dispute,” according to the ABC.

Breastfeeding advocacy groups say there is no evidence tattoos have any affect on the act breastfeeding or breast milk. A mother getting a tattoo faces the same risks as the general population, including infections or poor planning.

Rebecca Naylor, head of the Australian Breastfeeding Association, told the ABC she was concerned about the potential, wider implications of the judge’s ruling.

“Does that mean that women who expose themselves to any sort of risks around the contraction of a blood-borne virus… shouldn’t be allowed to breast feed?” she said.

An en banc review of the judge’s decision is scheduled to be heard Friday.

No word on what the baby will eat between now and then.


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