Nurses from Tema General Hospital have appealed to lactating mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding for their babies below the ages of six months.
Madam Felicia Mensah, a nurse from the Tema General Hospital, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Tema that exclusive breastfeeding was the best, as breastmilk naturally contained all the nutrients that the child needed for growth and proper organ and body development.
Madam Mensah explained that breastmilk naturally contained water “so you wouldn't need water or any external food for the baby unlike feeding the child with porridges and other foodstuffs.
Speaking on Breastfeeding education at the Tema General Hospital, Madam Mensah entreated all lactating mothers to make sure they empty both breasts of all the milk it produced to feed their wards instead of depending on artificial food for the baby.
Mr. Charles Avi, a male nurse, contributing to the discussion, emphasis on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding, stressing that breastmilk contains antibodies that protect the child from certain childhood diseases.
Mr. Avi said that, the reason why lactating mothers must only feed their babies on breastmilk was because of lactation amenorrhea, “lactation amenorrhea causes hormonal changes which reduce the probability of the mother getting pregnant before the child get to one year”.
Madam Elizabeth Pomaa Nti, one of the nurses who spoke to the Ghana News Agency said in spite of the need for exclusive breastfeeding, there were certain conditions where lactating mothers cannot be allowed to practice exclusive breastfeeding, and this included, mothers with Human Immune Virus (HIV).
She said exclusive breastfeeding was allowed for specific time limit after which they were encouraged to introduce the child to food very early.
She said apart from these, mothers with special health challenges, the mothers should not supplement breastmilk with food until the baby was six months.
Madam Nti said mothers with cases of Breast Cancer and Hepatitis B, were advised not to start breastfeeding right away, “we make sure that the baby take the Hepatitis B vaccines first of all before being introduced to breastfeeding.
For mothers suffering with Breast Cancer, because of the excruciating pains, the lactating mother go through and they were prevented from breastfeeding the child.
Madam Betty Attiogbe added that, mothers who were under certain medical prescriptions must consult their medical doctors before breastfeeding their children.
She explained that the baby’s organs were not well developed to receive certain drugs, so in terms of metabolism, the drugs in the mother’s system may affect the health of the child.