March 20, 2019

August is for Breastfeeding – Emeka Nwolisa

August is for Breastfeeding – Emeka Nwolisa

It’s August again, the breastfeeding month.

Twaale for women; for the breast they carry and the milk the breast produces.

According to Grantly Dick-Read ‘a newborn baby has only three demands: “They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence.”

Breastfeeding satisfies all three.

Oliver Wendell Holmes added to the discourse by stating that ‘a pair of substantial mammary glands have the advantage over the two hemispheres of the most learned professor’s brain in the art of compounding a nutritive fluid for infants.’

Hmmm…this is grammar. In simple terms it means that the breast process a meal (milk) which no professor has equalled.

So, what is it about breast milk that has caused all these accolades? Breast milk provides a nearly perfect mix of vitamins, protein, and fat needed for appropriate nutrition for the child. It is easily digested and contains antibodies that help the baby fight infections.

In the long term it reduces the risk of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence.

For the benefits of breastfeeding to be maximal there has to be exclusive breast feeding. Exclusive breastfeeding means that the infant receives only breast milk and no other liquids or solids are given – not even water for the first six months of life.

Most Nigerian mothers breastfeed but the major challenge is that most of them add water to breast milk. The belief is that a human being must take water but then about 88% of breast milk is water.

If you know, you know.

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month and the aim is to raise awareness about breastfeeding.

World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) was launched by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) in 1992 and runs from August 1st to 7th.

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) is a global network that aims to protect, promote and support breastfeeding around the world. It partners with the World Health Organization and UNICEF to support breastfeeding programmes.

The WBW is currently celebrated in more than 120 countries through organized events and programs.

This year the international theme for WBW is Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life.

As is common knowledge breasts come in different sizes, shapes and contours and the beauty is enhanced with bras that come with diverse manners of enhancement technology…..the critical issue though is that they produce same quality of the life saving breastmilk irrespective of all the shakara.

The trajectory of the breast as it goes through life has a very humorous description. It begins life in the South west position and at the peak of its ascendency and in its full glory is North-Central and finally after a brief stint in South-East goes South-South.

“I came; I saw; I conquered” is a Latin phrase popularly attributed to Julius Caesar who used the phrase in a letter to the Roman Senate around 47 BC after he had achieved victory at the Battle of Zela.

By practising exclusive breastfeeding, when the breast goes South-south it can also boldly proclaim….I came, I saw and I gave the world a genius via my milk.


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