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Health News of Saturday, 29 May 2021


Babies must be breastfed early to avoid jaundice – Paediatric Society of Ghana

An image of the logo made to commensurate the programme An image of the logo made to commensurate the programme

• The Paediatric Society of Ghana is advocating for mothers to breastfeed their babies at the early stages of their life to prevent diseases

• They say the essence of breastfeeding is very key since it helps fight against hidden childhood diseases

• Stakeholders have been urged to adopt strong legal measures to control the marketing of breast milk substitutes on the market

The Paediatric Society of Ghana has stated that early initiation of breastfeeding a newborn is important to protect the child from being exposed to disease such as jaundice.

The call was made during a National Stakeholder meeting held via Zoom on May 28, 2021, in Accra.

According to stakeholders, children could suffer from various diseases when they are not breastfed early and properly, especially when they are newborn babies.

“It is essential to breastfeed the child to protect them. A child could die if they are not breastfed in the first hour of their lives. Some may even suffer visual impairment and they may also end up having jaundice, so all mothers must endeavour to breastfeed their children to avoid all these,” the stakeholders noted.

According to the United Nations, Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 78 million babies or three in five are not breastfed within the first hour of life, putting them at higher risk of death and disease and making them less likely to continue breastfeeding.

Most babies who were breastfed according to the research were from low-and middle-income countries.

The report notes that newborns who breastfeed in the first hour of life are more likely to survive. Even a delay of a few hours after birth could pose life-threatening consequences.

Skin-to-skin contact along with suckling at the breast stimulate the mother’s production of breast milk, including colostrum, also called the baby’s ‘first vaccine’, which is extremely rich in nutrients and antibodies.

Meanwhile, Stakeholders urged governments, donors and other decision-makers to adopt strong legal measures to restrict the marketing of infant formula and other breast milk substitutes and rather recommend mothers to breastfeed their babies always.