As the world celebrates World Breastfeeding Day, nutritionists have advised mothers to ensure that their children are breastfed in the first six months of their lives and subsequently for two years.
The nutritionists said, to achieve proper brain development, there is need for the child to breastfeed for two years.
A Nutritionist, Mrs. Folu Oladungoye stated this during a sensitisation campaign to mark the event in Osogbo.
According to him, God has so created the human breast in a way that the first milk that comes out of the breast after birth called Colostrum is antibiotic in nature as it will provides the new baby with all the body defences it needs to fight diseases.
He also described as a mistake, the cases of substituting human breast milk with that of goat, cow and camel.
According to her, “The human breast milk contains minerals that aid the child’s brain in its development and growth. These types of minerals you will not find in milk from cows, goats and camels. There is no need advocating for it because we are not animals.
“By the time these children are hooked on breast milk of animals, what do you think will happen to them in the future if not for God that has been helping us.
“People should not get me wrong. I am not saying consumption of animal milk is wrong but it is a bad diet combination for babies in their formative years but as adults, it is a normal diet”.
She advocated for a strong government policy from the federal government which would make it mandatory and not optional for mothers to feed their babies with milk from their breasts.
About the issue of working mothers, he stated that various methods have been adopted over the years as a solution.
This, according to her, is always part of the education process expectant mothers are taught in their antenatal meetings prior to giving birth, saying, “Mothers know how to go about it if they really put their babies love before anything”.
Sick mothers too are encouraged to breast feed their babies as it carries no risks. The only exception, she pointed out, is if the mother is seriously sick and too weak to breastfeed.
In such a situation he revealed that an alternative approach can be adopted to fix the problem at hand.
“Any woman who has any problem relating to breastfeeding or discover that her baby is not sucking should find her way to the Neonatal department of any government or private health facilities where adequate medical care will be rendered”.
She maintained that breast milk is the best gift a mother can give to her new born and both parents should see it as a collective responsibility.
She explained that mature human milk is made up of 3-5% fat, 0.8-0.0% protein, 6.9-7.2% carbohydrate calculated as lactose, 0.2% mineral constituents and the energy content is 60-75 kcal/100ml.
Protein content is considerably higher and carbohydrate content is lower in colostrum than in mature milk.
The theme of the year 2018 edition of the World Breastfeeding Week is “Breast Milk, The Foundation of Life”.