By Patience Omoha Longyen
Abuja – Nursing mothers are advised to avoid giving their babies to relatives or friends to breastfeed them whenever they are not around or sick, a medical expert has said.
Rev. Sr. Eunice Okobia of Medical Missionaries of Mary Clinic, ACO Housing Estate, Abuja, gave the advice on Saturday while addressing mothers during an immunisation programme.
Okobia said that nursing mothers who allowed other women to breastfeed their babies put such children at the risk of being infected.
She said it was safer to use a bottle of the mother’s breast milk or infant formula to feed babies whose mothers were not available to feed them.
“Contact with breast milk and breast tissue can transmit infections, such as yeast, bacteria or viruses.
“ Before now, mothers will allow their friends or relatives to breastfeed their babies when they are away or sick.
“We all know that HIV can be transmitted through breast milk. Also disease, such as hepatitis, can also be gotten through cracked nipples.
“ Unless you know the complete medical history of the friend or relative, it would be risky to let another woman breastfeed your baby,’’ Okobia said.
She advised: “if you feel that a relative or friend should breastfeed your baby, you should consult your paediatrician.’’