Forced to breastfeed by LAW for 2 years?

Image: via Shutterstock

The United Arab Emirates is currently debating the country’s Child’s Rights Law. Under discussion is proposed legislation which would make it mandatory for moms to breastfeed their babies for two years, the breastfeeding duration recommended by the World Health Organisation. In the UAE, the basis for the discussion is that it is the duty of the mother to breastfeed her baby and the baby’s right to be breastfed, according to the Stir.

Points already discussed:

Mothers unable to be breastfed would be provided with a wet nurse.
Breastfeeding has documented health and developmental benefits.
If moms refuse to breastfeed, their husbands (as they are all married, of course), can sue them.

No more choice

Even breastfeeding advocates in other countries are baulking at the idea of legislating breastfeeding, citing that it remains a woman’s choice and the restrictions this would place on women forced to breastfeed, including the amount of time they would have to limit their activities. In addition, women who have more than one child in close succession would be severely curtailed in their freedom should they be forced to breastfeed their babies.

Moms who have struggled to breastfeed children or produce enough milk are also outraged.

There are some who suggest that support for breastfeeding moms would be a better solution, and still others who agree with legislated breastfeeding.

In SA, many moms are unable to breastfeed for an extended period as they have to return to work environments which are unsuitable for breastfeeding or even expressing. SA also lacks the logistical frameworks and resources necessary to mirror the UAE model of government-provided wet nurses. The law being discussed in UAE does not directly affect any current SA legislation.

Read more on breastfeeding:

Breastfeeding gives kids brainpower
Nude breastfeeding yoga mom booted off Instagram
Best breastfeeding videos

What do you think of the concept of mandatory breastfeeding?

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