Delaying breastfeeding by two to 23 hours after birth increases by 40 per cent, the risk of death within the first 28 days of a baby’s life, a non-governmental organisation, Save the Children International (SCI) has said.
Speaking at a town hall meeting which held at Daddau in Jaba Local Government area of the state, the nutrition advocacy adviser of the NGO, Malam Isah Ibrahim stressed the need to promote best breastfeeding and nutritional practices among lactating mothers in the community.
According to him, exclusive breastfeeding from the first hour of birth to six months reduces the incident of death in newborn babies. "The longer breastfeeding is delayed, the higher the risk of death in the first month of life," he reiterated.
While he noted that newborn account for nearly half of death recorded among under five aged children, he stated that breast milk contains all the nutrients and fluid a baby needs for the first six months of life.
Apart from serving as prevention, breastmilk also helps in developing the child’s brain and making them intelligent. “It is the first and best protection a baby can get against illnesses and diseases. It is also a critical first vaccine for an infant that helps prevent pneumonia and diarrhoea, which are two leading causes of death among children under five years," he added.
The meeting according to him was organised to share experiences with nursing mothers, their husbands, community members and religious leaders on good breastfeeding and nutritional practices and also to deliberate on the challenges inhibiting such practices.