Breastfeeding key to babies’ good health

LOWER uMfolozi War Memorial Regional Hospital (LUWMRH) in Empangeni last Wednesday highlighted the importance of breast milk during a campaign at the maternity hospital.

‘Breastfeeding plays an integral role in a child’s well-being. All babies should be exclusively breastfed, starting within one hour after birth for up to 6 months, and continued after adding complementary foods for two years and beyond,’ said hospital dietician Nicole Govender.

‘There are numerous benefits of breastfeeding which cannot be compared with any other infant feeding methods.

‘It provides all the nutrients babies need for growth in the first six months of life and it contains antibodies that help strengthen the immune system and contribute to the prevention of common illnesses such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and respiratory infections.

‘It also lowers the risk of developing chronic diseases of lifestyle such as obesity, coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.’

Govender said mothers unable for breastfeed, receive donor human milk for their vulnerable newborn babies at LUWMRH.’

‘To date, more than 300 pre-term babies have received donor milk. Most of these babies are born at less than 1 800g.

‘Mothers need to receive comprehensive counselling and education during the antenatal period, as well as after delivery.

‘All mothers need to ensure that they breastfeed on demand, meaning breastfeeding as frequently and as long as the baby requires to ensure good milk supply,’ Govender said.

ALSO READ: KZN Health MEC encourages breastfeeding

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