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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

‘These Mothers Are Murderers!’

A breastfeeding mum
The “modern” culture of women denying their children breast milk and putting babies in their formative years on formula-feeding (tin foods) has been described as a form of homicide.

It is a type of feeding that plunges the child into pain and early death, according to the executive director of Newstart-for-Health, Oheneba Ntim-Barima. He said formula-feeding increases the number and severity of respiratory and intestinal infections in infancy, and the risk of allergy and asthma, and may have long term negative consequences on the baby’s immune system. Speaking on the topic ‘Breast feeding- A Strong Foundation for A Child’s Optimal Health and Development, at Ashaiman in the Greater Accra region, he said studies had shown that formula-fed babies have lower IQs and poorer social and cognitive development relative to their genetic make-up and social, nutritional and environmental backgrounds than breast-fed babies.

He said the risk of lower respiratory track and middle ear infections is more than doubled by formula feeding and this increased infection rate persists into the second and third years of life. “At least, nine months of breast feeding is required for protection against middle ear infection.” The C.E.O. further revealed that formula-fed babies are at higher risk of urinary tract infections, appendicitis, tonsillitis and sudden infant death symptoms, and have nearly twice the risk of childhood cancer as breast-fed babies. “In life, individuals who were given infant formula rather than breast milk are more likely to become overweight, and to develop formula 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowels diseases, numerous type and atherosclerosis”, he added. He further revealed that the mother who does not breastfeed her child is disadvantage too.

Such a mother is deprived of the calming, relaxing effect of breastfeeding hormones. Her uterus takes longer to contract to its normal size after childbirth, leading to heavier and more prolonged blood loss after childbirth. “Later in life women who did not breastfeed are at higher risk of suffering post-menopausal hip fracture and developing cancer of the breast, ovaries, cervix and uterus. The extent to which individual women may reap these benefits depends largely on the duration of breastfeeding, the more prolonged the breastfeeding, the greater the benefits”.

He appealed to the government to enact a law that will make employers create places at work for nursing mothers where they can place their babies under the care of trained people, so that they can breastfeed them periodically. A medical officer at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Kwame Adu-Bonsaffoh, also recommended early breastfeeding of a child since it establishes a bond between the mother and the child.

Source: The Heritage

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