Dr Mariya Yola, a Pediatrician in the National Hospital, Abuja has urged nursing mothers not to deny their babies from accessing the first breast milk after they put to bed.
Yola gave the advice while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after sensitisation walk to educate mothers on importance of breast feeding, on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to her, the first milk that comes out of the breast of a nursing mother immediately she gives birth is known as colostrum.
The expert said the colostrum (thick yellow milk), was the first natural immunisation to help babies fight diseases.
Yola, who is also the Head of Pediatrics Department in the hospital, however, said that many traditional practices discouraged mothers from giving their children the first breast milk.
She stated that some mothers, due to their beliefs, would go to the extent to express the first breast milk and pour it away.
The Pediatrician also noted that colostrum was the best part of breast milk that had anti- infective agents and contained all the protein and other vital minerals that the baby needed.
The expert further urged mothers to exclusively breast feed their babies for six months and ensure sustaining breast feeding for two years and beyond.
She stated that the sensitisation campaign was organised by her department to educate mothers on the importance of breast-feeding, especially exclusive breast-feeding.
NAN reports that doctors and nurses from pediatric department went round the hospital to sensitise mothers on importance of exclusive breast-feeding, to babies and their mothers.