Wednesday 5 August 2020


First week of August each year, the world celebrate World Breastfeeding Week (WBW). The team for the WBW 2020 is: Breastfeeding; the Foundation of Life. They so aim is  to give the people every knowledge about the positive effects of breastfeeding on the infants when they get a mother's milk.  Breastmilk is very important and necessary as it provides optimum nutrition for the infant and also has many non nutritional benefits for both mother and child. World Health Organization (WHO) and Paediatrics Society recommend that one should aim for exclusive breastfeeding for the first 4-6 months of life. WHO also recommends breastfeeding up to 2 years of life especially in countries/populations with high rates of infectious diseases as this will help in reducing morbidity and mortality rates.

Benefits of exclusive breastfeeding to the child includes;

  • It reduces the risk of developing non communicable diseases later in life. 
  • It positively influences the child’s immune system against infectious diseases such as diarrhea and respiratory tract infections.
  • It reduced a child chances of having immune related diseases such as diabetes, asthma, and inflammatory bowel diseases.
  • The relatively low protein content of breast milk compared to cow’s milk meets the infant’s needs without overloading the immature kidneys with nitrogen.
  • Minerals in breast milk are largely protein-bound and balanced to enhance their availability and meet infant needs with minimal demand on maternal reserves.
  • Breastfeeding influences the infantile growth especially during the few months of life.
  • Breastfed infants gain weight during the first months of life and grow leaner during the first year of life than formula fed infants. This explains the reason for lower risk of noncommunicable diseases such as obesity later in life.

Steps to a successful breastfeeding
  • Initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth.
  • Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  • Breastfeed and maintain lactation even if you’re separated from your baby.
  • Give no teats or pacifier to breastfeeding infant.
  • Practice rooming in-that is, you and your infant should remain together 24 hours a day.

Promote, protect and support breastfeeding for a healthier planet.

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