An NGO, Standup for Women Society (SWS), Kebbi State chapter, has called on governments at all levels to create enabling environments for lactating mothers. Hajiya Khadija Saidu, SWS Chairperson in Kebbi State, made the call while briefing journalists as part of activities to mark the World Breastfeeding Week in Birnin Kebbi on Friday.
Saidu advised government to increase maternity leave, build crèches in workplaces and implement policies that would support and encourage exclusive breastfeeding for first six months after birth.
She explained that breastfeeding is one of the cost-effective interventions for the prevention of deaths in children under five years.
She observed that Colostrum, the first milk a mother produces is the most potent natural immune system booster known to science, saying, “lactating mothers are therefore encouraged to give it to their babies immediately after delivery. “
Exclusive breastfeeding is the best source of nourishment for infants and young children and a proven life-saving strategy that helps protect children against several childhood illnesses, such as diarrhea and pneumonia which will in turn impact positively on such children, their mothers and the society in general.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Protect Breastfeeding, A Shared Responsibility.”
The chairperson appealed to Nigerians to support the campaign and take action towards achieving the goals of the week by improving the health of infants, promoting and protecting the rights of women to breastfeed anywhere and at any time. (NAN)