Breastfeeding Norms International

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-1999
Breastfeeding Norms International
1
Thu, 03-21-2013 - 2:16am

On a local bf board, we've been having a discussion about whether it is appropriate to bf uncovered in public. Someone posted this article in support that it's normal in other countries: http://www.greenprophet.com/2010/06/breastfeed-your-baby-in-a-hijab-public-breastfeeding-in-the-middle-east/

Ummi, since you are actually in that part of the world right now, care to comment?

 

winter 2010 siggy

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2012
Thu, 03-21-2013 - 7:29am
No problem at all. Well the article seems to me to stretch things to the point of extremes. First of all, the ladies I've seen in Kuwait and Jordan have ALWAYS covered up with something whether it be a hijab (scarf) or a blanket or nursing cover and do not lift their hijabs and expose their breast to feed their baby. I don't think anyone in their right mind would dare in this part of the world to expose their breasts as sexual harassment is prevalent (though one of the few crimes there are) and they'd be asking for trouble in such a modest society. To be honest, a huge majority of moms in the Middle East actually formula feed and it's actually rare to see a mom in Jordan breastfeed at all. (I've lived in Kuwait for 8.5 years and traveled to Jordan in the summers for the past 11 years before moving here so I've seen the trend over the past decade or so). Another point that was mentioned was that new moms in Jordan stay in the home for a year. Absolutely not true at all. I have several Jordanian friends who have many kids and work etc and they all returned to work after a month or so of leave typical of an American working mom. Even a bedouin lady I know had her baby and I saw her shopping locally the next month with the baby. Also, as one of the commenters pointed out Islam doesn't require breastfeeding till 2 as the article claimed. It actually is a mere recommendation just like the American Pediatric Association doesn't require ladies to breastfeed the first 12 months (it's only recommended). I traveled to Saudi Arabia a few years ago and nursed my son with a nursing cover and no one even batted an eye or gave a double take so to say it doesn't happen in Saudi or Iran (I don't know as I've never been to Iran) is not true either. I think these are all stigmas and yes, while the Middle East is different from other places it's not another planet. Catherine, you're keen to know that this article isn't necessarily on the up and up.