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Choose between healthy children and your looks, DG tells women

By Tina Agosi Todo, Calabar
15 September 2022   |   2:41 am
Director General of Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRSPHCDA), Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, has asked women to choose between making sure their breasts remain pointed

DG of Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRSPHCDA), Dr. Janet Ekpenyong

Canvasses six-month maternity to promote breastfeeding

Director General of Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRSPHCDA), Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, has asked women to choose between making sure their breasts remain pointed by not breastfeeding their children and having sickly children as a result of denying breast milk.

She also expressed the need for government to come up with policies that would promote exclusive breastfeeding.

According to her, the policies should include six months of paid leave for lactating mothers to enable them to breastfeed their children appropriately, and fathers should be given a one-month paid leave to enable them to assist their wives in the first month of delivery.

The DG explained that such policies would contribute to the proper growth of infants and other health benefits to mothers and children.

Ekpenyong also urged organisations to set up centres for nursing mothers to properly attend to their children.        

She made the call in an interview with The Guardian in Calabar as she told Nigerian women that the sound health of their children is more important than maintaining attractive stature.

She said there was nothing like over breastfeeding a child and called on the government to come up with policies that would support women to exclusively breastfeed their children.

According to her, breastfeeding does not only provide antibodies that build a child’s immunity and nutrition but protects the mother from breast and ovarian cancer, and helps in weight loss and family planning as a woman could hardly get pregnant while breastfeeding.

She said: “As a government, we have a huge role to play in enacting policies that promote exclusive breastfeeding, such as six months of paid leave for lactating mothers to enable them to breastfeed their children properly.

“Also, fathers should be given one month of paid leave so that they can stay home and support their wives in the first month of delivery.

The DG added that it was important for the woman to be supported because they need to be in the right frame of mind, mentally and psychologically to trigger the hypothalamus for breast milk to flow.

She added that having a healthy child should be every mother’s priority because a well-breastfed child hardly falls ill and has a good mental capacity that would eventually add to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation. 

“I always ask women, would you rather have pointed breasts than have healthy children? It is important for us to know what our priorities are in life.

“It is important that we careless of whether the breast will sag, which is often a result of weight loss and age and be concerned about the health of our children that are national assets,” the DG said.