BREASTFEEDING : The Foundation Of Life

Breastfeeding : The Foundation Of Life

The Wife of the Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has reiterated the need for nursing mothers to embrace exclusive breastfeeding for their babies in the first six months after birth.  Mrs Akeredolu, who   gave the advice at a symposium organized to mark this year’s World Breastfeeding Week with the  theme "Breastfeeding : The Foundation Of Life" said this year's activity will focus on the importance of feeding the newly born babies and infants with breast milk directly from female human breasts.The program which was organised by the state government in collaboration with United Nations International Children Education Fund, (UNICEF) held at the Babafunke Ajasin Auditorium in Akure the State Capital highlighted the benefits of breast milk to the growth of a child.Represented by the wife of the State Commissioner for Health, Mrs Oluwatoyin Adegbenro, the First Lady described breast milk as the shield that protect babies against any form of disease, ensure normal growth and all round development of a child.

She, therefore, appealed to religious leaders, community leaders, policy makers to educate parents and the general public on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for infants within the first six months to get the needed nutrients to fight anti-body d iseases.In his welcome address, the State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Pastor Emmanuel Igbasan, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Bunmi Alade, noted that the event was organised to promote and increase the awareness on issues relating to exclusive breastfeeding in order to enhance protection of infants all over the world.

Pastor Igbasan stressed that the first six months after a child's birth is critical to the development of key organs of it's body and early development in life.  He enjoined nursing mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies during early months in order to provide them with the basic nutrition that will sustain their growth and development throughout their lifecycle.

Nutritional Specialist of UNICEF, Akure Office, Mrs Ada Ezeogu, highlighted some benefits of exclusive breastfeeding to nursing mothers which includes reducing the risk of ovarian cancer, aids involution of the uterus with reduction in post partrum bleeding, gives personal satisfaction and feeling of fulfilment of motherhood among others.

Mrs Ada explained that new born babies should be breastfed within one hour of birth, exclusively for the first six months and complementarily up to two years.

The Executive Secretary of the State Primary Health Care, Mr. Francis Akanbiemu,  urged women to allow their babies to get adequate breast milk to help them grow, adding that exclusive breastfeeding enhance intimacy and love between the mother and the child as well as reduce spending on drugs.

UNICEF representative in the state, Mr. Mohammed Muritala assured the state government that the world body would continue to partner with relevant government agencies and organizations to enhance exclusive breastfeeding of babies for their wellbeing and development of future generations.

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