Some women of childbearing age in Bauchi State have said that exclusive breastfeeding is serving as a natural way of child spacing and prevents unplanned pregnancies while lactating.
The women who spoke in Azare, Katagum local government area of Bauchi on Thursday, when the team of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) visited some primary health care facilities as part of activities marking this year’s World Breastfeeding Week, said that exclusive breast milk is also boosting the cognitive abilities of their infants.
One of the nursing mothers, Habibat Ibrahim said that she embraced exclusive breastfeeding because it prevents her from getting pregnant untimely.
She said, “I have five kids now and I noticed that during lactation I don’t get pregnant like other women around me and my kids are doing very well physically and in their education.”
Another woman, Khadija Umar said that her husband did not accept contraception which exposed her to several unplanned pregnancies which has affected two of her kids.
“I was told that exclusive breastfeeding could prevent pregnancy within six months and I tried it since my husband won’t allow contraception. I did it to space my three kids and I can see the difference,” she said.
A Nutritionist with UNICEF in Bauchi Field Office, Philomena Irene said that exclusive breastfeeding increases the chance of child survival and prevents stunting, wasting and malnutrition in infants. She said that kids who are not breastfed between 2 hours and 23 hours of birth stand the risk of death within 28 days.
She added that breast milk is a super food needed for growth and development of the brain and other major organs.
“It has economic benefits, it is affordable and available for women. Mothers don’t have to put anything on fire before their children can eat. It is eco-friendly and cheap.”