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UAE Law to Make Breastfeeding Mandatory Until Age Two - Page 2

post #21 of 36
I too live in a country people think they know all about when in fact they don't. People think i speak spanish, but i speak portuguese. People think we live in jungles with monkeys, but my city has 3 million inhabitants, and so on.. so i get that many of the critics come from wrong assumptions and that this law project doesn't necessarily reflect how a society or country actually works and i'm sure there are plenty of absurd laws or law projects in any country. I don't know what other people mean or the reasons why they are angry, but I am a feminist and i'm always angry whenever i see people trying to legislate and create laws that control women's bodies. It really pushes all my buttons. Women having the right to breastfeed and to be protected while going through such a especial period in life is great, but being obligated to breastfeed is not. Here in Brazil women are oriented to breastfeed for a long time. Giving this orientation is one of my many functions in the public health clinic where i work. Formula is something people use only when they can't breastfeed and it's usualy hard for brazilian moms to use formula because they can't breastfeed. Some women, though, can breastfeed but decide not to. When that happens there's usually a good reason so we don't judge them or think they are lazy. Being suggested something is completely different from being obligated to do something. I do agree that in many countries breastfeeding need to be encouraged, though.
post #22 of 36
Originally Posted by Ecler View Post


I wish that USA will have some regulations for making women breastfeed here. And I'm not talking about women who can't breastfeed, I'm talking that some women decide to give formula right away, even not trying to breastfeed. (Too lazy? Not enough education?). 


(breastfeeding supporter, mom, open-minded, educated)

People are angry because the government is telling women what to do with their bodies. Advising is one thing, telling someone they have no choice is completely different. It doesn't matter WHY someone chose not to breastfeed, it is THEIR BODY AND THEIR CHOICE. 
Saying that the USA needs to have regulations making women breastfeed is the opposite of open minded. 

post #23 of 36


post #24 of 36

I clearly am in the minority in seeing the potential benefits to women of some sort of legislation placing a value on mothering.

post #25 of 36

 As I understand it, making it law is the first step in a woman's sweat-equity as a mother and a wife being given monetary value in a capitalist society. In order to protect the investment of time a woman gives for her family, it must be legislated. Capitalism is a screwed-up system, but it's what we live under and in order to give true value for women and get some semblance of economic stability NOW...we have to work within the system..

 In a void, this law would oppress women, but if it legislates that a woman is entitled to not just her full salary but a salary that truly reflects the difficulty and commitment of the job, then we are really getting somewhere.


The work of a wife and mother that contributes to the family and the welfare of the child, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, childcare, tutoring, housecleaning, cooking, counseling, chauffeuring, laundering, finance management, clothing, etc. etc. etc. is worth ZERO...ZERO in this capitalist society. Women all over the world are financially taken advantage because of our maternal and nesting instincts that we have to varying degrees.


Capitalist governments in general and fathers in particular, for the most part, are the beneficiaries of this "free labor" that a mother provides. (Before you all go ballistic on me, I know many examples where the roles are reversed, and it is the father that FORTUNATELY is the sole or primary caregiver.) But for the MOST part, mothers are expected to work for free, and consequently their contribution has no financial value.

This fine and dandy (to a point) where there is a support system within society and law that will care for a mother or have the father reimburse the mother when the marriage ends or the husband dies. (Community property laws) However, in Saudi society when the marriage ends a woman is expected to live in poverty and be content that "Heaven is at her feet." (An Islamic prophetic saying)


I DO see that this legislation is a slippery slope, and the last thing I would want is for women in the Gulf to be more oppressed and lose more freedoms than they already have! And perhaps our Gulf societies are not ready to start with legislation couched in such terms, that breastfeeding is mandatory. Better legislation would make it mandatory that breast milk be available to all children until the age of two. And it should be compensated for by the government at the precious value it is worth! The short and long term and individual benefits for breastfed babies are unending, (preaching to the choir, here) including resistance to life threatening disease and infections, reduced incidence of juvenile diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and cancer before the age of 15. There are significant financial benefits to society. Breastfed babies are less likely to need excessive medical attention as they grow. In one study, a group of formula-fed infants had $68,000 in health care costs in a six-month period, while an equal number of nursing babies had only $4,000 of similar expenses.

post #26 of 36

I agree...how do you feel about a government that allows a white man who murdered a young black man, to go free with no consequences?

post #27 of 36
I know enough about UAE not to like it. Please, do not spin propaganda. How I feed I birth my child. How I feed my child and how I raise my child is my business and not the government's.

There many more reasons than not having milk why women do not breastfeed. This is between woman, her child and her family. Making formula RX or making breastfeeding a law simply stigmatizes women for no good reason. Yet another government trying to tell women, but not men what do to. I nursed my kids for as long as it worked for me and my family. It was not two years . The idea that government would force me to use my breasts the way it sees fit is absolutely disgusting and would force me not to have children. Imagine being forced to nurse?

Forced breastfeeding is on the same level as physical assault.
Edited by Alenushka - 1/29/14 at 1:58pm
post #28 of 36
Originally Posted by SamiaElmo View Post

I agree...how do you feel about a government that allows a white man who murdered a young black man, to go free with no consequences?

I don't get the connection here? I know the case, but I don't understand what you're trying to say. 

placing a value on mothering means (to me) respecting a woman's choices. Actually, it means respecting both parents choices (if there are two parents). Telling a woman what to do with her body does not place any value on the woman as a person. 

post #29 of 36
I think when it comes to health the burden is on the parents, not the state. Every mother should want the best for there babies, but whats beat varies from person to person. I turned my baby around to front facing as soon as the law allowed, some mothers feel babies should be rear facing for as long as they can fit, but again its a health choice. Hospitals and doctors are bound under law to first do no harm, and since breast is best they should already be recommending nursing until two or beyond. No law is needed.
post #30 of 36

I think it's a terrible idea. 

post #31 of 36
I already get paid to breast feed. Yep. We're on government WIC and I get cans of Tuna! Yep living it up with my cans of tuna, whoot whoot. See the US government really values breast feeding.
Oh yeah almost forgot I'm a vegetarian. I don't even eat tuna.
post #32 of 36

If issue is not about breastfeeding support, or lack there of. The issue is that the government is stepping in and telling women what they HAVE to do with their bodies. That is not support. If the situation were different, if there was legislation being passed telling women that could only breastfeeding for six months, this whole site would be up in arms about it. 

post #33 of 36
Originally Posted by rainbownurse View Post

I don't get the connection here? I know the case, but I don't understand what you're trying to say. 

placing a value on mothering means (to me) respecting a woman's choices. Actually, it means respecting both parents choices (if there are two parents). Telling a woman what to do with her body does not place any value on the woman as a person. 

I was attempting to reply to the now edited comment about a country that "jails rape victims."  Obviously that is a travesty of justice, but we have our own travesties as well....

post #34 of 36

I see many women feel very strongly about the law and the idea that the government wants to "dictate" to us what to do. While I fully agree that it's not up to anyone to tell us what to do with our bodies, I also want to point to the good side of this new "law". They are trying to make breastfeeding "the norm", "the expected", "the required" for the healthy upbringing for the baby. Many women talked about OUR right as women to choose to breastfeed or not. What the government may be trying to do, in my opinion, is pointing to people that our CHILDREN may have rights too! So the child HAS THE RIGHT to be healthy, smart, happy and breastfeeding can help the child achieve those!! We, as mothers want the very best for our children. So this law is ON OUR SIDE when it encourages families to breastfeed for 2 years! It helps us meet child's needs in a better way! As simple as that!


I heard of many stories where a mother wants to breastfeed (or continue breastfeeding past infancy) but her husband and family tell her that she should stop because "there is no value in breast milk" or because "it takes too much time and she can not meet the needs of the family like cooking/cleaning/arranging house because of breastfeeding". And the mother stops breastfeeding due to all the pressure around her! And then the mother loses the beautiful bond with the baby while baby starts receiving a far worse nutrition from artificial powdered milk, may develop allergies and health problems for life and gets sick way more often than before.... Isn't it sad? It happens all the time! So if the law to be implemented, the "well meaning" family members and friends will not be so pushy anymore on the mother to tell her to stop breastfeeding!!! They will know it's not right to do so! Instead they will support the mother because they know breastfeeding until 2 is what the mother is expected to do!


Besides, breastfeeding until the age of 2 is good not only for the baby. It's also very good for the mother! It can actually save our life!!! The research says that if we breastfeed longer than 2 years then the risk of breast cancer later in life will be reduced 4 times for us!! Breastfeeding for longer also means less risk of cardiovascular problems, diabetes, osteoporosis and many other serious health problems! Maybe it's not so bad that someone pushes us to do the very best for ourselves?


I think this law has a lot of possible positive outcomes but it still needs a lot of work to offer strategies that can HELP mothers achieve 2 year of breastfeeding! It's not fair to tell all the women "you have to breastfeed for 2 years" without providing means to actually achieve it. Maybe it would have been much wiser first to issue laws like "Every hospital MUST offer pregnant women a free 4-8 hour detailed course in the native language of the mother on the importance of breastfeeding and techniques to establish full milk supply as well as overcoming common difficulties" or maybe "Every mother has the right to receive free home/hospital visits from an experienced lactation consultant whenever she needs help with breastfeeding", or maybe the government can at least fund constant education courses for all the medical professionals in the country who work with women to offer information and help to breastfeeding mothers for free! Breastfeeding is often challenging, but it's the best for babies and mothers, we know that. If government wants to raise a happier and healthier generation of kids through breastfeeding, then it first needs to help us, mothers, to learn how we can succeed in it!

post #35 of 36

Just thought I'd share the statement of La Leche League UAE that was shared with me. I am looking for an online source to confirm it. If anyone has a link to the press release please provide it.


La Leche League UAE : Press Release


Response to FNC Child Protection Law with clause on Breastfeeding.


While we applaud the sentiments behind the new Child Protection Law passed by the U.A.E's Federal National Council and understand that the aim of the clause referring to breastfeeding is to give every child the right to be breastfed, the exact wording and how this law is to be implemented and to whom it applies is at this time still unclear and thus hard to comment in detail upon.


We imagine that this law may be extremely difficult to implement at the current time given a lack of support and information on breastfeeding available to mothers here in the UAE. There are several other important measures that would have a more positive impact on breastfeeding rates and duration.  


• Educate Medical professionals on the latest information on breastfeeding and teach them how to properly support mothers to initiate breastfeeding.  Inform them of the dangers of early supplementation.  
• Lengthen Maternity leave. The extremely short maternity leave does not allow mothers time enough to establish and maintain full milk supply and overcome any initial difficulties.  Extending paid maternity leave considerably, has been shown to have much more positiveeffect on the breastfeeding success and duration
• Implement and enforce the World Health Organisation Code on the marketing ofbreastmilk substitutes.  Until this measure is adopted, medical professionals, mothers and baby's are still at the mercy of aggressive formula marketing, which undermines and misinforms and creates obstacles to successful breastfeeding. 


Unless these three key issues are addressed at a high level and supported by policies, legislation and training, there is little chance that the law would succeed in raising breastfeeding rates.


Other measures that could benefit the health of the nation include running a comprehensive public information campaign on the risks of artificial formula for babies and the risks of not breastfeeding on maternal health and the development of a network of community support clinics and peer counsellors to assist women in reaching their breastfeeding goals.


Abu Dhabi

26 January 2014


La Leche League is an international non-profit voluntary organisation offering mother-to-mother information and support for breastfeeding.http://www.llli.org/uae.html

post #36 of 36

Thanks, Cynthia.  Apparently it has not yet gone into effect and could be subject to change, and the exact wording isn't known.


Here is an article: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/breastfeeding-should-be-a-choice-not-a-legal-obligation-say-uae-mothers

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