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Thu, Aug 10, 2023 12:50 AM

Breastfeeding: A Vital Step Towards Reducing Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk

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Breastfeeding: A Vital Step Towards Reducing Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk
The importance of optimal breastfeeding in reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancers has been emphasized by the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye. In line with the World Breastfeeding Week celebration, she urged nursing mothers to espouse breastfeeding, which offers numerous health benefits to both babies and mothers. Adeyeye also highlighted the need for breastfeeding-friendly workplaces to enable working parents to combine their responsibilities effectively. The creation of NAFDAC's Office of Women's Health shows their commitment to addressing maternal and child health issues.

Breastfeeding has long been recognized as a crucial step towards enhancing child health and development. The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, has reiterated this fact and stressed the additional benefits of breastfeeding in reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

During the 2023 World Breastfeeding Week celebration, with the theme "Enabling breastfeeding - making a difference for working parents," Prof Adeyeye urged nursing mothers to prioritize optimal breastfeeding for their children. She emphasized that breastfed babies have stronger immunity and enjoy reduced risks of childhood illnesses and infections.

It is not just the children who benefit from breastfeeding; mothers also reap health advantages. Breastfeeding aids in preventing postpartum bleeding, supports child spacing, reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, and facilitates an earlier return to the pre-pregnancy body weight.

Understanding the challenges faced by working mothers, Prof Adeyeye highlighted the importance of creating breastfeeding-friendly workplaces. Many women are compelled to stop breastfeeding earlier than recommended due to workplace obstacles. Adequate breastfeeding facilities at work can prove to be beneficial for employers in terms of having happier, more committed, and productive employees. Additionally, breastfeeding employees' babies tend to experience fewer and less severe illnesses, leading to reduced absenteeism.

NAFDAC is actively working towards creating an environment that promotes optimal breastfeeding and ensures the best nutrition, health, and environmental outcomes. The Agency has established an Office of Women's Health, which addresses the various issues concerning maternal and child health on an ongoing basis.

One significant strategy employed by NAFDAC is enforcing compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. This code seeks to safeguard breastfeeding practices and protect mothers from inappropriate marketing of breastmilk substitutes. The revised Marketing of Infant and Young Children Food and other Designated Products Regulations also prohibit unethical marketing practices by infant food manufacturers, recognizing that such marketing contributes to decreased breastfeeding rates.

While NAFDAC continues to strengthen the implementation and enforcement of breastfeeding regulations, the Director General called for collective efforts to support the cause. Breastfeeding is an economically sound investment for the nation's health, economy, and future workforce.

The theme of this year's World Breastfeeding Week celebration focuses on improving working conditions and relevant support for breastfeeding. Adeyeye emphasized that evidence consistently highlights the lifelong health and well-being benefits of optimal breastfeeding. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, followed by continued breastfeeding with the introduction of appropriate solid foods.

To complement the breastfeeding advocacy, the Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN) Lagos Chapter emphasized the importance of a balanced diet and hydration for nursing mothers. Maintaining a healthy diet ensures quality breast milk production, benefiting the baby's health and development.

It is essential to recognize the significance of breastfeeding in reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancers. As breastfeeding becomes more normalized and workplace environments become more supportive, the health outcomes for both mothers and children will undoubtedly improve.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-08-09 News

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