News update: tattooed mum’s breastfeeding ban overturned

There’s been a spectacular backflip on a court decision in Sydney that had banned a mother from breastfeeding her son because she got a tattoo.

The injunction against the mother breastfeeding her 11-month-old has been overturned by the Family Court. ABC News reports the Family Court today found the original judge had relied on his own opinion, rather than objective facts – and had ‘surfed the web’ for evidence.

Federal circuit judge Matthew Myers had earlier ruled that the mother’s new ink had put her child at unacceptable risk of contracting an infection, prompting an injunction against her breastfeeding her son. This was even though post-tattoo tests hepatitis and HIV came back negative.

The ABC reports that during the Family Court appeal hearing Justice Murray Aldridge said the original decision was based on evidence that shouldn’t be relied on.

“Judges must not mistake their own views for being either facts not reasonably open to question or as appropriately qualified expert evidence,” Justice Aldridge said.

“That those views may have been obtained by the judge searching the internet compounds, rather than alleviates, the difficulty.”

The Family Court also heard that Judge Myers disregarded evidence from the World Health Organisation, recommending that children be breastfed until they are two years old. It found Judge Myers failed to consider the emotional and physical benefits to the baby of continued breastfeeding, along with the negative effects of it suddenly stopping.

 

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