Let’s begin with Twaale and chopping of knuckles for August, the 8th month of the year , and the month internationally associated with the breast and breast feeding.
The 1st to the 7th of August is universally celebrated each year as breastfeeding week. The first World Breastfeeding week was in 1992 and the aim was to promote the culture of breastfeeding. It emphasized the importance of breastfeeding to the child as well as the mother. Several events are held to celebrate the week and every year there is a theme. For 2017, the theme is “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together.”
Within this period that special part of the female anatomy that has uniquely impacted on mankind and the milk it produces are given pride of place.
The breast has over the centuries been given several monikers from the intelligent to the mundane and from the objective to the derogatory. The different sizes and curvatures of the breast have had fables woven around them. The only other part of the female anatomy that has received near similar attention is the gluteus maximus.
The female breast has mesmerised men from the beginning of time. Far reaching decisions taken by men have been occasionally influenced by the size, contour and configuration of the female breast. No wonder Hedy Lamarr mischievously stated that ‘American men, as a group, seem to be interested in only two things, money and breasts.’
Dave Barry , a male for that matter, in his own yabis declared that ‘scientists now believe that the primary biological function of breasts is to make males stupid.’
To turn the yabis into compound one Rita Rudner yarned that – ‘Some people think having large breasts makes a woman stupid. Actually, it’s quite the opposite: a woman having large breasts makes men stupid.’
Men haff suffered because of breast oh. But then let’s leave this side of the matter for Mathias.
The breast feeding week in addition to the aims earlier stated also commemorates the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, WHO, UNICEF and other organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is the best way to provide infants with the nutrients they need. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding starting within one hour after birth until a baby is 6 months old. Nutritious complementary foods should then be added while continuing to breastfeed for up to 2 years or beyond.
Breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development and protects the infant against infectious and chronic diseases. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces infant mortality due to common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea or pneumonia, and helps for a quicker recovery during illness. Breastfeeding contributes to the health and well-being of mothers; it helps to space children, reduces the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer. It is in addition pocket and environment friendly.
Initially , the World Health Organization (WHO) advised HIV-positive mothers to avoid breastfeeding if they were able to afford and could safely feed their babies formula milk . Newer evidence based findings have since emerged to show that a combination of exclusive breastfeeding and the use of antiretroviral treatment can significantly reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to babies through breastfeeding. As it stands now, under appropriate medical supervision HIV positive mothers can breastfeed and not infect their babies.
Even Ogbeni William Shakespeare had something to say about breastfeeding: ‘An honour! were not I thine only nurse, I would say thou hadst suck’d wisdom from thy teat”
But hmmmm…Ogas at the top, for the first six months abeg leave that zone for baby because when it comes to boobs, there is definitely no love in sharing ….