By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has stressed the need for nursing mothers and pregnant women to attach serious importance to exclusive breastfeeding of newborn babies.
Mrs. Ambode gave the charge in a statement on Tuesday to commemorate the occasion of this year’s World Breast-feeding Week, themed: Breastfeeding: Foundation for Life, held annually in the first week of August.
She said the benefits of breast milk to the infant were too profound to be ignored, as it was an important foundation for a baby’s life, capable of determining whether the baby would live or otherwise.
Mrs. Ambode said putting a baby to the breast in the first hour of life was a major safeguard against the death of the infant, adding that exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months 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.
According to her: “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 new born.
“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.
Describing the theme for this year 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, according to international health bodies.