First Lady of Lagos State, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday urged expectant and nursing mothers to embrace exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after delivery.
In a message to commemorate 2020 World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), Sanwo-Olu said that exclusive breastfeeding would go a long way to improve a child’s growth and development.
She said that the importance of exclusive breastfeeding could not be over emphasised, hence, the need for mothers to embrace the practice to safeguard the health of their babies.
”As a mother and physician myself, I have a clear idea of the high impact of exclusive breastfeeding on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Nutrition.
”Hence the need for expectant and nursing mothers to be encouraged to embrace the practice to improve child growth and development.
”When observed for the first six months after birth, exclusive breastfeeding helps in no small measure to reduce morbidity in children.
”It helps to strengthen the immune system and protects against serious diseases such as respiratory infections, low growth, diarrhea and pneumonia, among others,” the First Lady said.
According to her, observing exclusive breastfeeding is equally beneficial to the nursing mothers, as it helps to burn extra calories and also lowers their risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
She said that exclusive breastfeeding also lowers the risk of Osteoporosis, a medical condition in which the bones become fragile from loss of tissue.
”Without mincing words, there are several benefits inherent in strict adherence to the practice of exclusive breastfeeding for both children and mothers.
”It is for this reason that I urge expectant and nursing mothers to embrace it to safeguard the health of their children,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration – ”Support Breastfeeding For A Healthier Planet”, she said it could not had come at a better time than now as the world contended with COVID-19 pandemic that had changed life.
”This has brought to the fore the need for all, especially relatives, colleagues, and the community generally to make it a priority to support expectant and nursing mothers to observe exclusive breastfeeding for the recommended period.
”It is our collective responsibility to create the enabling environment for mothers to breastfeed optimally in the interest of the health of our children and mothers,” the First Lady said.
The WBW, which was inaugurated in 1991, is celebrated annually from Aug. 1 to Aug. 7 in over 120 countries across the globe, to promote breastfeeding as an effective practice to engender mother and child wellbeing. (NAN)