August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month

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August 7 will mark the end of World Breastfeeding Week, unfortunately without much of a noticeable campaign promoting healthful breastfeeding practices immediately after childbirth.

A child is being breastfed by the mother. Breast milk is made of fats, sugars, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and enzymes and is created to promote brain and body growth.

"Increasing exclusive breastfeeding rates can avert 100,000 infant deaths annually in Nigeria and add more than 150 million dollars to the Nigerian economy each year". Gestro called breastfeeding a natural process of life, and a great binding process for mother and child. And these two are the leading causes of death in children under five years of age.

The debate of whether breast is best has been going on for years but now the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that Midwives should check if mums are breastfeeding within an hour of birth.

Prof. Osawaru Oviawe, on his own part, stressed on maintaining the complete immunization doses for babies in addition to optimal breastfeeding up to six months, to build malaria antibodies as well as drive down asthma and eczema allergic reactions associated with milk substitutes.

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According to a research by World Health Organization and UNICEF, breastfeeding babies for the first two years would annually save the lives of more than 8,20,000 children under five years of age. Exclusive breastfeeding also helps to bring about bonding of baby and mother and helps delay a new pregnancy. Very low exclusive breastfeeding rate has persisted among mothers in Nigeria with the National rate at 25% in 2014 (National Nutrition and Health Survey, 2014). This is especially important as most establishments in Nigeria do not make any provisions for crèches where breastfeeding mothers can bring their babies so that the babies are close enough for the mothers to take breastfeeding breaks and breastfeed their infants. The HMOs are the third most abundant solid component in human milk after lactose and fat.

"While early initiation of breastfeeding has remained consistently about one in three women between 1990 and today, thus it increased to 38 per cent and later dropped to 33 per cent". "Breast milk should be given to the baby once both the mother and the child are in a stable condition".

"But these are actually signs that the woman's body has adjusted to the baby's feeding requirement".

The SBFO started its celebration of World Breastfeeding Week with a 20-hour training course on breastfeeding that was held on Wednesday in partnership with Khorfakkan Hospital.

Masina said mothers may have observed that health practitioners at clinics encourage breastfeeding as opposed to bottle feeding as they may harbour infections on the artificial tit.

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