Feeding your baby must be fun, responsive – Nutritionist tells mothers

Mr Samuel Atuahene Antwi, the Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate Nutritionist, has advised mothers against becoming frustrated when feeding their babies who may reject breast milk or any other food. ‘Some mothers get frustrated with the little resistance from the baby, thereby forcing the child to eat against his or her will and the size of the stomach,’ he said. ‘This is inappropriate and so mothers and caregivers must have the patience and time to feed the babies well to promote good health.’ He, therefore, encouraged mothers to make feeding fun and responsive rather than forceful and frustrating, which may hurt the baby. Mr Antwi said this at the weekly programme of the Tema Regional Office, Ghana News Agency, dubbed: ‘Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility.’ The programme is to help promote health-related communication and provide information to influence personal health choices. The Nutritionist encouraged mothers to sing, play, and create a conducive feeding time with their babies, as forcing them would make them associate eating with pain. Mothers must also endeavour to follow the six-month rule of exclusive feeding after which the child should be introduced to the family food to acquire the needed nutrients and protection. Due to the antibodies mothers already had, exclusive breastfeeding helped to pass on those antibodies to the babies and build their immunity to protect them against diseases in the first six months of birth and beyond. ‘After six months, the growing child’s energy and nutritional requirements, such as Vitamin A, become greater than what the breastmilk contains, hence the need to start complementary feeding, which involves introduction to the family food while breastfeeding alongside,’ he said. While doing the complementary feeding, parents must pay close attention to pick up any food allergies and take the necessary precautions. Speaking on malaria, Dr Dorothy Hanson, a Medical Officer at the International Maritime Hospital, encouraged the public to do a laboratory test for malaria if they continued to experience symptoms after having used a Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT). She said the RPT could aid in the diagnosis but it was not always successful due to how it was administered. ‘Microscopy laboratory testing has remained the ‘gold standard’ for malaria testing due to its dependability and accuracy, since it can locate and count the number of parasites in the patient for the appropriate therapy,’ she added. Mr Francis Ameyibor, the Regional Manager, GNA Tema Office, said research showed that media efforts at raising awareness on health had helped to improve public well-being, healthwise, which was commendable.

Source: Ghana News Agency