World Breastfeeding Week: Pediatrician advises mothers on exclusive breastfeeding for babies

A Benin-based pediatrician, Dr Samuel Ehinomen,  has advised mothers to feed their children with breastmilk exclusively for the first six months of their lives.

Ehinomen  gave the advice during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Benin.

He  defined exclusive breastfeeding as a protection against diarrhoea and common childhood illnesses such as pneumonia.

He, speaking  against the backdrop of  the theme for this year: ‘Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility’, said: “Breastfeeding is also known as nursing.

“It is the best way to provide new born babies  with the essential nutrients required for growth and development.

“While exclusive breastfeeding means that the infant receives only breast milk, no other liquids or solids are given – not even water – with the exception of oral rehydration solution, or drops/syrups of vitamins.”

He added that the World Health Organisation(WHO) also described  breastmilk as  the ideal food for infants.

“It is safe, clean, and acts as the babies’ first vaccine, protecting them against many common childhood illnesses.”

According  to him,   breast milk helps boost the immune system of the infant, and lowers the infant mortality rate.

“It also lowers the risk of developing infections such as respiratory tract infections, diabetes, allergic diseases, and childhood leukaemia.

“It also helps enhance the cognitive function of the baby.

“Additionally, breastmilk is extremely nutritious and healthy for the baby and can help the baby develop a healthy weight”, he said.

He noted that breastmilk was extremely nutritious and healthy for the baby because it used to contain  antibodies that could help babies fight off viruses and bacteria.(NAN)