Mothers form special bonds with their babies while breastfeeding vital nutrients into their tiny bodies, however, one judge banned a mother from breasfeeding only because of her new tattoo. Federal Circuit Court Judge Matthew Myers granted an injunction to stop the 20-year-old Australian mother from breastfeeding her 11-month-old son out of fear he would contract blood-borne diseases.

 "I think if it were reasonable then we would have very, very many women in Australia who would be quite horrified,” Karleen Gribble, a breastfeeding advocate and professor from the University of Western Sydney, told ABC Australia. ”And perhaps child protection authorities should be taking action because many mothers who are breastfeeding get tattoos — very often of their children's names. Tattooing is a regulated industry, so if you go to a tattoo parlor that is reputable then the chances [of contracting an infection] are very low."

The mother received two tattoos in May without telling the tattoo artists she was breastfeeding. It was the son’s father, who is currently separated from the mother, who took the baby to live with him and brought the case to court on June 5. The verdict was made despite HIV and hepatitis test results coming up negative. Judge Myers defended his decision, saying he based it on guidelines published by the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

"Tattooing in and of itself, as long as it's done in [a] reputable way," and as long as infection control procedures are followed, are low-risk, Gribble said. “We would absolutely encourage women who have had tattoos to breastfeed their babies for as long as they choose to."

Advocates fear the court’s decision has set a precedent that might instill fear in other parents, caregivers, or guardians of breastfeeding babies. A court will hear an appeal against the ruling when the case is brought back to Sydney on Friday. But is it truly dangerous to get a tattoo while breastfeeding?

"Of course we have to consider the risk to babies, and I'm not in any way dismissing that,” Gribble said. "Women do need to be careful. They're feeding a child; it's going to be their main source of nutrition up until they're 12 months of age.  But it doesn't mean that you have to wrap yourself in Glad Wrap."

Tattoos are created by injecting ink deep into the second and third layer of the skin. A hand-held machine drives the ink-coated needles into the skin hundreds of times a minute. It all comes down to the cleanliness of the tattoo parlor and artist. Professional tattooists will follow universal sterilization precautions using single-use inks, ink cups, gloves, and autoclaves to clean the equipment. Tattoo artists may not know if a woman is breastfeeding, but it is recommended to wait until the child’s first birthday to give their bodies a chance to recover from childbirth.

In terms of safety for the child, cleanliness is still necessary. Diseases and infections can be passed through breastfeeding, however, it is safe to breastfeed when you have an innocuous common cold or flu. According to Baby Center, it isn’t safe to breastfeed if you have an HIV infection. But because the mother’s test results came back negative, there should be no reason to worry, especially if the tattoo parlor is hygienic.