BREASTFEEDING… IT’S THE LAW: Breastfeeding Is Now Required By Law In The United Arab Emirates

shutterstock_105138953The Emirates’ Federal National Council has passed a clause, part of their new Child Rights Law, requiring new moms to breastfeed their babies for two full years, The National reports. Now, men can sue their wives if they don’t breastfeed.

According to the National, there was a “marathon debate” over the legislation, but it was ultimately decided that it is every child’s right to be breastfed.

Research has found many benefits of breastfeeding for baby, from reducing the risk of obesity to better language and motor development.

However, not all new moms are able to nurse. In those instances, if a woman is prohibited by health reasons, the council will provide a wet nurse to her. It’s unclear exactly how a mother’s ability to breastfeed will be determined though. Carrie Murphy at Mommyish raises some additional questions about those exceptions:

Where do the wet nurses come from? Do they live with UAE women and their families? How and who determines if you need one? Who pays their salary? …. And what about formula? Will it be sold in the country? Will it be contraband? Will you need a prescription for it? Some babies actually need formula rather breast milk and some babies can’t digest anything with milk at all, either formula OR breast milk.

Council members are trying to improve rights for working moms to make the legislation more practical. But, unsurprisingly, mothers’ support groups have raised issues that go beyond logistics.

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