In most of the under developing and developing countries such as UAE , Pakistan, India and so on, working mothers expressed their concern on very short maternity leave which average out 6-12 weeks. This is in contrast to the baby nutritional needs, growth and their development. WHO strongly recommend for initial first six month new born baby to be only feeded exclusively on breast feeding.
When we look at UAE, it is big surprise all seven states gives only 6 week or 45 days maternity leave as per report recently published in Khaleej Times in the month of July, 2016.
In India and Pakistan the maternity granted leave is of only 12 weeks.
If we look at this short leave allowed in various countries to the breast feeding mothers, it is contradictory in regard to the development of the neonate and infant baby.
If mother chooses to go on leave more than approved in respective countries. Than it is either without pay or paid less than average pay. If mother decided for upbringing healthy child, breast feed and spend more time with new arrival / baby than this lead to financial crunch to the family as well as overspending in maintaining and managing healthy baby.
It is well known and establish fact up brining of healthy, calm and loving baby has long term positive impact in society. Due to inappropriate and insufficient maternity leave policy in most of the countries this may lead to compromise in terms of healthy baby development and their growth.
We all know this fact by mentioned very loudly by experts and pediatrician “breast milk is ideal and healthy feed for baby’s”.
Having a baby is wonderful and exciting experience. The feeling can’t be described in words. It is full of love, affection with more responsibility and committed to be fully dutiful and devoted.
Within this love and affection which has established between mother and newborn this will mostly tarnish if she is working women. She has to be back to work after few weeks of maternity leaves as allowed in Pakistan, India, UAE and more countries.
Exceptions are in few western countries, where leave is appropriate and suitable which varies from 39 to 47 weeks such as in Italy, UK. In Canada it is 50 weeks maternity leave means nearly for a year.
After allocated maternity leave granted to mother in different countries, she has to go and join her job or she can further extend leave but it will be mostly unpaid or she will get reduce or partial salary dependent on government rules and policy. This is the time which is of great challenge for mother.
Normally it is recommended to pump the milk which is not very convenient method and it is also a time consuming. If she has to feed the baby in office, especially in under develop or developing countries, whereas mostly no specific or dedicated space or room for this purpose is available. It will be temporary stop gap arrangement in a designated place to feed or pump. In this situation it is always having fear that someone may can walk in the room or privacy is compromise.
Due to this situation it is barely impossible to focus to feed or pump milk for new born. Secondly she had to rush and catch the job and assignments. It’s a great challenge for her, she can focus on baby as well as manage her job.
Maternity leave by country with pay in term of weeks
Even in countries like UAE breast feeding in public places is encourage and well accepted mode. In this regard few years back a law was passed in the country which clearly states baby should be breast feed till they attain the age of 2 years.
If we look from Islamic religious point of view every infant has the right to receive breast milk and that is the best source of nutrition with immunity. Baby should be fed until the time to discourage or halting comes. For extending breast feeding by mothers even outside home in UAE they government has made it mandatory to have designated breast feeding rooms in the shopping mall and in public places. The UAE authorities doing the best possible effort to fully encourage mothers to breast fed their love one neonate. In our region which is SARRC countries that is comprise of seven countries including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan it is very difficult rather impossible to feed baby at work or public places.
Breastfeeding benefits and its advantages
- Breastfeeding establish and promotes bonding between mother and baby.
- Breast milk is the best source of nutrition, as well as it provides and strongly built immunity in the child.
- Baby milk is more digestible as compare to top feed that is known as infant formula milk.
- It’s also reduces the risk diabetes type I, it means less chances of juvenile or insulin dependent diabetes.
- Secondly less chances of overweight and obesity among babies this is the property and beauty of breast milk.
- With breastfeeding there are less chances of allergies.
Article written by Mahmood Hussain for Baby First Pakistan website and facebook