Medical/Health Care

MOTHER’S FIRST BREAST MILK IMMUNISES A CHILD SAYS HEALTH OFFICER

Nise (Awka South LGA)-Mrs Joy Eberendu, Anambra Breastfeeding Coordinator, says the first breast milk that comes out from a mother after delivery contains the first immunisation a child receives.

Mrs Eberendu said this at Nise Women’s Home and The Diaspora joint August meeting session at Primary Health Centre (PHC), Nise, Awka South Local Government Area (LGA).

She noted that breast milk was very essential as it contained ‘colostrums,’ the first breast milk that was usually yellowish in colour.

It is highly nutritious and contains antibodies that protect a child from diseases in future.

It is a wrong belief that the first breast milk is not good, neither can it kill a child as speculated by some mothers.”

The coordinator noted that Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA) in collaboration with Partners For Development (PFD) was spreading the gospel of early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding.

The world is celebrating its breastfeeding week which commences from Aug. 1 to Aug, 7 of every year.”

Mrs Eberendu noted that they were sensitising people on importance of exclusive breastfeeding.

Once a child is born, that child should be given only breast milk for six months, after which the child can be given supplementary foods.

This will enable the child to develop physically and mentally, so as to be useful to parents and community as he/she grows,” she added.

Spokesperson, Partners for Development, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Miss Ire Ibhagbe said that the organisation project was focused on early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding.

According to her, it is not only the responsibility of mothers, but that of the parents to take care of babies in homes.

If fathers do not support mothers, mothers will not have the strength to carry on exclusive breastfeeding for their babies.

It is worthy to note that, breast milk contains not less than 80 per cent water.

There is no need to give a baby who is under six months water because the breast milk contains all the water that a baby will need,” she said.

Miss Ibhagbe noted that the aim of their NGO was basically to let people know the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding.

It makes a baby grow well, improves his or her immunity and brain.

The belief of breast milk not being enough for a child is not true as even a mother of twins can exclusively breastfeed her babies for six months.

The more a baby sucks, the more the breast produces milk,” she emphasised.

She urged women to always endeavour to breastfeed their babies exclusively for six months and also inform their children, friends and family to do same.

Source: Anambra State Government