The wife of Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, has urged expectant and nursing mothers to embrace exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after delivery, saying it will improve the growth and development of their children.
In a message commemorating the 2020 World Breastfeeding Week on Tuesday, Sanwo-Olu said mothers needed to embrace the practice to safeguard the health of their babies.
She said, “As a mother and physician myself, I have a clear idea of the high impact of exclusive breastfeeding on maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition, hence the need for expectant and nursing mothers to be encouraged to embrace the practice to improve child growth and development.
“When observed for the first six months after birth, exclusive breastfeeding helps in no small measure to reduce morbidity in children. It helps to strengthen the immune system and protects against serious diseases, such as respiratory infections, low growth, diarrhea, and pneumonia, among others.”
According to the governor’s wife, observing exclusive breastfeeding also helps nursing mothers burn extra calories and lowers their risk of breast and ovarian cancers, as well as Osteoporosis, a medical condition in which the bones become fragile from loss of tissue.
Mrs Sanwo-Olu said the theme of this year’s celebration – Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet could not have come at a better time than now when the world was contending with the COVID-19 pandemic that had changed life as we used to know it.
“This has brought to the fore the need for all, especially relatives, colleagues, and the community generally to make it a priority to support expectant and nursing mothers to observe exclusive breastfeeding for the recommended period,” she added.