THE Kwara State Government has emphasised the importance of exclusive breast feeding for children as Well-being Foundation counseled 500 nursing mothers and pregnant women during 2017 World Health Organization International Breast Feeding Week celebration in Ilorin, the State capital.
The Commissioner for Health, Sulaiman Atolagbe Alege, stressing the importance of breast feeding, said: “breast feeding is cheaper and effective means of ensuring the health of a child as it is God given, and contains all the essential nutrients for a baby in the right quantity and temperature”.
Represented by Dr. Khadeeja Kamaldeen, the Commssioner advised mother to ensure they considered exclusive breast feeding as the best option.
The founder, Wellbeing Foundation Africa and wife of the Senate President, Mrs.Toyin Saraki, said the essence of joining the global world in marking this year World Breast feeding Week an important week is to ensure that mothers are giving the adequate and all the necessary information about breast feeding
Mrs. Saraki who was represented by Hajia Funsho Abdullahi, noted that there is need to promote breast feeding among nursing mothers so that there can be a healthy nation.
According to Mrs Saraki, this year’s theme for the week is “Sustaining breast feeding together”, which means ,”we cannot do it alone. It is about working in partnership with others. The benefits of breastfeeding are well documented”.
She further disclosed that breast milk contain antibodies that help baby fight off viruses and bacteria;breastfeeding lowers baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies. Also babies’ breastfed exclusively for the breast six months have less bouts of illness and fewer infections.
In her address at the seminars, the lead Midwife of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Ms Felicity Ukoko emphasised that exclusive breast feeding in the first six months of a baby’s life without water is a form of family planning for the mother if practiced effectively.
Ms Ukoko led the breast feeding demonstration, the participating nursing mothers and pregnant women were taught how to place the baby properly to the breast.
They were told that what the baby first sucks from the breast is water which will quench the thirst of the baby before the baby sucks the thicker contents of the breast to satisfy the baby’s hunger.
It was further reported that participants were advised to always keep their babies close them or express breast milk into a clean cup or appropriate device which could be refrigerated and fed to baby in the mother’s absence.