Nutrition Society of Nigeria Advocates Joint Effort On Exclusive Breastfeeding
The Nutrition Society of Nigeria on Thursday advocated joint effort of family members in supporting mothers to carry out exclusive breastfeeding of newborns for the first six months.
Prof. Oluwatosin Adu, the chairman of the society in Lagos State, made the call at a programme to commemorate the 2017 World Breastfeeding Week at Ajeromi General Hospital, Ajegunle in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the first week of August marks the 25th anniversary of the World Breastfeeding Week.
It is to bring breastfeeding to the forefront of community agenda in accordance with the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action – a global network of individuals and organisations- that coordinate the World Breastfeeding Week.
Adu said that everybody must work together to ensure sustainable breastfeeding in the society.
“Parents, families, sisters and the husband must ensure that a newborn in the house is properly breastfed exclusively in the first six months.
“Others must all assist the mother in doing one thing or the other in the house to allow her to properly give her baby exclusive breastfeeding.
“Even, organisations must create space for creche within the organisation so that mothers can dash in anytime, while working to breastfeed her baby at the appropriate time.
“Exclusive breastfeeding is a diet of breast milk only, with no other liquids or solids, not even water, for the first six months of a child’s life.
“It is one of the most important interventions to ensure a child’s survival, healthy growth and development,’’ he said.
Adu commended the Lagos State Government for giving mothers six months maternity leave and fathers two weeks paternity leave.
Also, the Managing Director of the Hospital, Dr Olufemi Orebanjo, advised all mothers to exclusively breastfeed their children as it would help nourish the child.
“Every year and every day we preach exclusive breastfeeding; it will be a continuous thing so as to eradicate malnourishment in our society.
“World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises breast milk as the best nutritional food source for infants.
“It also recommends that breastfeeding should commence within one hour of the child’s birth, and should be administered during the first six months of the child’s life.
“Ideally, it should continue till the age of two, to ensure healthy growth and development of the child,” he said.
Over 200 mothers attended the event themed: “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together’’.