By Adamazi Mbonu Onyi
Exclusive breastfeeding is a situation where the baby is being fed with only breast milk for the first six months of his/her life without water or any form of liquid.
The nutrient percentage composition of breast milk include: Water 88.1%, Protein 0.9%, Fat 3.8%, Lactose 7.0% and other nutrients 0.2% which is adequate in quantity and quality to promote optimal growth and development of infants.
During a two-day media workshop on Child Malnutrition organized by UNICEF with support from Department For International Development(DFID) in Yola, Adamawa state, Dr Davis Omotola, a Nutrition Consultant has urged expectant and nursing mothers to embrace exclusive breastfeeding as it is the life-wire of newborn babies.
He further opined that exclusively breastfed babies have better chances of surviving childhood diseases like diarrhea, cholera, malaria, and pneumonia and the child will also grow with a brain capacity and mental ability which would enable him/her cope better more than his/her mates who are not exclusively breastfed.
This according to him stems from the fact that breastmilk contains all the essential micronutrients and vitamins needed for a child to grow and develop all the necessary organs especially during the first 1000 days of life, a period which is very critical in every child’s life.
Nursing mothers should also ensure that babies that are less than six months do not take water or any form of liquid as breast milk has enough water to meet the baby’s needs.
Fathers erroneously believe that breastfeeding is a role confined to mother and baby but father’s play a vital role in breastfeeding and are key inorder to make a successful family unit.
Fathers and the community at large are encouraged to have a sound knowledge about the health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby, that will help them to prioritize the activity and give breastfeeding a strong endorsement.
A Malnourished child is everybody’s burden. Let’s all join hands to save Nigeria’s future. Think Nutrition, Save the future!!
#UNICEF #Breastfeeding #Malnutrition