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New law in UAE requires women to breastfeed for two years

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - MAY 10: A mother breastfeeds her 2-week old child at Nazareth House, before Mother's Day this Sunday, on May 10, 2013 in Manila, Philippines.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - MAY 10: A mother breastfeeds her 2-week old child at Nazareth House, before Mother's Day this Sunday, on May 10, 2013 in Manila, Philippines.
Photo by Veejay Villafranca/Getty Images

A new law in the United Arab Emirates, or the UAE, requires new mothers to breastfeed their children for at least a period of two years, according to a Jan. 30 report in Huffington Post. This brings up serious questions, such as can a woman go to jail for not breastfeeding, and can a husband sue his wife for refusing to comply to the law?

It was reported that there were back and forth discussions before the Emirates’ Federal National Council altered a larger piece of legislation called the Child Law Act. The politicians came to an agreement that all children should be breastfed.

While much research has shown that breastfeeding is extremely beneficial to a baby, some mothers physically cannot breastfeed. The law states that if a mother cannot breastfeed for a medical related reason, a wet nurse should be used. It does not explain the qualifications that a woman would need to reach for this assistance, or if the woman would need to pay for the wet nurse out of pocket.

Where do the wet nurses come from? Do they live with UAE women and their families? How and who determines if you need one? Who pays their salary? .... And what about formula? Will it be sold in the country? Will it be contraband? Will you need a prescription for it? Some babies actually need formula rather breast milk and some babies can’t digest anything with milk at all, either formula OR breast milk,” wrote Carrie Murphey, a writer for Mommyish.