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Women urged to practice exclusive breast feeding


  28 Avril      63        Santé (6859), Société (49919),

   

By Philip Tengzu, GNA

Accra, April 26, 2017 (GNA) – Mr. Michael Kamal Seidu, Upper West Regional Nutrition Officer has urged lactation mothers to ensure that they practiced exclusive breast feeding for six months to ensure the proper development of the children.

He said the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) report indicated that the rate of exclusive breast feeding was as low as 52 per cent which according to him was not the best.

Mr. Seidu who said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Wa, urged the women to initiate breast feeding within the first 30 minutes of delivery which could help quicken the production of breast milk.

He explained that exclusive breast feeding for the required period of time could help develop the child’s immune system to fight against disease as well as improves the intelligence quotient of children to perform better in schools among others.

He said there was the need for government institutions as well as the private sector to ensure baby friendly working environment at work places as a means of ensuring that mothers had readily access to their babies for breast feeding.

Mr. Seidu also encouraged mothers to pay heed to the hunger cues of children which included but not limited to sucking of their fingers, yawning and opening of the mouth and turning of the neck to help them breast feed their babies frequently and on demand.

This he said would help supply enough water and nutrients for the effective growth of the child.

He explained that breast milk could be stored for six to eight hours and urged working mothers to practice expression of breast milk to feed their children while they were away.

Mr. Seidu however noted that the babies should be fed with cups and spoons rather than feeding bottles, teats and pacifiers which could lead to « nipple confusion » of the child and affect his ability to extract breast milk from the breast.

He entreated lactating mothers to introduce complementary feeding with the four star diet which included staples, legumes, vitamin « A » rich fruits and vegetables at the appropriate time for at least two years.

Mr. Seidu also called for paternity leave for men to enable them to provide emotional psychological and physical support to their wives during the early stage of delivery.

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