From Sammy Asare, Ahafo Kenyasi
Mr. Samuel Malogae Badiekang, Asutifi North District Nutritionist of the District Health Directorate, is urging all nursing mothers in Ghana to take the exclusive breast feeding initiative seriously, because it has benefits for both the mother and the baby.
In an interview with the paper, he explained that exclusive breast feeding is when the nursing mother gives only breast milk to the baby over a six month period from birth, but, unfortunately, the practice, which has been observed with great interest for some time, is currently not patronised as expected.
According to Badiekang, once a nursing mother engages in exclusive breast feeding, the baby becomes brainy, which means the child is able to absorb things easily, when he or she is enrolled in school.
He mentioned that there are several diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and many more that can be prevented on the side of the baby once the nursing mother takes exclusive breast feeding with keen interest.
According to him, the immune system of the baby will be able to resist diseases once he or she is breast fed under the initiative, and added that obesity is prevented in the child.
He narrated that the additional benefit derived from exclusive breast feeding is a strong bond between the mother and the baby, and it makes it obvious why children are so close to their mothers, as compared to the fathers.
He further explained that the nursing mother also benefits from breast feeding, because a disease like cancer is prevented. Again, it is so cheap as compared to the buying of food to feed the baby from day one to six months.
Meanwhile, Mr. Badiekang has asked nursing mothers to ensure they clean their breasts, especially around the nipple, with clean towel before giving it to the baby. According to him, in most rural and deprived areas, most nursing mothers do not care about this, and it can be so harmful to the baby’s health.
He advised them not to feel shy to breast feed their babies, since the only source of food with the best nutrients is breast feeding.
On the issue of HIV nursing mothers, Malogae Badiekang explained that currently, once the mother with the virus takes her medication as prescribed, it is not possible for her to transfer the virus to the baby, so the mother cannot use it as an excuse not to breast feed the baby.
He urged nursing mothers to confront health workers in the country to know more about exclusive breast feeding for their own good.