Breast milk contains antibodies which aid in the recovery of ailing babies, Dr. Annabel Shafe, a pediatrician, says.

Shafe, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja, that breast milk also contains antiviral activities and vitamin A which help to fight and protect babies against infections.

“Breastfeeding is a key element in getting people, especially mothers, to value the well-being of a child from the start of life.

“ This is because breast milk is the best nutrition one can give a newborn and offers tremendous health benefits to both mother and child.

“Breast milk contains a full range of vitamins and minerals, special immune system protective proteins that guard against diarrhoea, food allergies and infections are also present in breast milk,’’ she said.

The pediatrician said that exclusive breastfeeding, initiated soon after the birth of a child, was medically recommended to encourage a healthy life for both the mother and baby.

According to her, a child should be exclusively breastfed for six months, after which complementary feeding should be introduced, and the breastfeeding is sustained for two years.

On some other benefits of breastfeeding, she said, “It increases bonding between the mother and the child.

“The energy which breast milk provides is more efficiently utilised than the energy provided by formula.

“Also, the fat in breast milk is more digestible in an easily digestible combination than the one in infant formula,’’ Shafe said.

(NAN)

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