World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every August to encourage breast feeding and improve the health of babies around the world. The theme this year is “Breastfeeding: Foundation for life” – a recognition of the importance of breastfeeding to a baby’s future.
In Nigeria, 86% of infants do not get exclusively breastfed in the first 6 months of their life. Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure a baby’s health and establishing exclusive breastfeeding – feeding infants nothing but breast milk for the first six months of life – helps babies grow, prevents under-nutrition, promotes brain development, and reduces the risk that children will become overweight.
Skin-to-skin contact along with suckling at the breast stimulates the production of breast-milk, including colostrums, also called the baby’s ‘first vaccine’, which are very rich in nutrients and antibodies.
Interesting facts on Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is indeed the foundation for life and gives growing children an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grow and develop to their full potential.
As we mark this year’s World Breastfeeding Week, let us also recommit to doing more to help every child, everywhere in Nigeria, experience the lifesaving benefits of optimal breastfeeding.
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