If you’ve been reading breastfeeding news this past week, I’m sure you’ve heard about the Gisele Bundchen breastfeeding brouhaha. In an interview with Harpers Bazaar UK, Gisele stated that mandatory breastfeeding should be worldwide law. After angry comments, Gisele backed down and issued a special message in her blog. But it seems that Indonesia is listening to Gisele with the implementation of its 2009 Law on Health, beginning October 2010. Under this law, Indonesian women who do not breastfeed newborns and employers who do not support the breastfeeding movement will be imprisoned or fined. The Indonesian government is also taking steps to restrict marketing of breastmilk substitutes.
I highly support the issuance of a decree restricting formula milk marketing but I’m not too comfortable either with the mandatory breastfeeding law. I feel that it just fans the flames of ‘mommy wars’ and provides additional hardships to mothers – if you imprison the non-breastfeeding moms, who will take care of their babies?