Mandated breastfeeding in the UAE... thoughts? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-09-2014, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
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This might belong in lactivism? (Mods please move as appropriate)


Apparently the United Arab Emirates have mandated breastfeeding for all new mothers for 2 years, and the husband can SUE if the mother doesn't breastfeed.

As a BIG fan of breastfeeding, I applaud encouraging the practice... I personally think that an exception should be made for mothers who physically/medically CAN'T breastfeed (I'm not sure if there IS an exception to the law).


I was seriously fascinated to read some of the responses to this law about "what about my right to choose?!" along with the usual suspects (bf'ing is immoral, unnatural, lewd, crude, etc. :eyesroll)... along with the polar opposite "If a woman doesn't want to breastfeed, she shouldn't have a child"


I lean more towards the latter (but I feel there are always exceptions, so my stance isn't anywhere near either extreme...) - while "I don't want to," "I think it's gross," or "I think it'll mess up my body" etc. are (IMO) piss-poor excuses not to breastfeed, there ARE definitely legitimate reasons NOT to breastfeed (many of which are virtually non-existent in UAE)... I see both sides, and I'm very curious to hear thoughts about mandated-by-law breastfeeding from other women who support breastfeeding... 

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#2 of 5 Old 02-09-2014, 09:29 PM
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I think it's extreme. But I kind of like it.
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#3 of 5 Old 02-11-2014, 10:57 AM
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I'm against forcing women to do anything like this with their bodies. Women should be free to decide when they want to reproduce and when they want to breastfeed. From what I read, if a woman cannot breastfeed on her own a wetnurse will be provided. I'm not sure how they will decide who cannot breastfeed or where they will find wetnurses to do the job. Here is an article below. I also believe that breastfeeding is awesome and the best thing for mom and baby, but I would never force that view on anyone else. I would be fine with the government strongly encouraging women to breastfeed for two years. Along with that they should provide services that would help women achieve that goal including public education, free lactation consultants, flexibility for women in the workforce, etc. You can't tell someone they have to do something and then not provide the resources they need to do it.
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#4 of 5 Old 02-11-2014, 11:32 AM
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It's not lactivism, it's another way for men to control women if they don't like what women are doing.  The UAE has high breastfeeding rates already, from what I could tell when I googled it after hearing this story.  It sounds like this gives men the right to sue their wives for not breastfeeding, however that is determined, because it could easily be for other reasons that really don't have that much to do with breastfeeding.  This is a country, to my understanding, that doesn't not recognize marital rape, so the idea that all women can choose whether or not to become pregnant doesn't stand.

I don't get why people are looking at the "but what if she can't make enough" and throwing around set statistics about breastfeeding when we don't really understand fully as a society all the issues that go into the breastfeeding relationship.  My only consolation, honestly, is that the UAE probably has a friendlier breastfeeding culture, and a more submissive wife culture, so maybe it doesn't seem so unusual there.

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#5 of 5 Old 02-13-2014, 04:24 PM
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I don't think the government has any business telling people what they must do with their bodies. If they want to raise the breastfeeding rate, they should look into what kind of support will help women continue breastfeeding who might otherwise choose to stop. This law isn't pro-breastfeeding, it's just anti-woman. 

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