Expert laments cultural hindrance to exclusive breastfeeding

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The Programme Manager, Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Tilewa Denloye, has expressed worry over the perceived hindrance of cultural influence to exclusive breastfeeding in Nigeria.

Denloye, at an event organised by the Foundation, said it was unfortunate that a lot of mothers had been cajoled with different traditions, thereby jettisoning exclusive breastfeeding.

“One of the things that we have noticed during the exclusive breastfeeding programme is that tradition and culture have a negative effect on young mothers when it comes to breastfeeding and care of the babies. They got all these from their mothers and mothers-in-law.

“Those who are not properly informed pass the wrong information to the young mothers, advising them to give the baby water or local herbs, saying that the baby is thirsty. We found out that these older generations could negatively impact on the young mothers as the young mothers usually take their advice because they do not want to disrespect them,” Denloye said.

The Monitoring manager of the Foundation, Mr Uduije Ejiike, said the Alive and Thrive Infant and Young Child Feeding programme was designed to check the burden of stunted growth in Nigerian children.

“So far we have got a lot of good results. The achievement is that we have got more mothers who have embrace programme,” he said.

The President of the Foundation, Mrs Toyin Saraki, who was represented by the Vice President of the Foundation, Dr. Alero Roberts, thanked health care facilities that partnered the Foundation during the implementation of the Alive and Thrive Infant and Young Child Feeding programme.

She said, “I am encouraged by the milestones we have achieved, reaching over 200,000 antenatal care attendees, 120,000 mothers of children less than two years and 15,000 family members with an increased counseling content of facility health care workers in infant and young child feeding. The Wellbeing Foundation Africa is committed to improving knowledge and rates of breastfeeding for better health outcomes for women and their families in Nigeria.”

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