By Godfred A Polkuu, GNA
Oct. 7, GNA – Dr Winfred Ofosu, the Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana
Health Service (GHS) has called on married men to support their wives to
practise exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after birth as it
will build the immunity of the child and protect it from some diseases.
“If we can have
all men and husbands insisting that their newborn babies be given only breast
milk for six months, and after that they commence the complementary feeds, we
will be able to achieve a lot.”
“So we are
calling on all men to support their wives to adopt exclusive breastfeeding,” Dr
Ofosu said in an interview with the media in Bolgatanga, on the sideline of an
assessment exercise at the end of a three-year “Mother-Baby Friendly Health
Facility Initiative”, implemented in the Upper East Region.
He said there
was evidence that most babies could be fed on only breast milk, but
unfortunately, some grandparents, especially grandmothers did not believe or
accept six-month exclusive breastfeeding practice because they believed that
breast milk was food, and so babies should be given water alongside the breast
Dr Ofosu said
grandmothers asked the question; “when you eat, don’t you drink water, so if
the baby suckles the breast, after that, the baby must also drink water.”
He said breast
milk contained about 90 percent of water, and explained that when the baby
suckles, the first breast milk that comes is water, to quash the thirst of the
baby, “So there is no need to give additional water.”
It would also
ensure that the baby was not exposed to contaminated water and feeding bottles
as that could result in diarrhoeal diseases.
Dr Ofosu said
if anyone doubted the ability of the breast milk to provide water for babies,
they could observe the number of times a breastfed baby urinated.
breastfeed your baby exclusively and the baby passes urine, it means that the
baby has adequate water,” he noted.
said there was the need for health professionals to communicate the composition
of breast milk to couples and grandparents for them to understand its importance
and ensure that nursing mothers practised exclusive breastfeeding to enable
their babies develop well.