Children who are fed with their mother’s breastmilk are most likely not to grow up as criminals and terrorists, Dr Otuneye Adekunle, a Consultant Pediatrician, has said.
Mr Adekunle, the Head of Department, Pediatrics Unit, at the National Hospital, Abuja, noted that breast milk was referred to as the ‘Milk of Kindness’ and ‘Nature’s Wonder’, pointing out that it evokes human kindness in children from a tender age.
“By the time you take care of a child for two years that thing remains in the child’s brain and psychologically the child is well taken care of. The child will not likely develop to be a criminal or be against society in the future.
“The mother will be able to talk to the child and the child will listen, but a child that was not breastfed that anybody can feed, you can imagine what will happen,” the medical doctor said.
Mr Adekunle spoke on Saturday on the sidelines of the World Breastfeeding Week celebration at the National Hospital, Abuja. The week is usually commemorated worldwide from August 1 to August 7 every year.
The breastfeeding week activities are to “encourage people to see the benefits of breastfeeding which goes beyond the baby, the mother, the family and even the community,” Mr Adekunle reckoned.
Negative economic impacts from the import of baby formulas, as well as maternal and child mortality rate can be mitigated through deliberate and exclusive breastfeeding programmes, Mr Adekunle posited.
“For those six months of breastfeeding, the baby will not be contaminated with anything, and grow optimally qualitatively not quantitatively.
“For the mother also if she breastfeeds her baby the way she should fully breastfeed her baby, she will come back to her normal size early, she will not bleed too much during delivery and not become anaemic, so the risk of dying is less.
“For the family, they are going to spend less money of course because they will spend less money on breastfeeding compared to all the other options available like formula.”
Mr Adekunle said that the proper thing was to breastfeed babies within one hour after birth to give them the colostrum in the breast milk and then exclusively for the first six months of life after which other foods could be introduced gradually for up to two years and beyond.
He, however, said that for mothers who do not lactate early or at all, they should seek medical help and counseling on how to go about it.