First Lady makes case for children’s breastfeeding

DP
By onyibel1 • 12 days ago • 419 views • 120 comments

First Lady, Dr. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, has insisted that breast feeding is the right of every new-born child.

According to her, the government of Nigeria recommends that initiation of breast feeding should begin immediately after childbirth.

She spoke during the launch of the Zero water campaign as part of activities marking the 2019 World Breastfeeding Week at the International Conference Centre Abuja.

The First lady, in a statement by her S. A Media, Adebisi Olumide -Ajayi, noted that refusal to breastfeed comes with a huge economic cost, vulnerability to illness and eventual death of our children, whilst the benefits of breastfeeding are enormous.

The First Lady, who was represented by the wife of the former governor of Nasararwa state, Dr. Mairo Al Makura, further said she hoped the launch would change the narrative for nutrition in the country.

She said the zero launch was meant to encourage women to breastfeed within one hour of giving birth and not introducing the baby to water until 6 months.

UNICEF deputy representative Pernille Ironside said she has been breastfeeding her child for the past eighteen months.

She informed the dignitaries present that Breastfeeding is a unique right of every newborn and gives him or her the best start in life as well as laying the foundation for survival and ultimate good health and development.

She noted that in a country where 1 in 8 children do not reach their fifth birthday and 1 in 10 children are stunted, optimal breastfeeding practices are known to reduce neonatal and child mortality, morbidity such as respiratory infections, diarrhoea, as well as non- communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes also decreased if a child is exclusively breast fed.

Ms Ironside said an important barrier to optimal exclusive breastfeeding practice is the lack of family friendly policies that support maternity and paternity leave for parents of new-born children

“Available statistics in Nigeria reveal that the rates for exclusive breastfeeding have improved from 17% in 2013 to 27% in 2018, just as Kaduna and Lagos states have increased maternity leave from 3 to 6 months.”


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