By Folasade Akpan
A nutritionist, Ms Uju Onuorah, says breastfed babies have a lower risk of type one diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and obesity later in life.
Onuorah said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
According to her, besides the fact that for newborns, breast milk is the best source of nutrients, breastfeeding also has advantages that continue into maturity.
She also said that breastfeeding has both short and long-term preventive effects against specific ailments and disorders.
“Breastmilk contains antibodies, which help protect the infant against many common childhood illnesses.
“In the long term, breastfed children, especially exclusively breastfed infants, have been found to have a lower risk of developing obesity, type one diabetes and cardiovascular diseases later in life.
“Breastfeeding can be protective against multiple respiratory and gastrointestinal acute illnesses in some children up to at least six months of age.
“The nutrients in breastmilk can fully satisfy a baby’s nutritional demands for the first six months and after that point, it is advised that the mother continue breastfeeding for another two years while also providing the child with complementary foods.
“Both stomach and ear infections are prevented by it and numerous studies have demonstrated that there is a decreased risk of asthma, obesity, type one diabetes, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS),” said the expert.
Onuorah also said that the immune system of a baby is strengthened by breastfeeding because breastmilk contains antibodies that are beneficial to the baby.