21.5.1 CONTROL OF LACTATION
Onset, continuation, and end of lactation are under endocrine & neural control, neuro-humoral.
Lactation can be affected by the psychological state of the mother. Drugs can also affect lactation either enhancing or suppressing.
21.5.2 PERIOD OF BREAST-FEEDING
The Qur'an set the statutory period of breast-feeding as 2 full years, muddat al ridha'a. No maximum
period was set. However maternal milk is not sufficient as a sole nutrient after 6 months and has to be supplemented. Artificial
feeding is not a substitute for natural feeding because breast feeding involves emotional and psychological aspects in addition
to providing food.
21.5.3 PAYMENT FOR BREAST FEEDING
The father has to give financial compensation to a divorced wife who is breast-feeding his child. Any
other woman can be paid to breast feed the baby.
21.5.4 FOSTER BREAST FEEDING
Breast-feeding is not merely nutrition. Unlike blood transfusion or organ donation, it involves a more
intimate biological and psychological interaction between the infant and the lactating woman. Breast-feeding of a child not
issued from the mother automatically creates a legal relation that in the regard of the Law is no different from that that
of a son or a daughter. The relation encompasses the wet nurse, the children of the wet nurse, and the husband of the wet
nurse. The conditions set by the Law for this relation to hold are: the wet nurse must be a female at least 9 years of age,
the baby suckled must be less than 2 years old, suckling must be from the breast and not milk expressed in a container, and
at least 5 separate breast feeding sessions must be held. The legal relationship thus established leads to marital restrictions
between foster brothers and foster sisters. On the basis of necessity, dharurat, the Law permits collecting milk from several
lactating mothers in a milk bank and using it to feed premature babies or those who have no natural mothers. This does not
create legal relations based on ridha’at because the babies did not feed from the breast directly.
21.5.5 ACTIVITIES DURING BREAST FEEDING
A nursing mother is allowed to combine 2 prayers. A nursing mother may not fast and make up later.
Intercourse with suckling woman, al ghayla, is allowed. Work and maternity
leave for lactating woman: New ijtihad is needed on the minimum period of maternal leave since the Qur’an sets a limit
of 2 years.