Experts on Tuesday in Lagos said infants exclusively breastfed had stronger immune system which enabled them to defend life-threatening illnesses.
A Dietician, Mr Olusola Malomo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that breast milk only, with nothing else added contained all the nutrients and water a baby needs.
Malomo, who works at Massey Hospital in Lagos, said exclusive breastfeeding (meaning no solid food, formula, or water)
for at least six months of life seemed to offer best protection.
He said that adding formula, water, tea, drinks, cereals and other foods, in the first six months increased the baby’s risk of allergies and diseases.
“Infants require the right proportion of nutrients and breast milk is rich in nutrients and anti-bodies that contain the right quantities of fat, sugar, water and protein.
“The first milk (foremilk) that comes from each breast is nutritious but looks thin and watery. This milk is mainly to quench the baby’s thirst.
“After this foremilk, comes the richer hind milk which contains extra fat
and energy so the baby will feel full and grow strong,’’ Malomo said.
He advised mothers to breastfeed exclusively to guard against illnesses later in life.
A Paediatrician and a staff of Gracene Hospital in Lagos, Dr Ronke Oni, also said that exclusive breastfeeding
might also help children to avoid a host of diseases that could strike later in life.
“Children who are not exclusively breastfed risk diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol
and inflammatory bowel disease.
“They also have less intestinal disease, fewer infections and fewer allergies,’’ Oni said.
She, however, advised working mothers to also do exclusive breastfeeding by expressing breast milk at work and at home.
“Expressed milk should be left covered in a clean container in a cool place, to be fed from a cup while the mother is away.
“Expressed breast milk would last eight to 10 hours out of the fridge and three days in a fridge.
“When the mother returns home, she should breastfeed the baby often through the night,’’ she advised.
Source: The Nation News
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