A nutritionist, Dr Sylvester Igbedioh, has stressed the need for mothers to give their newborn babies exclusive breastfeeding, stating that a child that passed through exclusive breastfeeding would perform more brilliantly that a child who was not exclusively breastfed.
In an interview with our correspondent, Igbedioh, lamented that, in spite of the health and economic benefits of exclusive breastfeeding, some mothers still do not practise it.
“When a child is exclusively breastfed, the child receives the adequate nutrient for his or her age. When a child is put to the breast immediately after birth, the child gets adequate nourishment from the milk of the mother. At six months, the breast milk is not enough to support the growth of the child so mother would have to bring in complementary foods,” Igbedioh said.
He said that when a high powered microscope was used to check the brain cells of a child adequately nourished as a result of exclusive breastfeeding, it was discovered that the brain neurons were well connected, compared to a child that was not exclusively breastfed.
“When a child is not well nourished as a result of non-practice of exclusive breastfeeding, the brain neurons are not well connected. When these children are subjected to cognitive tests, we would see that children well nourished as a result of exclusive breastfeeding do well than their counterparts that did not exclusively breastfeed,” Igbediaoh submitted.
Meanwhile, a Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey carried out in 2017 revealed that 95 per cent of Nigeria women breastfeed their babies, five per cent do not breastfeed and 23.7 per cent breastfeed exclusively.