World Breastfeeding Week: Expert urges family members to support mothers

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Mrs Mufuliat Olatunji, the Chief Nursing Officer, Alimosho General Hospital, Igando, has urged fathers and relatives to support nursing mothers in ensuring exclusive breastfeeding of babies for first six months of life.

Olatunji gave the advice on Wednesday at a programme organised by the hospital to commemorate the 2021 World Breastfeeding Week (WBW).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the WBW is annually celebrated globally from Aug. 1 to Aug. 7 to raise awareness about the importance of exclusive breastfeeding to mothers and babies.

NAN also reports that the theme for this year’s celebration is: “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.”

The chief nursing officer, therefore, who described breast milk as perfect food enriched with all required nutrients in the right proportion and temperature and healthy foundation for every child.

She said “getting support during this period is paramount in achieving the result of exclusive breastfeeding for both the baby and mother.

“Exclusive breastfeeding involves psychological, physical and mental alertness to ease the stress of breastfeeding on the mothers,” she said.

Olatunji noted that the breast milk contained antibodies which would prevent breastfeed babies from coming down with diseases, especially from age zero to five years.

She said “exclusive breastfeeding to both mothers and babies cannot be over-emphasised because it is cost effective and it helps in reducing the stress of sterilising feeding bottles.

“The pro and prebiotics in breast milk enhances high intellectual development of a child.

“It also helps in prompt reduction of postpartum fat, through the oxytocin which stimulates the uterus muscles to contract and gets it back to place.”

She advised mothers to maintain good hygiene before, during and after breastfeeding for the well-being of their babies.