Nutrition experts and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) yesterday advised women especially nursing mothers to not only practice exclusive breast feeding but to also encourage others to practice it as a key to sustainable development.
They said breastfeeding a new born baby is the best gift any mother can give to her child to prevent all the childhood killer diseases such diarrhea or cholera.
The programme which attracted expectant and nursing mothers in the area was organized by Radio Rivers in collaboration with UNICEF.
Addressing the women at Orogbum Primary Health Centre, Obio/Akpor Local Government of Rivers State, Mrs. Glory Wokocha, a nutritionist said it is an act of wickedness for a nursing mother to refuse to practice exclusive breastfeeding.
Wokocha who represented the Director of Health in Rivers State ministry described exclusive breastfeeding as a breast feeding that started after 30 minutes of child birth and continue from one to six months.
She called on women and nursing mothers to defeat unnecessary illness and sickness arising from inadequate practice of exclusive breastfeeding.
She said: “From the day you conceived start preparing for good breast milk, the kinds of food you eat when you are pregnant determine how nutritious you breast milk will be. In exclusive breast feeding you don’t need to give baby water because the breast milk contains water.
“A baby must suck the mother breast milk for at least one hour, because the first milk that comes out of the mother’s breast is not the main milk. The more the baby sucks the more nutritious is the milk.”
Mrs. Patience Nweuzi, Head of Department Infant Welfare who demonstrated how nursing mother should carry and position a baby while giving breast milk said exclusive breast feeding should be practice by all nursing mothers.
She regretted that many nursing mothers do not practice exclusive breastfeeding in Rivers State, adding that to prevent childhood killer diseases nursing mothers must endure and practice exclusive breast feeding.
She called on the men to assist their wives by providing the necessary support to keep both the mother and the bay healthy by supporting the nursing mother to practice exclusive breastfeeding.
Meanwhile the General Manager of Radio Rivers Sir Sampson Feberisima and team leader of UNICEF Mrs. January also encouraged the nursing mothers to assist the Nation produce the next sharp and brilliant leaders of future generation by making exclusive breast feeding as a must.