UAE mothers divided over breastfeeding law
It is one of the most personal decisions facing any new mother. But in the UAE, the question of whether or not to breastfeed has in recent months, come under increased public scrutiny, as the country considers enshrining into law the need for mothers to nurse their children until the age of two.
The proposal was added to a child protection bill passed by the UAE’s Federal National Council - an advisory and legislative body - in January, and has since prompted much discussion about breastfeeding as a requirement rather than a choice.
Proponents of the breastfeeding clause have argued that it is a maternal duty and is in the best interest of the child.
Critics, however, have warned of the implications of legislating maternal care. Some women choose to exclusively breastfeed, while many supplement with formula or opt not to nurse at all. Others encounter major difficulties or find they simply cannot breastfeed their child.