Mothers in the United Arab Emirates are Now Required to Breastfeed their Children by Law

breastfeeding law, legal breastfeeding, breastfeeding right, women rights, human rights, working mothers, forced to breastfeed, breastfeeding choice
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The Federal National Council has passed a clause in the Child Rights law that requires all mothers to breastfeed, because as Sultan Al Sammahi (Fujairah), a member of the council committee, said it’s, “The right of all children to be breastfed up to the age of 2.” Not everyone was on board. According to The National, Minister of Social Affairs, Mariam Al Roumi, said that a breastfeeding law like this on the books, “Could lead to husbands suing their wives if they did not breastfeed.” Plus, there’s the whole issue of enforcement. How do you even start to enforce a law like this? Al Sammahi, a clear supporter of the law did note that if mothers neglect their duties, they may be punished. Many mothers are against the clause, saying that breastfeeding should be a choice and not a law. Reem Al Falasi, a breastfeeding mom told The National, “It would be more of an advantage to the child if the mother was to implement the law, but it is the mother’s choice and she knows what’s best for her baby.” Other mothers feel this puts undue stress on working mothers, especially since all moms have very different circumstances. This isn’t the first time breastfeeding enforced by law has come up and it surely won’t be the last, but we feel if you’re going to advocate for the right to breastfeed, you also should advocate for the rights of mothers who chose not to.

Should breastfeeding ever be a legal obligation?

  • 109 Votes NO - Breastfeeding is a choice best left up to the mother
  • 32 Votes YES - All babies deserve to be breastfed.
  • 4 Votes I'm not sure.

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+ FNC passes mandatory breastfeeding clause for Child Rights law

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2 Responses to “Mothers in the United Arab Emirates are Now Required to Breastfeed their Children by Law”

  1. AKS STL says:

    a law is bad, especially with the track record of women’s rights in fundamentalist thinking. Both mothers and children would be better served if it were a civil right of both and if society worked to make it more feasible (long maternity leaves, help around the house, ample private nursing areas in public, and education and support).

  2. Janca 81 says:

    I like the idea in the way, but some people just can`t brestfeed.. It puts mothers in a great stress, which is probably much worse for the baby, then drinking formula right from start.. 2 years is a long time to breastfeed too, I did it naturally, did not even think once, that I would bottle feed out of choice, I find that very silly and small minded, selfish probably too, but I felt one year was enough, not for me, but for the baby, it felt right to stop, so I stopped! And everyone should have the right of choice here.. Some mums are on medication, lots of mums are just not producing the right milk.. It always happened.. Nobody should be dictated this, it should be the most natural thing to do.. Better education about benefits and posibly some decent help locally, to every mum who struggles with it, because it does not come easy thing to do to every mum and baby.. It almost makes me feel like every woman is a property of Emirates and therefore cannot make a decision herself.. I would not like to live under rules like this!

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