Foundation urges work place policies that support exclusive breastfeeding

Wed, Aug 8, 2018 | By publisher


THE Aids Health Care Foundation(AHF), an NGO, on Wednesday called on private organisations to ensure work place policies support nursing mothers to achieve exclusive breastfeeding, especially those living with HIV/AIDs.

Dr kema Onu, Site Coordinator, AHF, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja, said exclusive breastfeeding was healthy for both mother and baby.

Onu said exclusive breastfeeding among nursing mother’s living with HIV and AIDs in the country was very sensitive thus the need for support from families, communities and workplaces.

He, however, mentioned that it was important for private organisations to provide crèches and review work place policies to encourage nursing mothers to breastfeed their babies.

“We realised that most corporate organisations in this country do not have a nursery where working mothers could attend to their babies while at work and the maternity period is usually short.

“Such a policy does not support the six months exclusive breast feeding; we encourage our nursing mothers, especially those living with HIV and such employees cannot reveal their status to their employers.

“We, however, plead with such organisations to ensure their work place policies support them by building a nursery and extending the period of their maternity which is usually six weeks,’’ he said.

Onu stated that the benefit of exclusive breast feeding to both mother and baby cannot be over emphasised; hence the need for a change in work place polices that support it.

According to him, every positive mother consistent in her intake of anti-retroviral drugs was advised on exclusive breastfeeding as the risk of transmission to the baby reduces significantly.

He said one of the benefits of consistent intake of anti-retroviral drug was that the virus could be suppressed to an undetectable level in the blood.

“Breast milk is best if mothers cannot afford to buy baby formula as well as access to clean boiled water as dirty and unsterilised bottles could put the baby at risk of other illnesses.

“Breast milk is also very important as it is nutritious, contains essential nutrients for protection against childhood illnesses and creates a strong bond between the mother and baby,’’ Onu added.

He said if the work place was not convenient for exclusive breast feeding, positive mothers could also give their babies breast milk substitute as it was safe with zero per cent transmission of the virus.

Onu stated that baby formula must be prepared with clean boiled water, stored in sterile cups or bottles, refrigerated and used within 24 hours.

He further warned against mix feeding, whereby breastfeeding the baby and also feeding the baby with breast milk substitute at the same time.

The site coordinator further advised nursing mothers living with the virus to ensure they go for follow-up appointments in order to monitor their health and that of the baby. (NAN)


– Aug. 8, 2018 @ 17:49 GMT |