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.
Unbelievable!!!!! That is outrageous…I have breast fed my baby girl for 23months and let me tell you the last six months of doing that took a toll on my physical, mental and emotional state. I really struggled hard. Who are these people who feel they have any kind of say in how a mother should provide for her child’s needs. And for those who put any kind of links to this absurd law to our religion should go back and get their facts right…
Yah remember my doctor telling me that I must breast feed because it is best for the baby. I think doctors there were being strict or being forceful about it dye to the decreasing number of breast feeding moms, that was 3 years ago.. I’m sure the number has dropped to a new low and te law has now deemed it obligatory. What I have noticed of the women in Dubai is that they rely heavily on their nannies.. They have one nanny per kid!!! That’s how lazy I should say they are! I think the govt had to step in for the future strong and healthy citizens. Im sure they are leanient if u have small children or are unable to feed your child. I know UAE is not cruel to women 🙂 there must be a back story
Lol snowie: not only do you manage to tackle the topic and hit the nail in the head, u do it with so much passion!! Love it!!
Im all for laws that support women decisions, be it to breastfeeed or not to breastfeed. I know many women who insisted they didnt want to chain themselves to breast feeding and when the Baby was born, it all changed, and they become avid breast feeders. Then i know women who couldn’t dare think that anything other than breast feeding could even be an option, but when the time came, their mammary glands just weren’t up for the job or their ungrateful child outright refused this nutrition source. I have seen these mothers getting depressed, feeling inadequate and incomplete as mothers. To mandate this as law only adds to the culture of guilt, making women feel incomplete, inadequate or bad mothers.
Love the passion with which you have written this. Every word truly depicts how I feel too.
Even the discussions of passing such a law are shameful but just to clarify the law has not been passed yet, there have been loads of discussions but nothing is final. Not sure how they will do it as they have crazy maternity policies. I got only 45 calendar days off in June when I had my baby I added my annual leave to it and returned to work when my baby was only 2 months and 13 days old.
Formula is what mums resort to when they are away for 10 hours and have no rooms available at work to pump in, no employer allows for pumping breaks and at the most one can take two 30 minutes break in addition to lunch break for the first 6 months IF one is breastfeeding. This is also not possible as the distance and traffic will not allow you to go home and return in 30 minutes!
There aren’t even many lactation consultants available to help and give advice. I just don’t know how they think it is all possible. Just a crazy idea someone woke up with and decided to implement. Absolutely crazy and definitely a recipe for disaster!
I dont understand how such a law can be passed.
Breast feeding is personal choice and in some cases, there are circumstances that prevent you from doing so… lets just hope that if this is true, there is a get out of jail free card for those mums who cant!