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'Breastfeed babies for 6 months'

14 August 2013, 11:12 Joseph Mukubwa

Mothers have been advised to embrace the use of breast pumps in a bid to ensure they feed their children exclusively on breast milk for the first six months.

Working mothers have been weaning their newborns before they reach the six months recommended to give infants the requisite immunity from diseases.

“We advocate for exclusive breast milk until the children reach six months, when mothers can then invest in other nutritional supplements,” said Kathleen Karue, a medic with the Outspan Hospital in Nyeri.

Speaking during a one day breast feeding open day, Karue said mothers fear breast pumps, yet they are specially made to ensure they pump milk and preserve it for the children during working hours.

During the training, medics in nutrition cautioned mothers against supplementing breast milk with other food supplements, saying they weaken the children.

Karue observed that studies have indicated that even HIV infected mothers can breastfeed their young ones, as long as their nipples do not have cracks or any other fresh injuries which can lead to transmission of the virus.

“But there is need for extra caution when HIV positive mothers breastfeed their children, and we always advise them to get regular instructions from health experts to rid their children of contracting HIV,” said Karue.

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