Home Health Infants are not prone to allergies if properly breast-fed — Doctor

Infants are not prone to allergies if properly breast-fed — Doctor


ABUJA – Dr Ene Ochaba, a medical doctor, has urged mothers to exclusively breast feed their babies to prevent allergies which may be common in the usage of some artificial milk.

Ochaba of Faith Mediplex Hospital, Benin, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja that breast feeding helped in defending the child against infections.

She said it would also prevent allergies and protect the infant against a number of chronic conditions.

Accoding to her, exclusive breast feeding is feeding the baby with only breast milk for the first six months of life.

“Breast feeding lowers your baby’s risk of having allergies, also babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first six months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and occasional diarrhea.

“Breast milk is not static, but changes as the baby grows to meet the requirement; its constituents are just in the right amount and it strengthens their immune system to fight against infections.

“When the baby is one month, the milk produced is different from the second month down to the sixth month; its readily available, so there isn’t any delay from its preparation; it also saves money for the family.

“That is why medically, it is advised that mothers should breast feed exclusively for six months and after then, complementary feeding can be introduced.

“ Breast feeding should be continued until the child is eventually weaned off the breast milk for at least one year.

Ochaba said breast milk contained antibodies, anti-viral and vitamin A which helped to fight and protect the baby against infections.

She says that it promotes quick recovery for sick babies and ensures that they have fewer hospitalisations.

“Its a natural milk specially designed to cater for the needs of babies; the more the baby sucks, the more the milk is produced and once artificial milk is introduced to the baby the body supply of milk starts reducing.’’

She said exclusive breastfeeding encouraged bonding between mother and child, and helped involution of the womb through the release of the hormone oxytocin.

The expert further explained that it helped in child spacing, with lower risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

Ochaba said hygiene was most essential for nursing mothers, emphasising the need for bathing and washing hands regularly.

“Mothers should wash their hands and clean the nipples before and after feeding their babies.

“Mothers who express milk should not micro wave as certain antibodies could be destroyed, rather it could be kept warm.

“Nursing mothers should endeavour to use absorbable breast pads in order to avoid the milk from soaking their clothes; this is because any moisture around the cloth can promote infection,’’ Ochaba said. (NAN)

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