Bauchi mothers decry poor working environment for exclusive breastfeeding

Some working mothers in Bauchi state on Saturday testified to the unfriendly environments in their workplaces, hindering them from practicing exclusive breastfeeding of their newborn babies.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who interviewed some of the mothers, in commemoration of the 2021 world breastfeeding week in Bauchi, reports that many of the mothers spoke about their difficulties in observing the practise.

Mrs Aisha Mohammed, a civil servant, explained that the months provided for maternity leave did not support the practice, while Mrs Amina Abubakar, a lecturer, pointed out that the job schedules usually denied mothers and babies the opportunity to reap the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding.

“You cannot move around with a baby and practice exclusive breastfeeding. It has guidelines for timing, among others,” she said.

The chairperson, Women’s committee, Nigeria Labour Congress, Bauchi state council, Mrs Hauwa Abubakar, disclosed that plans were in the pipeline to establish a creche at the State secretariat and other Ministries, Agencies and Departments.

She stated that such action would foster good and healthy practices amongst female workers.

Mrs Aisha Ishak, a mother of three, said: ” I practiced exclusive breast feeding on my third baby and from my experience, there were no issues,” she said.

Mrs Fatima Inuwa, also a mother of six, said that exclusive breastfeeding had saved the family from incurring expenses on medical bills.

For Mrs Rabi Umar, a mother of three, exclusive breastfeeding increased bonding between mother and baby.

“Because of exclusive breastfeeding, I hardly allow people to carry my baby for long; I am used to performing my domestic tasks with her on my back,” she said.

Dr Sa’id Kadas, a consultant in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital (ATBU TH) who also spoke to NAN highlighted the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding to include reducing post-delivery bleeding, because the practice helped in returning the uterus to its normal location after delivery.

Kadas also confirmed that exclusive breastfeeding increased bonding between mother and the baby, and facilitated natural methods of Child Birth Spacing, as some of its other benefits.

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“Practicing exclusive breastfeeding for 46 months can suppress ovulation curb infections in babies and it reduces postpartum haemorrhage after delivery and is a natural contraceptive for family planning,” he added.

He advised women in their reproductive years to always seek medical attention to address their child bearing and nurturing complications.

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