By Stella Obi, Ibadan
Wife of the Oyo State Governor, Tamunominini Makinde has encouraged nursing mothers to adopt exclusive breastfeeding for their babies in the first six months to ensure their optimal growth and good health.
Mrs. Makinde, who said this in commemoration of the World Breastfeeding Week which takes off on Tuesday, said her office would be collaborating with the Nigerian Governors Wives’ Forum to sensitise nursing mothers on the need for them to imbibe the culture of exclusive breastfeeding for babies because of the inherent benefits in it.
A statement from the Office of the Wife of the Governor indicated that Mrs. Makinde stressed the importance of a minimum of six months exclusive breastfeeding, saying breast milk provides best nutrition for babies because it has the right amount of nutrients. It is easily digested and is readily available.”
Mrs. Makinde equally lauded the Oyo State Government for approving six months maternity leave with pay for nursing mothers in the state.
She charged private organisations and other employers in the state to follow the footsteps of the state government by approving six months maternity leave with pay for all nursing mothers in their employment to ensure the wellbeing of infants.
The governor’s wife noted that the difficulty associated with babies in the first six months of life is reduced when mothers stay close to their babies during the period.
She also stated that to make life easy for working nursing mothers in the state, the government has a crèche at the Oyo State Secretariat Complex, as well as in some other government offices within and outside the state secretariat.
Mrs. Makinde thus enjoined employers to do the same for their female staff so that it would be easy for them to take care of their babies while at work.
According to the statement, another feature of the World Breastfeeding Week is sensitising Nigerians to the importance of home and school gardening, which is part of the Operation Feed Yourself initiative of the federal government.
Mrs. Makinde encouraged all Nigerians to see home and school gardening as a tool to fight food shortage in the country.