Breastfeeding Week: NMA urges employers to give six months maternity leave
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged employers to give six months maternity leave for nursing mothers so that they can get enough time to do exclusive breastfeeding of their babies.
Kano NMA Chairman, Dr. Abdullahi Kabiru Sulaiman made the call on Thursday during the flag-off of the 2023 World breastfeeding Week held at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital.
According to him the world breastfeeding week is a global campaign aimed at raising awareness about breastfeeding practices and policies for babies and mothers.
He noted that the week is observed in the first week of August every year since 1992.
“Breastfeeding has long-term health benefits for both the mother and baby; it is natures’ way of giving the baby with all the necessary nourishment for growth,’’ Dr. Sulaiman said.
“Breastfeeding importance can never be emphasized, that is why the Nigerian Medical Association encourages and support exclusive breastfeeding, the six months maternity leave has been introduced by the Lagos and Kwara states and federal government gives four months.’’
‘’Four months is short compared to six months that is being advocated by the World Health Organization (WHO), but if we can have the six months maternity leave, it will assist nursing mothers to carry out exclusive breastfeeding for the period conveniently.
On her part, the Head of special Baby Care unit, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Dr Hadiza Ashiru Usman said most mothers want to do exclusive breastfeeding but they are working and the work environment is not conducive for them to breastfeed their babies.
She called on employers to create breastfeeding environment in the work place, so that nursing mothers can carry their babies to work and breastfeed them there so as to maintain good chain of exclusive breastfeeding.
“This year, we are celebrating the world breastfeeding week and is very important to note that other rimportant days are celebrated just in a day, but breastfeeding celebration is a whole week that is dedicated for breastfeeding week, this is to show the importance of breastfeeding to babies.”
The theme for this year is “enabling breastfeeding making a difference for working parents”.