- A new father has encouraged Nigerian men to ensure their lactating wives feed well
- Abiodun Oluwafemi said exclusive breastfeeding is key to every child's development
- He also warned men do desist from giving their wives unbalanced diet during lactation
A new father has warned other Nigerian men to ensure their wives feed well while breastfeeding their children.
Abiodun Oluwafemi said exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child's life guarantees optimum development for the newborn.
Speaking to NAIJ.com at Adeoyo Maternity Hospital, Yemetu in Ibadan, Oyo state, Oluwafemi said, from experience, he has realized that breast milk is key to every child's development.
"It is important to give a child of six months breast milk alone, it makes the child well and strong," Oluwafemi said.
Having followed his wife to post-natal care at the health facility, Oluwafemi said, his four months daughter has never fallen sick since birth.
He said: "The child won’t fall sick if he or she is properly breastfed, this is because the breast milk has something that prevents the children from falling sick."
"When you go to the hospital, you’ll see some women bringing their children after three months or five months because probably they stopped breastfeeding before the required six months.
Not denying the fact, that the economic situation in Nigeria is not favourable for every family, Oluwafemi also encouraged husbands and wives to ensure that the try variety of foods and fruits for a healthy living.
He said: "Some give their children pap and it is not supposed to be so; in Nigeria, things are not easy, but we must encourage breastfeeding."
"Some children are dull, but a child who is exclusively breastfed will be very smart because of breastfeeding, the baby will not be sick, the baby will be strong.
If a baby poos or is crying, once you give him/her breast milk, they will stop crying," he said.
He also appealed to all men to encourages and help their wives achieve maximum development for the children.
"I am appealing to husbands to feed their wives well because whatever food the mother eats is what the child benefits from.
If the mother doesn’t feed, how will the baby feed well? Not Amala (a local Yoruba delicacy) morning, afternoon and night. Breastfeeding women should eat balanced diet.
Breastfeeding women should also eat fruits, like watermelon, pineapple, even oranges," he concluded.
The World Health Organization described exclusive breastfeeding as giving an infant breast milk for the first six months of their life - without water or other foods.
The organization also said breastfeeding serves as a child’s first immunization which provides protection from respiratory infections, diarrhoeal disease, and other potentially life-threatening ailments including obesity and communicable diseases.
"Yet, much remains to be done to make exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life the norm for infant feeding.
"Globally, only 38% of infants aged 0 to 6 months are exclusively breastfed. Recent analyses indicate that sub optimal breastfeeding practices, including non-exclusive breastfeeding, contribute to 11.6% of mortality in children under 5 years of age.
This was equivalent to about 804 000 child deaths in 2011," the WHO said.
Also, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Nutrition specialist Ada Ezeogu confirmed that exclusive breastfeeding for children between ages 0-6 months has been ranked as the most cost intervention for the prevention of childhood mortality.
Ezeogu said breastfeeding can prevent as much as 13% of mortality in children in the early years of their lives if it is practiced at 90%.
She said Nigeria needs to improve on its exclusive breastfeeding rate to make achieve such feat.
"It is not just enough that we are doing exclusive breastfeeding, it has to be at high coverage to achieve the full benefit.
But in addition to protecting against child mortality, it also has other health benefits. It protects the child from a lot of childhood illnesses, like acute respiratory infection, diahorea [and] some allergic reaction," Ezeogu said.
Ezeogu said exclusive breastfeeding helps shape a child's detention as well as prevent constipation in children early life.
You can watch this NAIJ.com video of Oluwafemi encouraging Nigerian men to ensure their lactating wives feed well: