Dr Tunde Aromire, a consultant gynecologist with Hope Hospital in Osogbo has called on nursing mothers to make exclusive breastfeeding a priority in order to reduce infant mortality.
Aromire made the called in an interview with newsmen on Friday in Osogbo.
The gynaecologist said that exclusively breastfed babies had a lower risk of gastrointestinal infection than a formula (infant milk) fed baby.
Aromire also said that exclusive breastfeeding always help the babies regain weight lost at birth.
According to him, exclusive breastfeeding also helps them to quickly recover from infection, cold and also protect them from sickness.
He said the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended six months exclusive breastfeeding for nursing mothers.
Aromire, however, said that nursing mother who engaged in exclusive breastfeeding needed to eat well for adequate supply of milk for the baby.
He said, “Considering the fact that the only source of nutrition for the baby is the mother’s milk, the nursing mother has to eat balanced diets to get enough milk in her breasts.
“The nursing mother must, however, be careful about her own diet and continue to avoid or limit the consumption of certain foods which can prevent proper flow of milk.’’
According to Aromire, if a nursing mother fails to breastfeed the newborn baby well, the baby might experience dehydration, which he said could pave the way for other health problems.
He said improper breastfeeding could also cause weight loss, slow growth and development in babies.
“Breastfeeding can be disadvantageous for the newborns when there is an inadequate supply of breast milk or insufficient suck reflex in the baby.
“So it is important that the mother knows how much milk in terms of quantity she is producing per feed,” Aromire said.
He urged breastfeeding mothers to always visit nutritionists to guide them on what to eat as this would help both the mother and the suckling baby.