Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has reminded nursing mothers and pregnant women of the need to attach serious importance to exclusive breast-feeding of newborn babies.
Ambode, in a statement to commemorate this year’s World Breastfeeding Week, held annually in the first week of August, said the benefit of breast milk to the infant is too profound to be ignored, as it is an important foundation for a baby’s life, capable of determining whether the baby would live or otherwise.
She said: “Putting a baby to the breast in the first hour of life is a major safeguard against infant’s death, and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life helps them to grow, prevents under nutrition, promotes brain development, as well as reduce the risk of overweight.”
She further said that breast milk was vital because it acts as the baby’s first vaccine, thereby boosting immunity for newborn babies.
“Nothing can compare to the breast milk. No matter the nutritional value of the baby formula, it cannot adequately take the place of breast milk in the life of the newborn.
“God who created it in His own special way to be baby-friendly, has made it the most important and most beneficial type of food a baby gets to know.
“Nursing mothers should not make excuses of their jobs or career for not doing exclusive breastfeeding because the advantages to the baby are too many”, she said.
The governor’s wife commended the theme for this year: “Breastfeeding: Foundation for Life”, describing it as apt and the basic truth about the practice.
She explained further that breastfeeding was good bonding between mother and infant, adding that improved breastfeeding practices around the world, could save the lives of nearly one million children under five years.