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Reduce mothers’ workload to promote children’s health- Nutritionist

THE public has been advised to reduce workload put on mothers during breastfeeding so that they get ample time to breastfeed and improve family lives.

Speaking in an interview recently with reporters during the ongoing World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre (TFNC) Nutritional Researcher Officer, Ms Fatma Mwansora said apart from the continuous education on the matter, there are still some challenges, which affect mothers during breastfeeding.

She said in some communities, there are traditions and customs, which forbid a pregnant woman from eating some foodstuffs during pregnancy and after giving birth, which according to her affect the mother and her children especially, those who are below six months of age.

"During this period of six months the digestive system of the baby is still immature, that is why we recommend babies to be fed only by their mother's milk," she stressed.

However, Ms Mwansora advised mothers to avoid feeding their newborn with cow milk, because sometimes it could cause them some health problems such as allergies, and rashes.

She said babies must be fed with mother’s milk since it contains white blood cells that make up their immune system to be strong, adding: “It contains enough water and also protein, which help to build them physically and mentally.”

She said there are guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children on breastfeeding after a woman gives birth.

“Mothers must feed their newborns effectively, because this also helps to build a bond between her and her child. In the period of first six months, the baby must be fed only with mother’s milk,” she noted.

In related development, several nutritionists thanked the government for helping mothers to get pieces of advice through health facilities, where breastfeeding education is freely provided to them.

The World Breastfeeding Week is an annual celebration marked every year from 1st to 7th August in more than 120 countries, where this year’s theme is-'Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet'.

In line with the theme, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) are calling upon governments to protect and promote women's access to skilled breastfeeding and counselling, which are critical components of breastfeeding support.

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