Breast milk is the best food for babies. It is one of the most effective ways to ensure the health and survival of children because it contains antibodies that protect them from common childhood illnesses.
According to the World Health Organization, milk provides all of the energy and nutrients required for the first months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one-third during the second year of life (WHO).
Breastfeeding gives children the best start in life, according to research. It also serves as a defense by immunizing infants.
Furthermore, nutrition experts claim that exclusively breastfed children are less likely to be overweight and diabetic later in life.
Breastfeeding has been identified as the foundation of child survival, health, growth, and development because it gives every child the best start in life possible.
Breast milk benefits both mother and child in terms of health, nutrition, and emotional well-being. It is also a component of a sustainable food system.
Breast milk benefits are denied to 70% of Nigerian infants – WHO, UNICEF
Breastfed babies have stronger immunity, a lower risk of infections and many childhood illnesses, and may have longer-term health benefits such as a lower risk of childhood and adolescent overweight and obesity.
Obesity rates in breastfed babies are 15-30% lower than in formula-fed babies, according to studies.
Every year, approximately 80,000 child deaths are reported to be avoided when optimal breastfeeding is practiced.
Breastfeeding is also extremely beneficial to mothers. It aids in the prevention of postpartum bleeding and reduces a woman’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
It may also lower the risk of developing osteoporosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, as well as lessen the severity of postpartum depression.
Dr. Florence Uchendu, chairperson of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, FCT chapter, defined exclusive breastfeeding as providing a child with breast milk only during the first six months of life.
“You can breastfeed your child until he or she is two years old.” “After six months, you can give the child any other foods,” she explained.
Uchendu explained that the yellowish milk that appears first is what the baby should consume at least one hour after birth.
“The most important component of breast milk is the yellowish milk.” That milk that some people throw away because they believe it is dirty, I assure you, is the most important component of breast milk. “A child needs this yellowish milk for the first six months of his life to protect him from infections and diseases,” she explained.