Force-Feeding Babies, A Dangerous Practice


Feeding babies forcefully is a widespread childcare practice in Africa, particularly in Yoruba land.

The desire to feed children forces women to engage in forced feeding. The practice is learnt by mostly females through socialization process, and practised as an expected role of a responsible mother.

It is passed from generation to generation and done mostly by the elderly.

In Nigeria particularly, it is common to see young women and their mothers-in-law quarrel over force-feeding of their babies.

While the younger women feel irritated by the practice, the elderly believe it must be done to avoid starving the babies.

Analysts note that cereals, milk and other beverages are mostly force-fed on babies by their grandmothers especially when they are ill and lose appetite or when the grandmothers mistake the babies’ slim stature to be as a result of not feeding well.

Though well-intended by mothers, nannies and other care givers, only a few, however, know it is dangerous.


Source: Leadership Newspaper