Breastfeeding in the UAE: Mandatory Breastfeeding Law, Explained for Mums
Did you know it is compulsory for able mothers in the UAE to breastfeed her new child until the baby is two years old?
12 July 2023
Here's what the UAE's breastfeeding law says for both Emirati and expat mums.
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), breastfeeding is not just encouraged, it is also an actual legal requirement for mothers under the Child's Rights Law.
According to the amendments approved by the Federal National Council (FNC) in 2020, able mothers in the UAE must breastfeed her child until he or she is two years old. After which, the parent can decide to continue breastfeeding or stick with milk formula, solid foods, etc. at this stage.
Some health experts have seen it is a difficult law to enforce, as realistically it is near-impossible to prove without some formal mode of government registering and tracking for mothers breastfeeding.
Regardless, the UAE's mandatory breastfeeding law is not one for new mothers to be worried about, as rest assured there are options for lactation support and breastfeeding counselling available in select hospitals, clinics, and programmes across the country.
The UAE is also home to hundreds of expat midwives and breastfeeding experts, with a wealth of knowledge for mums breastfeeding.
Who are exempt from the UAE's mandatory breastfeeding law?
The Child's Rights Law regarding compulsory breastfeeding until the child is two years is applicable to able mothers.
Mums who take medicines and treatments for conditions such as cancer, seizures, are taking medications that can effect her immune system, etc. are exempt and even discouraged from breastfeeding her baby, as it can pose a risk to the child.