Healthcare workers at the Ajeromi-Ifelodun General Hospital,Ajegunle, on Friday urged husbands, families and friends to support breastfeeding mothers around them.
They also urged individuals to help nursing mothers to achieve exclusive breastfeeding of heir babies.
They spoke at an event to celebrate the 2022 World Breastfeeding Week, usually celebrated yearly from Aug.1 to Aug.7.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 2022 theme for World Breastfeeding Week is “Step up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support”.
It seeks to involve governments, communities, and individuals.
The Ajeromi-Ifelodun General Hospital, Ajegunle, celebrated the 2002 World Breastfeeding Week in the hospital premises and with the aim to raise awareness on the need to educate and support mothers around on the importance of breastfeeding.
The Medical Director, Ajeromi-Ifelodun General Hospital, Ajegunle, Dr Olufemi Orebanjo, said that all Nigerian women should be encouraged to exclusively breastfeed their babies because breast milk had all nutrients required for brain growth and general body development.
He also said that government had put in place an arrangement for nursing mothers to breastfeed babies even while at work.
“In order to make breastfeeding for the first six months of babies life achievable, our government has created a creche room where we can keep babies and breastfeed them even during work hours.
“So, we seek support from husbands, families and friends to help breastfeeding mother to do either housechores or run errands for them while they breastfeed their babies,” he said.
Orebanjo also urged individuals at work place to give chances to breastfeeding mothers to attend to their babies while at work.
Also, the Apex Nurse of the hospital, Mrs Esther Akerele, said that breastmilk is very paramount to the child at the first six months of life as it fights antibodies that may cause sickness in babies.
She also said that breastfeeding could be extended till when a child got to two years with complementary feeding alongside.
Akerele said that the first milk discharged from mothers breast, called “colostrum”, was very healthy for babies.
“The first milk that is extracted from breast is very healthy and its called colostrum but to some women they will say its a dirty milk,nothing like dirty but the best.
“The colostrum makes the baby body fights infection and makes them strong throughout life.
“I am also advising healthworkers to monitor and educate mothers on the need to allow babies take the colostrum,” she said.
She advised mothers to allow their baby suck immediately they put to birth.
However, the Nutritionist of the hospital,Mr Olusola Malomo, advised working mothers to extract milk before going to work, saying it was safer than over-the-counter milk.
“For those who do not have the opportunity to stay at home for six months ,exclusive breastfeeding is still achievable through extraction.
“All you need to do is extract the milk in a cup and refrigerate,even without refrigeration the milk can stay for eight hours.
“Your child carer should just get a hot water and place the milk cup inside hot water and that is all,the baby can then eat it,” he said.
Malomo,however,urged breastfeeding mothers to eat balance diet.
One of the breastfeeding mothers who was at the celebration ,Mrs Atolani Oni,applauded the hospital for educating them more on the importance of breastfeeding.