With the commencement of the World Breast feeding Week, the United Nation Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) continues to Harps on exclusive breastfeeding for healthy child and mothers because nursing mothers who adopt exclusive breastfeeding for their childre to be protected against breast Cancer and Cancer of the uterus.
This was disclosed by the United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF), Kaduna Field Office at a press briefing preparatory to the 2016 World Breastfeeding week.
According to the Chief of Kaduna UNICEF Field Office, Utpal Moitra, breastfeeding within 30 minutes of childbirth equally saves mothers from maternal death.
He said, the 2016 World Breastfeeding Week was targeted at creating awareness on the relationship between breastfeeding and infant and young child feeding as a key component to sustainable development goals.
“Initiation of breastfeeding within 30 minutes after birth saves mothers from the risk of postpartum heamorrage and maternal death and exclusive breastfeeding on demand in the first six months of life without water or any other food starts every baby on healthy path in life, providing all the nutrients the baby requires for optimum growth and development.
“The feeding of the colostrum serves as the first immunisation against a host of diseases the mother must have been exposed to while continuing breastfeeding up to two years and beyond with appropriate complementary feeding supports optimal health, psychosocial and cognitive development with higher Intelligence Quotient and mental development.” He explained.
Similarly, Kaduna State Nutrition Officer, Mrs. June Gwani said, against the general belief of mothers that, baby needs water, she said all water a baby needs in the first six months of life is in breast milk.
According to her, breast milk contains 85% of water, so there is no fear of absence of water in the breast milk.
She stated categorically that, constant breastfeeding of the baby protects nursing mothers against cancer of the uterus and breast cancer, such as it equally helps the mothers’ uterus to go back to position quickly after delivery.
In her presentation, titled; ‘Breastfeeding: A key to Sustainable Development and Addressing the Current Situation and Challenges of Malnutrition in UNICEF Kaduna Field Office States.’ UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, Dr. Florence Oni said, northern Nigeria was lagging behind in proper breastfeeding, which had resulted to high rate of malnutrition in the region.