Wife of Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Mrs Monica Ugwuanyi, has called for the support families, friends and local government authorities, in the area of exclusive breastfeeding for babies.
Mrs Ugwuanyi made the appeal in a virtual internet video message, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria , on Monday in Enugu.
The message was to commemorate this year’s “World Breastfeeding Week”, which holds between Aug.1 and Aug. 7.
According to her, there is need for mothers, fathers and wives of local government chairmen, to join in the renewed call for appropriate feeding for newborns and infants, and support nursing mothers in any way they can.
“A warm chain of support from us all will create an enabling environment that empowers all mothers to breastfeed optimally for a healthier planet.
“I pledge to bridge the gap for the survival of our children within the state.
“This appropriate feeding for newborns and infants, which is uncompromising exclusive breastfeeding, is also one pathway to mitigate environmental degradation,’’ she said.
Mrs Ugwuanyi also stressed the importance of early initiation of breastfeeding of children within the first one hour of birth, and exclusively for six months.
“Also introduction of solid food after six months to complement continuous exclusive breastfeeding, meant to last for two years of age or beyond,’’ she said.
The governor’s wife noted that mothers’ breast milk contained antibodies that helped babies fight viruses and bacteria, as well as lowered babies’ risk of having asthma or allergies.
“It also provides the ideal nutrition for the babies and makes them smarter.
“Babies, who are exclusively breastfed for six months without a formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illness and diarrhea,’’ she added.
She also enumerated some negative consequences of inadequate breastfeeding on malnourished children, especially when they become adults, to include stunting and likely suffering of chronic diseases.
“Inadequate breastfeeding and its attendant infant malnutrition can make populations vulnerable to pandemics such as the novel COVID-19 currently ravaging the world,’’ Mrs Ugwuanyi said.
NAN reports that the theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is: “Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet’’.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)