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August Is Breastfeeding Awareness Month

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World Health Organization recommends that infants start receiving complementary foods at 6 months of age in addition to breast milk, initially 2-3 times a day between 6 and 8 months, increasing to 3-4 times daily between 9 and 11 months and 12-24 months with additional nutritious snacks offered 1-2 times per day, as desired.

In his Breastfeeding Awareness Month Proclamation, Governor Snyder stated that MI is committed to reducing infant mortality and increasing the health of mothers and babies. The activity highlighted the most common reason for a breastfed baby not gaining weight and explained to participating mothers and medical staff how to deal with this issue.

"Many women think that milk supply is low when it isn't". Breastfeeding has a multitude of benefits for women and children, regardless of whether they live in a rich or poor household.

ALSO READ | Benefits of breastfeeding: Why is it good for the mother and baby? Breast milk is made of fats, sugars, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and enzymes and is created to promote brain and body growth.

The 2018 health report on breastfeeding notes that newborns who breastfeed in the first hour of life are significantly more likely to survive than those who are not breastfed in the first hour of birth. Breastfeeding also reduces ill health in children, improves their educational potential and probably their earnings as adults.

Breastfeeding can be a challenge for moms and babies, as it is new to both of them.

Abuja - Dr Chris Isokpunwu, Head of Nutrition, Federal Ministry of Health, says exclusive breastfeeding saves lives, boosts economy and contributes to better health outcomes for women and children.

Ms Opendi said exclusive breastfeeding right from the first hour protects children from malnutrition and other early childhood diseases.

We also need to realise that bottle feeding has become so normalised that many women seeking to breastfeed are missing out. For example, some medicines and drugs can be passed to an infant through breast milk, as well as some infections, which may be harmful. "Mothers' milk has living antibodies that protect the baby from getting sick". Breastfeeding is important to child survival in all settings, but also to ensuring that children can thrive and reach their full cognitive and developmental potentials throughout their lives. Supportive healthcare systems, adequate maternity leave entitlements, workplace interventions, counselling and educational programmes can all help to improve breastfeeding rates.

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