The Wellbeing Foundation Africa has organised a week long training workshops and demonstrations across Kwara State for nursing mothers and pregnant women on proper breast feeding techniques and the benefits of exclusive breast feeding with no water or other pacifiers in the first six months of a baby’s life and the need to sustain breast feeding for up to two years.
The seminar, which has over 500 women in attendance was organised on the platform of the Mamacare Midwives, an antenatal and postnatal education vehicle of Wellbeing Foundation Africa founded by the Wife of the Senate President, Mrs Oluwatoyin Saraki, as part of activities to mark the World Breastfeeding Week.
In Kwara State, WBFA began the celebration of the World Breastfeeding Week with a seminar on the importance of breast feeding, where breast feeding demonstrations were also held.
Nursing mothers and expectant mothers had the opportunity to interact and ask questions from the panellists comprising Dr. Fakayode Oluwatosin of the Kwara State Ministry of Health, maternal and child expert, Mrs Gabi E.O, Mrs.Sadiat Asaju of the State Ministry of Health and the Lead Midwife WBFA, Ms Felicity Ukoko.
Some of the advantages of exclusive breastfeeding highlighted during the seminar include the fact that breast milk contain, antibodies that help baby fight off viruses and bacteria; breastfeeding lowers baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies. Also, babies’ breastfed exclusively for the first six months have less bouts of illness and fewer infections.
One of the panellists, Mrs Asaju, emphasised that breastfeeding within the first few minutes of birth of the baby is very important as the breast milk consists of colostrum, which contains essential vitamins that will boost the immunity of the baby and also strengthen the bond of love between mother and child.
In her address at the seminars, the lead midwife of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Ukoko emphasised that exclusive breast feeding in the first six months of a baby’s life without water is a form of family planning for the mother if practiced effectively.
Ukoko led the breast feeding demonstration, the participating nursing mothers and pregnant women were taught how to place the baby properly to the breast. They were told that what the baby first sucks from the breast is water, which will quench the thirst of the baby before the baby sucks the thicker contents of the breast to satisfy the baby’s hunger.
To practice effective exclusive breast feeding, participants were advised to always keep their babies close to them or express breast milk into a clean cup or appropriate device which could be refrigerated and fed to baby in the mother’s absence.
In continuation of the World Breastfeeding week, the WBFA Mama Care team also held workshops at the Civil Service Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara State General Hospital and Ajikobi Cottage Hospital.
At the Civil Service Hospital World Breastfeeding Week celebration, the Kwara State Commissioner for Health Dr. Sulaiman Atolagbe Alege, who was represented by the Kwara State Epidemiologist, Dr. Khadeeja Kamaldeen, advised women that breast feeding is a cheaper and effective means of ensuring the health of a child as it is God Given, and contains all the essential nutrients for a baby in the right quantity and temperature.