Breastfeeding Required by Law in United Arab Emirates

Mothers in the United Arab Emirates are now required by law to breastfeed their babies for their first two years of life.  The Huffington Post reports on the new regulations, which would enable a husband to sue his wife if she fails to breastfeed:

The Emirates’ Federal National Council has passed a clause, part of their new Child Rights Law, requiring new moms to breastfeed their babies for two full years, The National reports. Now, men can sue their wives if they don’t breastfeed.

According to the National, there was a “marathon debate” over the legislation, but it was ultimately decided that it is every child’s right to be breastfed.

Research has found many benefits of breastfeeding for baby, from reducing the risk of obesity to better language and motor development.

However, not all new moms are able to nurse. In those instances, if a woman is prohibited by health reasons, the council will provide a wet nurse to her. It’s unclear exactly how a mother’s ability to breastfeed will be determined though.

Though breastfeeding is not required in the U.S., experts agree it is the healthiest way to feed a newborn.  In 2012, Michael Bloomberg, who was mayor of New York City, introduced a controversial statewide provision requiring hospitals to “sign out” formula in the same way it dispenses medication, in a effort to encourage more women to breastfeed.

Download our free breastfed babies care chart to help track your baby’s feeding schedule.

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Image: Breastfeeding newborn, via Shutterstock

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