Breastfeeding And Infant Mortality

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By Tayo Ogunbiyi
Infant mortality occurs when a child dies before reaching the age of one year. Many factors such as the mother’s level of education, environmental issues, access to healthcare and the quality of social infrastructure could cause infant’s death. According to UNICEF, about half of the world’s under-five deaths currently occur in five countries including Nigeria, India, Congo, Pakistan and China. In Nigeria, under-five mortality rate has increased in recent years as the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS4) report indicates that under-five mortality in the country has increased from 138 per 1,000 live births in 2007 to 158 per 1,000 live births in 2011. The implication of this is that 158 out of every 1,000 Nigerian children will die before they celebrate their fifth birthday.
Experts have, however, indicated that the way out of this precarious situation, astonishingly, partly lies in the mother’s breasts. It has been ascertained that breast milk contains the exact balance of nutrients to aid infant develop into a strong and healthy toddler. The World Health Organisation, WHO, has recommended colostrums, the yellowish, sticky breast milk produced after the birth of a baby and the end of pregnancy is recommend as the ideal meal for infants. According to WHO, colostrums, has been found to be extremely nourishing and therapeutic as it consists stuffs that insulate infant from infection.
Therefore, WHO has recommended that nursing mother should begin breastfeeding immediately after birth and subsequently should observe regular sucking by baby to boost milk production. Being naturally provided by providence, breast milk is gamely accessible and affordable. Since the mother doesn’t have to buy and measure formula, sterilize nipples, or warm bottles, breastfeeding saves time and money. It also gives the mother quality time to unwind calmly with her baby which is quite essential for bonding between the two. …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper