A new law in Indonesia, passed by the House of Representatives on Oct. 13, 2009, states that women who refuse to breastfeed their newly-born babies may face jail sentence for denying their children’s right.
Article 128 of the 2009 law on health stipulates that babies have the right to six months of exclusive breast milk unless their mothers could not fulfill their obligation due to medical problems.
Article 200 of the draft says a mother who declines to exclusively breast feed their children will face a maximum of one year in prison term or Rp 100 million(~ $108 US dollars) in fine.
Additionally, those, including employers, who prevent women from breastfeeding their children would also face punishments. The law, which is expected to be enforced starting Oct. 13, 2010, says employers that do not support the exclusive breastfeeding movement will be imprisoned or fined.
To also further their campaign, Indonesia’s Health Ministry is working to restrict advertisements on baby-formula milk.
“I don’t think there will be much opposition to this,” Health
Minister Endang Sedyaningsih said, after the unveiling of the “10 steps
to successful breastfeeding” campaign on Sunday.
“As of the beginning of the year, we (have) stopped accepting
sponsorships from baby-formula milk producers for institutions under
While I am a huge lactivist, I don’t believe in making anyone do something they are not comfortable with. Hopefully this new law will be supported by an increase in Lactation Consultants so that these moms can have the encouragement and education that is needed sometimes to breastfeed successfully. – Lisa, Editor
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