Mrs. Peace Essien, a health expert, has emphasized the importance of husbands to always suck the breasts of their pregnant wives by stimulating the nipples through gentle sucking to prepare the pores for breastfeeding before the new-born arrives.
In her capacity as the coordinator of the Primary Health Care Operational Base on Wellington Bassey Way in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State, Essien made these statements during an interview on Tuesday. This discussion coincided with the 2023 World Breastfeeding Week, under the theme “Enabling Breastfeeding: Making a Difference for Working Parents.”
According to Essien, husbands have responsibilities beyond providing psychological and financial support during pregnancy, particularly during the early stages of the antenatal period.
She stated, “Husbands are encouraged to stimulate their pregnant wives’ nipples to facilitate the readiness of the nipple pores for breastfeeding. Alternatively, if sucking isn’t feasible, using fingers to gently massage the nipples can also prepare them.”
Essien highlighted that effective breastfeeding has a positive impact on the baby’s physical and cognitive development. Breast milk contributes essential nutrients that boost the immune system and support holistic growth in infants.
Furthermore, she emphasized that exclusive breastfeeding provides advantages for mothers as well. It aids in restoring the body to its pre-pregnancy shape and can function as a method of family planning for some mothers, while also fostering a strong bond with the baby.
Essien called upon families, community leaders, and religious figures to encourage young mothers to embrace exclusive breastfeeding for the initial six months of their child’s life. She also urged women leaders within communities and religious institutions to amplify the significance of exclusive breastfeeding.
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