breastfeeding

Dr Enoch Havroh, a gynaecologist at the Tamale Teaching Hospital has advised pregnant women to breastfeed their newborns within the first hours of birth.

This would ensure that they bond with their babies and also allow the babies to receive colostrum, a yellowish maiden milk from the mother’s breast at birth that is composed of natural nutrients to give them good health and to protect them from contracting diseases.

Dr Havroh said colostrum also boosts the baby’s immune system to help fight infections. He made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Tamale.

He explained various types of colostrum and said some women have thick and yellowish colostrum while others produce thin and watery colostrum which flows slowly to enable the baby to learn the skill to suck breast and swallow.

Dr Havorh added that after three to four days, the nursing mother’s breasts begin to feel firmer, an indication that the milk supply was increasing and changing from colostrum to mature milk.

He said the nursing mother’s milk takes a long time to flow freely and indicated that was normal and not a cause for concern.

He advised nursing mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding for six months and explained that exclusivity means giving breast milk only to the baby, and nothing else except for medicines prescribed by a health professional.

Dr Havorh stated that after six months, nursing mothers could now feed their babies with both breast milk and other complementing foods.

The medical doctor urged nursing mothers to breastfeed their babies on demand, both day and night, at least eight to 12 times each day to improve the health of babies.

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The Ghana news Agency (GNA) was established on March 5, 1957, i.e. on the eve of Ghana's independence and charged with the "dissemination of truthful unbiased news". It was the first news agency to be established in Sub-Saharan Africa. GNA was part of a comprehensive communication policy that sought to harness the information arm of the state to build a viable, united and cohesive nation-state. GNA has therefore been operating in the unique role of mobilizing the citizens for nation building, economic and social development, national unity and integration.

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