How long should you breastfeed Islamically?

Breastfeeding as happiness

Breastfeeding or breast feeding is the term used to describe the feeding of babies and toddlers to the breast. The etymological background of the German word is probably due to the fact that a child who is screaming with hunger becomes "still" while sucking. In silence there is undoubtedly great happiness for mother and child at the same time. No man can ever imagine what it means to have the ability to feed such a young person with your own body. Breastfeeding is not only mentally, but also physically an enrichment of one's own development, as well as the development of the newly born person.

God alone gave women the ability to nourish and raise a person through their bodies. The mother's milk becomes the flesh and blood of the infant. This is a gift, indeed a miracle, from our Creator, which strengthens the love and affection between mother and child. The awareness of making such a needy little creature happy and full, in turn, gives the mother such a feeling of happiness that she gladly takes on all the stresses of breastfeeding. Because breastfeeding is not always easy at the beginning: breast infections, wounds, sleepless nights, etc .; which nursing mother does not know all of this? And yet it's so wonderful. The small nose on the chest, the tiny fingers clenched, this sucking and happy sighs when the baby falls asleep make everything easier to bear.

Since breast milk is ideally adapted to the needs of the infant and breastfeeding also promotes contact between mother and child, the World Children's Fund (UNICEF) now recommends in the Innocenti Declaration that full breastfeeding for four to six months and then until the second is complete Year of age in addition to suitable complementary foods. These recommendations were also adopted by the German Breastfeeding Commission. The recommendation of 24 months of breastfeeding or weaning after 24 months corresponds exactly to the Islamic recommendation, which is derived from a verse (31:14) in the Holy Quran, in which exactly those two years are named; for over 1400 years.

Breastfeeding has several health benefits not only for the infant but also for the mother: the uterus contracts faster than the non-breastfeeding mother, and breastfeeding burns more calories. Some women are persuaded that breastfeeding spoils the figure, which is not true. The weight gain or lack of weight loss in many women after pregnancy is more likely to be attributed to the mistake that a pregnant woman should eat “for two”. On the other hand, the Islamic food recommendations and thus the controlled consideration of physical needs set the framework for ideally caring for both the infant and yourself.

Breastfeeding is a woman's skill and strength. However, the flow of milk also depends on many factors in healthy women, one of which is the security and removal of stress factors. It is up to the man, who is known to be unable to breastfeed, to ensure that the woman can pursue this valuable task in a well-protected home. And Islam provides the necessary framework conditions for this. Islam has valued the task of breastfeeding so highly that, in addition to the innumerable blessings and rewards in the hereafter, and in addition to the physical advantages in this world, women are even entitled to a financial reward for breastfeeding, which the father has to pay. Of course, in a harmonious marriage, hardly any woman will ask her husband to do this. And of course, in a harmonious marriage, the man would show appreciation anyway if his financial situation allows it. But the Islamic definition alone is an additional appreciation of this important task in society. Every mother who has the framework will happily breastfeed her child on her own initiative. But the fact that Islam grants her this financial reward shows that the woman is supported even in her motherhood and that her work with and for the child is appreciated as such.

It is possible that some societies would be much better off if mothers breastfed more and the framework conditions also made it possible for them to breastfeed more. The removal of women from breastfeeding is one of the most neglected aspects of the oppression of women in our age. Often, because of her job, she is unable to breastfeed regularly at short intervals, as a profit-maximizing working environment has not provided for breastfeeding mothers. Without regular breastfeeding at short intervals, however, the flow of milk will soon dry up. Shouldn't International Women's Day also be dedicated to breastfeeding mothers?