Breastfeeding Mandatory By Law In The UAE

A Baby's Legal Right?

Breastfeeding Mandatory By Law In The UAE


Gisele once said that mothers should be required to breastfeed. It seems the United Arab Emirates took that statement to heart. As part of the UAE's new Child Rights Law, mothers are now legally required to nurse their babies for the first two years.

According to an article in the Huffington Post, women can even be sued by their partners for not breastfeeding.

We all know the overarching benefits of breastfeeding—from "reducing the risk of obesity to better language and motor development"—yet making it compulsory by law is a bit extreme, no?

Of course, there are always exceptions, and under the new legislation mothers who aren't able to breastfeed will be provided with wet nurses for that purpose.

The logistics of how that arrangement will work remain somewhat sketchy. Will formula be considered a contraband substance the way it was under this initiative

The point is clear: breastfeeding is no longer about personal choice. Much like the hotly debated anti-abortion policy, legislating breastfeeding is about other people telling you what to do with your body.

The pressure on women to breastfeed is already considerable, and has been linked to the incidence of postpartum depression.

“At this vulnerable time, to think of criminalizing a new mother who, for whatever reason, is struggling with breastfeeding is not helpful," said La Leche League member, Marie-Claire Bakker. "She needs informed support, not threats."

Do a baby's rights outweigh a mother's rights over her body?