A Consultant Pediatrician with National Hospital Abuja, Dr Tolulope Otuneye, has advised nursing mothers to seek medical assistance when breastfeeding becomes difficult.
Otuneye gave the advice in an interview with the press in Abuja as the world marks “Breastfeeding Week”.
Celebrated in more than 120 countries around the world, “World Breastfeeding Week” is an annual event held every year from August 1 to August 7.
The consultant advised that whenever a mother encountered a challenge or anticipated a challenge with breastfeeding her infant, she should visit a pediatrician, a paediatric nurse or midwife for prompt
He added that “almost all mothers go through a period of questioning whether their milk supply is adequate, especially when they begin breastfeeding.
“Many women think that milk supply is low when it isn’t. This can happen if the woman loses the feeling of fullness in her breasts or if milk stops leaking from the nipple.
“But these are actually signs that the woman’s body has adjusted to the baby’s feeding requirement.”
Otuneye said that low milk supply by nursing mothers could put a baby at risk for malnutrition, saying that it was necessary to seek medical help early.
He explained that most times mother’s milk supply may diminish temporarily if the woman
fails to feed her baby often because of nipple pain or due to poor latch-on technique.
He said a biological or physical condition such as hormonal disorder or breast surgery could also cause milk supply to be low.
He, therefore, noted that “women should seek early help by discussing with obstetricians or pediatricians.
“Also, proper weaning method should be adopted at the right time because we advise that all babies should be breastfed exclusively in the first six months of life and breast milk should be part of the baby’s menu for at least two years.”
The pediatrician stressed that exclusive breastfeeding would provide adequate nutrition for the
baby in the first six months of life.
The August 1 to August 7 World Breastfeeding Week is observed to bring to the fore, the importance of breastfeeding and its benefits to mother and child.