Jos – A medical expert, Dr Bala Abawa, says lack of exclusive breastfeeding in the baby’s first six months can expose them to the risk of type 1 diabetes mellitus later in life.
Abawa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Wednesday in Jos, that breast milk contained antibodies which could prevent infections such as diarrhoea, caused by bacteria and viruses.
“The baby before six months is not capable of producing immunoglobulin; that is antibodies. The first breast milk called colostrum, contains it to fight such infections,” he explained.
According to the medical expert, the milk also contains simple proteins that aid digestion in babies, lowers risks of allergies, ear infections, respiratory illnesses and diarrhoea.
Abawa said that exclusive breastfeeding was part of the child survival strategies being promoted by the World Health Organisation (WHO), to help babies in gaining the right weight.
According to him, breastfeeding also increases the bond between mother and child, and could also help in child spacing.
“Breastfeeding is encouraged to help mother returns to shape by losing fat gained during pregnancy; and it is also economical because it is affordable,” he said.
Abawa noted that breast milk could help in improving family income as funds initially used for purchasing baby formula could be devoted to doing other things for other children.