Lactating mothers have been advised to sustain the exclusive breastfeeding of their babies for a maximum period of six months to prevent childhood diseases.
The Niger State Commissioner for Health, Dr Mustapha Jibrin, who gave the advice, said the child could be allowed to continue to suckle for two years.
Jibrin said that it was important for nursing mothers to do what was important and necessary for the child's total well-being.
The commissioner explained that breast milk provided all the calories and nutrients needed by the baby to thrive in the first six months and should not be compromised if the mother had no lactation failure.
He said the physical and mental development of many babies had fallen short of standard because most mothers shirked the responsibility of breastfeeding their babies exclusively.
The commissioner said such neglect had deprived many children of good nutrition thereby affecting their well-being both emotionally and intellectually.
Breastfeeding will on the long run help us have a productive nation because children that are breast fed properly end up having a high intelligence quotient.
I call upon the women because the future, economy, strength, health of the people of our nation is dependent on the child getting exclusive breastfeeding for six months while suckling can continue for two years, Jibrin said.
Jibrin also said that immune factors in milk provided protection against infections such as, vibrio cholerae, streptococcus pneumoniae, rotavirus, haemophilus influenza, and escherichia coli, among others.
Mothers should take into cognisance that shirking the responsibility of breastfeeding grossly expands health risks for both mother and child,'' he said.
Source: Voice of Nigeria