How Does Payment for Milk Nursing Work?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


  1. If a mother wants to work and not watch the children, is she obligated to pay for childcare, or does the father have to cover these costs?
  2. How do I calculate how much I am supposed to pay my wife for the breast milk she is feeding our child?
  3. If I don’t want my child to drink formula due to multiple studies showing it is not healthy for babies and it was not the historical and Islamic way of feeding newborns, can I require that my wife feed the child her breast milk?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

Please visit this related answer.

Should The Mother Pay For Childcare?

The father is obliged to provide for the children, not the mother. This is because of the general ruling in the Quran: If they nurse your infants, pay them for it [Quran; 65.6].

How Should I Determine A Wage?

You should negotiate a reasonable wage for this service, and you may use the typical or customary wage for similar services in your context. [Hashiyat al-Bujayrami]

Can I Oblige My Wife To Nurse Our Child?

If a mother wants to breastfeed her child, it is not permissible for the father to prevent her from doing so.

However, it is not considered obligatory for a woman to nurse (breastfeed) her child unless there is no one else available to do and no other available options that would preserve the welfare of the child.

An exception mentioned in classical works is the mother’s nursing the child in the immediate period following childbirth, which was thought to be specific to the mother and without which the child would not usually survive. However, the obligation here is with respect to preserving the child’s life, and is not necessarily specific to nursing itself. [ibid.]

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.