GIS:-STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT BREASTFEEDING OFFERS SOME PROTECTION AGAINST BREAST AND OVARIAN CANCER IN MOTHERS.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness hosted its first of several educational campaigns to promote the importance of breastfeeding for infant nutrition and health.
Facilitator Maryanna Phillip, a nutrition officer in the Ministry of Health, said breastfeeding is not only beneficial to both baby and mother, but is also economically advantageous.
“Every year we realize that our breastfeeding rates—especially exclusive breastfeeding where mothers breastfeed for the first six months—is on the decline. So we have embarked on a number of public education campaigns to raise awareness of its importance and encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies especially from birth to six months.”
Officials say “breast is best.” Breastfeeding is the best way to provide newborns with the nutrients they need. Breast milk is highly nutritious with easy-to-digest proteins and natural immunities that protect babies against disease and infection. Colostrum, the milk that mothers produce in the first days after birth, is not only dense in nutrients, but is also rich in antibodies that protect babies from bacteria and viruses that cause infection. And it isn’t only babies who benefit from breastfeeding.
“For mothers, it helps the womb to return to its normal size very quickly; it saves on costs as the mother does not have to buy formula, and that translates to benefits for the entire family,” Ms Phillip said, adding that mothers should disregard unfounded statements made against the practice.
“We are appealing to mothers—especially young mothers—to breastfeed their babies. There is a stigma that young mothers believe that breastfeeding causes sagging, and that is not so. Breastfeeding is essential for both the mother’s and the baby’s health.”
Studies have shown that children who were breastfed perform better on intelligence tests, and that breastfeeding offers some protection against breast and ovarian cancer in mothers.
The educational campaign was held on Friday, June 9.