Word Breastfeeding Week: Policymakers urged to consider 6mths maternity leave for mothers

Word Breastfeeding Week: Policymakers urged to consider 6mths maternity leave for mothers

Breastfeeding Week: Policymakers urged to consider 6mths maternity leave for mothers

A Senior Registrar in the Paediatric Department of the Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH, Dr. Rita Ikwuni has asked that policymakers consider giving a six-month maternity leave to mothers to enable them to breastfeed their babies exclusively for the period.

The Paediatrician also advocated the provision of a mini creche in both public and private workplaces to make it easy for breastfeeding mothers working in such places to suckle their babies without exposing them to preventable childhood illnesses.

She stated the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months enable babies to get all the nutrients needed for their growth and development, enhance the health of both mother and child as well as allow mothers to bond with their babies.

Ikwuni made appeal in Jos in an event to mark this year’s World Breastfeeding Week which has the theme: “Step Up For Breastfeeding: Educate & Support.

She stressed that breastfeeding mothers need all the support to raise healthy children through proper breastfeeding practice.

According to her, “Breastfeeding is a sustainable and natural option for infant feeding and helps ensure food security for babies across all populations. Exclusive Breastfeeding sets up a baby’s immune system. It also decreases their risk of many illnesses and decreases a mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer later in life. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for babies up to six months of age, parents can introduce solid foods with breastfeeding until 24 months of age.

“This strategy is aimed to improve the health, nutrition, and wellbeing of infants, young children, and mothers. The theme for this year’s celebration is apt, breastfeeding mothers need all the support hence, governments and business owners should consider extending the maternity leave for mothers, who gave birth, to six months to enable them exclusively breastfeed their babies…”

  • Courtesy Vanguard

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