Steve Ayorinde, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information, has advised fathers not to compete for space with their babies during the period of breastfeeding.
According to All Africa, the commissioner disclosed this in a message to the Lagos Chapter of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) as it held a Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign and a 5 km Health Walk in Ikeja.
Ayorinde, who was represented by Mrs Toro Oladapo, a former NAWOJ President and the Director, Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Information, counseled fathers to leave the breast for the babies during the period.
He also stated that men should encourage their wives to engage in exclusive breastfeeding which is vital during the first six months of life.
”Nothing is natural like breast milk,” he said, noting that human milk is better for babies than animal milk.
”Thank you so much for promoting the essence of womanhood. The media should help ensure mothers are breastfeeding to raise a healthy nation.
You will all agree with me that children that are breastfed distinguish themselves academically,” he said.
According to him, breastfeeding should be encouraged till the baby reaches two years for healthy child development. Ayorinde told the female journalists to continue the advocacy for a healthy nation.
Ayorinde also emphasised the agenda-setting role of the media in promoting the right attitude toward healthy child development and urged NAWOJ not to relent in its efforts.
“The media should help ensure mothers are breastfeeding to raise a healthy nation. You will all agree with me that children that are breastfed distinguish themselves academically,” he said.
In addition, the commissioner said that women, in the past, used breastfeeding for child-spacing and family planning, urging NAWOJ to spread the awareness.
Alhaja Sekinat Lawal, who happens to be the Chairperson, Lagos Chapter of the NAWOJ, appealed to all tiers of government to implement policies that encourage breastfeeding for healthy child development and speedy economic growth.
Lawal condemned violence against women, pointing out that violence could affect the flow of milk to new-born babies.
She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the fitness walk was aimed at keeping journalists healthy.
Lawal said that journalists were always busy people who had a tendency to forget their health, hence, the walk was organised as part of activities of the breastfeeding week.