I had the misfortune of coming across this article just as I was about to get comfy and cushy on the sofa, toddler asleep, Netflix prepped to catch up on some long overdue Breaking Bad. My calm suddenly hijacked by this terrorist news item, which states that the United Arab Emirates has passed a law making it a REQUIREMENT for new mothers to BREAST FEED their children for TWO full years. Don’t get me wrong I am all for breast feeding and cannot believe a situation has been created for me to say otherwise BUT this is an absolutely ridiculous, MORONIC and uncalled for law that only could have been passed by a group of holier than thou MEN, who henceforth need to be referred as ***holes.
Of course “breast is best” when you can and are able to physically, psychologically and emotionally. So what kind of a toll will this put on women who can’t? There already is enough societal pressure on new moms to breast feed. If we all could do it, we would. But some of us just cannot, be it postpartum related or perhaps it just didn’t suit either the mother or child or both. Breast feeding is a relationship that you slowly develop with your child. For some it has a rocky start and not all women have the support system in place to assist them and encourage them to establish that connection. If you have never been a mother, you will never truly understand. If you have been a very lucky mother with whom breastfeeding was a breeze, you will still never understand. If this ‘law’ allows some exception, then who determines eligibility? How do you clinically quantify “It was very uncomfortable and didn’t suit me.”
So you’ve made it to the exception list, but your child by law still needs to be breast fed, what then? Wet nurses? Will there suddenly be an agency that provides “breast service”? Will you get the ‘breast flavour’ of choice by matching yours and the wet nurses ethnic background? Will there be wet nursing schools, churning out the ‘best of the breast’ graduates with impeccable background, breed and stock because of course this is the UAE so we MUST ensure our children are being fed only the cream of the crop, the best breast milk produced by an elite society of cultured, intelligent wet nurses. Ah and i’m sure this intelligence juice will come at a price.
For the women who didn’t make the cut and whose breasts have been deemed ‘healthy and viable’ who will be monitoring whether you are indeed feeding your child? Will “breast officers” be scouring the malls and parks taste testing baby bottles for the real deal? What kind of fine will be involved should you be found guilty of ‘formula’. Off with the breast? What if you have two kids under the age of two? What if you cannot commit to two full years, let’s say because you work. Will all employers be made to add breastfeeding at work to their corporate policy? What if your kid weans off on their own before age 2, are you going to make sure the child is force fed?
Hot commodity! Will there suddenly be sleeper cells popping up illegally trading breast milk supplies? Oh and WRATH be unto he the husband who dares try to SUE his wife for not breastfeeding their child.
Where is the woman’s right in all of this? How did it go from women simply wanting to have the choice, freedom and comfort of breast feeding their child in public without judgement…to THIS? How about providing education, encouragement, support and convenience to breast feeding mothers instead! Even according to Islamic values it is NOT a religious obligation, otherwise trust me the extremists would already have condemned the remaining few females to Hell. Islam says it is our RIGHT to breast feed and strongly recommends it. There is a big difference between religious guidance and what this alleged ‘law’ is trying to force.
If in this day and age there can be a ruling telling us women what we can or cannot do with our breasts, then I say we start by passing a law forbidding men from scratching their not so proverbial “balls” instead! [and that dear men (who agree to this law) is just the tip of the iceberg].
Tell a woman what to do, and it means war.