Women's Month: Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed regardless of HIV status

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"Breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months after birth and should not be replaced by formula milk, juice or water".

Sincerely, this is very desirable as it will support the mother practise exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of the baby's life. "After six months, breastfeeding should be continued along with other nourishing foods for the baby", Masina said.

Only about 5% of women are unable to produce enough milk with the right help, and toddlers certainly don't need commercial toddler milk.

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"Breastfeeding children within an hour of their birth allows them access to colostrum, the first of breast milk that is rich in antibodies".

A Professor of Child Health and Consultant Neonatologist, University of Benin/University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UNIBEN/UBTH), Charles Eregie, has once more asserted that there are no substitutes to breast milk.

The question of exclusive breastfeeding as the best way to provide infants with the nutrients they need has been a subject of several studies. Longer breastfeeding is associated with higher performance on intelligence tests among children and adolescents. Addressing a workshop organized by the State Health Society, Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) and UNICEF to mark the World Breastfeeding Week, NMCH's paediatrics department head Dr Alka Singh said, "Now, more and more mothers are opting for breastfeeding". Breastfeeding can be good for the mother's health, too - it's linked to a lower risk of both breast and ovarian cancer in women.

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Despite the high cultural acceptance for breastfeeding in Pakistan, the country has the highest bottle-feeding rate and lowest exclusive breastfeeding rate in South Asia.

"But these are actually signs that the woman's body has adjusted to the baby's feeding requirement". Scientific evidence supports the importance of breastfeeding practices that reduce child mortality and morbidity, malnutrition, and non-communicable diseases.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General said breastfeeding gives children the best possible start in life.

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In celebration and recognition of National Breastfeeding Month and World Breastfeeding Week, Opelousas General Health System is offering a free Community Baby Shower for all new & expectant parents and grandparents, as well as business owners, church and community organization leaders on Thursday, August 9th from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m.in the 3rd floor OGHS Auditorium.