Research shows that more babies stand the risk of developing chronic disease such as diabetes and hypertension at their young age since many nursing mothers have preferred baby foods to exclusive breastfeeding for their infants.
Accordingly, many more babies are vulnerable to malaria and other opportunistic disease such as diarrhoea because their internal defence systems are not well built due to lack of nutrients derived from baby foods.
Natural breast milk contains numerous nutrients that help boost child’s immune system to fight diseases.
The reasons why baby food cannot replace natural breast milk in child health are simply because baby food lacks some certain nutrients to boost the child’s immune system and these foods contain excessive formulas not recommended for children.
It must be noted that the current increase in infant-related diseases is due to the fact that nursing mothers do not breast feed their babies enough and this is resulting to rise in the number of infants developing chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes among others even at their tender age.
Unless nursing mothers embrace adequate breastfeeding and less baby foods, many more infants will be susceptible and vulnerable to chronic diseases that were naturally known to affect the old.
Government can also play a vital messiah role by providing intensive and extensive education on the importance of enough breastfeeding. Government should also consider increasing the maternity leave period, especially for those in public sector, from 3 to 6 months to give nursing mothers enough time to breastfeed their babies to ensure their future health.
10 facts and health benefits of exclusive breastfeeding
1. Breast milk is the only food and drink that an infant needs until the age of six months. Therefore, do not give water or any other concoction.
2. New born babies should start breastfeeding within 30 minutes of birth.
3. Breast milk is the baby’s first immunization. It helps to protect against diarrhea, ear and chest infection and other health problems.
4. Do not give babies any drinks like pap, glucose before you start breastfeeding the baby.
5. Breastfeed many times day and night, this makes the milk to flow very well.
6. Breastfeeding helps protect babies and young children against dangerous illnesses.
7. Use of feeding bottles can lead to illness. Use a clean cup and spoon instead.
8. From the ages of six months, babies need different types of foods in addition to breast milk.
9. Breastfeeding should continue for up to 2 years and more if the mother wishes.
10. Breast milk is an important source of energy, protein and other nutrients such as Vitamin A and Iron.