A Chief Nursing Officer, Ms Roseline Oladimeji, on Thursday advised pregnant women to allow their husbands to suck their breasts in order to prepare them for breastfeeding after delivery, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Ms Oladimeji gave the advice at a sensitisation programme marking this year’s World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) organised by the Amuwo Odofin Maternal and Child Centre (AOMCC), Festac Town, Lagos.
Speaking on the theme of the 2021 WBW, “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility,” Ms Oladimeji implored women to: “Allow your husbands to suck your breasts during pregnancy. Apart from bonding, it will help the nipples to be out and make it easier for your baby to latch on.
“You can also rub vaseline on your nipples at night before going to sleep. It also helps to soften it, (the breasts)” the nurse said as she also urged pregnant women to prepare their breasts during pregnancy to avoid lactation problems after delivery.
She added that the colostrum – the yellowish milk that flows within the first five days of delivery – contain nutrients that help boost babies’ immunity. “It is still breast milk,” she said.
Ms Oladimeji cautioned that certain food, herbs and medications could hurt babies if they cross into the breast milk. She particularly noted that drinking palm wine to improve lactation could introduce alcohol into the baby’s system during breastfeeding.
Ms Oladimeji further cautioned mothers seeking advice from people who were not qualified to take care of babies to avoid causing harm to their children.
Also, the hospital’s Dietician, Gbemisola Ogundipe, advised lactating mothers to ensure they take well-balanced meals and lots of water to increase the volume and quality of their breast milk.
“A breastfeeding mother should have meat, fish, eggs and vegetables in her meals. She should also take a glass of juice or smoothies.
“She should increase her fluid intake and this can come in form of water, milk, yoghurt, ice-cream and pap,” she said.
Ms Ogundipe also cautioned women against weaning their babies before they get to one year because of the misconception that breast milk changed to blood when a child turns one year. She said exclusive breastfeeding was not only beneficial to the babies but also to the mothers and their families as it helps to take the mother to her pre-pregnancy weight and lessen financial pressure for families.