The wife of Governor Aminu Masari, Zakiyya Masari, has warned Katsina nursing mothers against giving their newborn babies goat and cow milk, urging them to practise exclusive breastfeeding.
“For working women, this support comes in the form of maternity leaves and creches for their convenience. Even Islamically, mothers are expected to breastfeed their offspring for two whole years. I believe that every other religion across the state encourages the act of breastfeeding,” said the Katsina first lady.
Mrs Masari added, “Let us also frown at harmful breastfeeding practices, such as giving pre-lacteal feeds, expressing the first milk and pouring away, giving pre goat/cow milk while able to breastfeed, giving traditional concoction and bottle feeding.”
The governor’s wife stated this on Thursday, in Mashi local government area, during the launch of the ‘Stronger with Breast Milk Only’ campaign, as part of the celebration of 2022 World Breastfeeding Week.
Mrs Masari, represented by the permanent secretary at the ministry for lands and survey, Halima Othman, said the occasion came at the right time.
“We must understand the evidence-based recommendations for breastfeeding, such as the fact that exclusive breastfeeding should be practised for the first six months of life,” she explained. “This should be followed by continued breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods for up to 2 years or beyond.”
According to her, all mothers should be supported to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth, within the first hour after delivery and should receive practical support to start breastfeeding.
“We must always remember that breastfeeding is not only important to the child but also important to the mother, her family and the society at large,” Mrs Masari further stated.
The Katsina first lady urged community leaders and the government to include women in system transformations to ensure breastfeeding-friendly communities and workplaces.
“I hope my message appeals to the right audience as a God-given opportunity,” Mrs Masari stressed.