Breastfeeding: How Mamalait Changed Our Stories – Nigerian Nursing Mothers 

Sola POPOOLA 

Some Nigerian nursing mothers who were  faced  with the initial challenge of insufficient lactation have shared testimonies  of their encounter new dietary product, Mamalait .

This is coming as Medical experts called for continued promotion and encouragement of exclusive breastfeeding practice at different levels of the society.

One of them, who is the wife of Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said the society must promote and support exclusive breastfeeding for newborn babies within the first hour of birth till at least six months.

The First Lady who spoke at the World Breastfeeding Week Commemoration organised by Reals Pharmaceutical, alongside other notable medical experts on infant’s rights, reiterated that exclusive breastfeeding remains the best and safest health practice for nursing mothers and their babies.

The governor’s wife, who was represented by Dr Folasade Fadare, at the event held at Sheraton and Towers said the programme focused on the strengthening the capacity of actors to protect, promote and support breastfeeding across different levels of the society.

In her keynote speech on this year’s theme: “Step up for breastfeeding, Educate and Support”, Dr Sanwo-Olu  commended the management of Reals Pharmaceutical  for living up to expectation on its social responsibility by escalating health advocacy on breastfeeding.

According to her,” All actors have specific roles to play and they must be well informed, educated and empowered to strengthen their capacity to provide and sustain breastfeeding friendly environments for families in the post-pandemic world.

“For us in Lagos State, the state government  has implemented a far-reaching policies and reforms that would engender a conducive atmosphere for nursing mothers to breastfeed their babies optimally, including six months maternity leave for mothers while the fathers are also entitled to paternity leave, ” she added.

The Group Managing Director, Reals Pharmaceutical, Ade Popoola, disclosed that the theme of 2022 World Breastfeeding commemoration was selected with a view to getting all concerned individuals and organisations  informed about their roles in strengthening the warm chain of support for breastfeeding.

He said that the agony of a nursing mother with inadequate breastmilk and the pains of her poor baby crying while being breastfed (with little or no milk) is better imagined than experienced.

“This has led Reals Pharm Ltd to look inward and come out with a solution – MAMALAIT GRANULES – a dietary supplement for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. With Mamalait Granules, we now have happy mothers.

” The World Health Organization recommends that infants are exclusively breastfed up till six months of age and if possible, continue until they are two years old. However, this is still a far cry as less than half of babies are breastfed until the age of six months.

“While reasons of lactation insufficiency may have been adduced in some cases, it is also pertinent to note that the current realities of COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted mothers’ education and support for breastfeeding.    Not only does breastfeeding improve children’s health, it also improves mothers’ health—decreasing their risk of developing several illnesses, such as hypertension, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or type 2 diabetes.

In his speech, the Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, said about 60 percent of under-five mortalities are largely due to malnutrition caused by poor breastfeeding practices, inadequate complementary feeding.

Professor Abayomi hinted that Lagos State has performed better on the national scale of breastfeeding data as the state records  51.8 percentage which far and above the national average of 29 percent .

Another highlight of the event was the unveiling of Mamalait and cutting of cake to commemorate the Breastfeeding Week.

Some nursing  mothers who had experienced agonies of lactation insufficiency also shared their testimonies of their encounter with the new dietary product.

Some of them spoke of how they were subjected to crude method of taking palm wine and stout as a means of boosting lactation but to no avail.

There were presentations on Lactation Insufficiency, Challenge and Solutions, Breastfeeding, Place of Nutrition in Lactation as well as Step up For Breastfeeding, Why and How.

Dr Lanre Kelekun, an O&G consultant underscored the importance of breastfeeding  to mothers and infants .

According to him, ” The first two years of a child’s life are particularly important, as optimal nutrition during this period lowers morbidity and mortality, reduces the risk of chronic diseases, and fosters better development overall.

Medical experts said optimal breastfeeding is so critical that it could save the lives of children under the age of five.

Another speaker and Dietrician, Mrs Adefalu Bushrat-Adedoyin, urged fathers to always support nursing mothers with good diet in order to make the breastfeeding less tasking.

Amongst the dignitaries were Pharm Timeyin Ogungbade, Mrs Adeniran, the immediate past Chairperson, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Lagos chapter representing the current PSN chairman, and Dr Nmadu, a member of Reals Board of Directors.

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