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Mothers should breastfeed children adequately to prevent diseases – Expert

Founder, Afribaby Initiative, Dr Oscar Odiboh, , Sunday, urged mothers to breastfeed their infants between eight and 12 times per day, to fortify them against childhood diseases.

Odiboh said in Lagos that an infant should be breastfed every two to three hours to prevent jaundice, measles and other diseases.

“A newborn should be introduced to breast milk within the first hour of life.

“This is because research has shown that colostrum, which is the first milk that the woman produces after childbirth, protects the child from measles and other diseases.

“Besides, exclusive breastfeeding also contributes to disease prevention and brain development in the baby.

“Breast milk helps children to develop antibodies to fight infections.

“Children who were breastfed usually have Intelligence Quotient (IQ) scores averaging seven to 10 points higher than formula-fed infants,” he said.

Odiboh said that women should be properly sensitised to the benefits of breastfeeding to rekindle interest in exclusive breastfeeding.

“This is why Afribaby Initiative is organising a programme called `Babies and Moms Expo and Awards to promote the culture of exclusive breastfeeding in Nigeria.

“Mothers, individuals and organisations who played a role in infant survival in the past one year will be rewarded too.

“The programme is coming up on May 12 to 13 at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).

“If mothers are properly educated, with a renewed focus on nutrition education, the rate of breastfeeding among nursing mothers will definitely increase, “he said.

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