Health experts have implored mothers to not only exclusively breastfeed their babies for six months but also continue breastfeeding the babies for two years though with complementary diets because of the huge benefits to children and mothers.
They gave the advice at an enlightenment programme on the importance of breastfeeding to the child and the mother as part of activities marking the year 2022 World Breastfeeding Week in Ikorodu, Lagos.
The Medical Health Officer, Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area, Dr Opeyemi Osunyomi, stated that celebrating the breastfeeding week yearly is good because it provides a reminder that breastmilk is very nutritious and a defense for babies because it contains all the nutrients a baby needs to grow well at the tender stage.
The Health Financing and Advocacy Specialist, Save the Children Inspiring Project, Folake Kuti, said breast milk prevent children from falling sick including coming down to pneumonia. She noted that when a child is malnourished such child’s immunity will be low and can easily fall sick to many diseases including pneumonia.
She maintained that breastmilk is the best for children to survive and thrive. She added that the Inspiring project which is being supported by GSK is concerned about mothers breastfeeding because it also helps to prevent childhood pneumonia or pneumonia deaths, the focus of inspiring project.
An Assistant Chief Nursing Officer, Ipakodo Primary Healthcare Centre, Olayinka Ogunbiyi, spoke to the over 200 mothers invited for the enlightenment programme on why they should breastfeed their babies exclusively for six months and continue breastfeeding the baby for two years with other complementary diets.
She noted that it is economical for the family as it does not only provide rich and nutritious meals for the baby, it is cheap as it cost the mother nothing extra to produce breast milk unlike buying baby food.
Ogunbiyi also said it helps in bonding the mother and the child aside it provides the first immunity for the child at birth.
The over 200 women who participated in the event got baby diapers, detergent, and babe wipes each.