Australian Family Court Judge’s Prohibition on Breastfeeding Due to Mother’s Tattoos is Reversed on Appeal

Australian Mother and Father have Baby together. They were never married, and have since split up.

Mother is breastfeeding Baby.

Mother is reportedly on medication for post-partum depression, and has a couple of new tattoos applied to her foot and finger.

Father seeks to bar Mother from breastfeeding Baby, allegedly because it would subject Baby to significant risk of infection.

But Mother tests negative for hepatitis and HIV.

Nonetheless, the family court judge presiding over Mother’s and Father’s child custody case concluded that there was still a substantial risk to the Baby, and ordered Mother to cease breastfeeding.

On appeal, a full panel of family court judges reversed and set aside the previous order and reinstated Mother’s right to breastfeed Baby.

The panel found no evidence of likely risk of harm to Baby from the tattoos. Further, the first judge had not considered the health and mental benefits of breatfeeding nor the impact on Baby of discontinuing it.


  1. this Huffington Post piece: Australian Mom Banned From Breastfeeding Infant Son Because She Got Tattooed
  2. this Yahoo news article: Breastfeeding Mom Wins Battle Over Tattoo and
  3. this Medical Express article: Australian mum with tattoos wins right to breastfeed .