Dr. Amsa Mairami, Head of Pediatrics Department, National Hospital, says breastfeeding builds mother and child bond as well as reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Mairami said this while speaking to newsmen on the sidelines of the 2019 World Breastfeeding Week programme in Abuja.
She said that breastfed babies receive a complete nutrition package, develop strong antibodies and grow up healthy.
“When babies are breastfed, they grow optimally, their illness rate is low.
“They have fewer incidents of respiratory tract infection, diarrhea and have a higher cognition and are more intelligent.
“Mothers who breastfeed their babies tend to get back to shape early enough. It is a form of contraceptive for them and assistance to them on child spacing.
“They have less risk of having breast cancer and ovarian cancer and it increases the bond between the baby and mother,” she said.
Mairami said that mothers who breastfeed their babies reduced the risk of getting cancer and increased the bond between them and their babies.
She added that such mothers also avoided getting pregnant during lactation period, thereby improving the care and attention for their babies.
She urged mothers to breastfeed their babies extensively for the first six months after birth, explaining that breastfed babies look well nourished.
“Mothers should be empowered with the adequate knowledge they need to breastfeed their babies.
“They should be encouraged and supported, breastfeeding is everyone’s business; both families need to be supported.
“We should have a policy to extend paid maternity leave to 6 months; it should start after delivery to allow both of them have time to cover the exclusive breastfeeding period,” she advised.