According to UNICEF internal statistical bulletin 2015, “… a new born baby dies every 15 minutes and new born deaths contribute to 50% of infant deaths”. It has however been proven that babies who are exclusively breastfed for 6 months stand a better chance of surviving. Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their babies within 30 minutes after birth. The first yellowish milk (colostrum) is full of Vitamin A and protects the baby against allergies and infections.
Deborah Larteley Lartey is a 33 year old trader at Accra. She gave birth to Juanita Akorfa Akakpo, her first bouncing baby girl at Usher Polyclinic in Accra. She attended ante natal sessions there, where the midwives and nursing staff deepened her understanding about the benefits of breast feeding for her baby and herself. She has since been attending post natal clinics at Usher Polyclinic.
In turn, she has managed to convince members of her household about the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of the baby’s life. She however recounts a few instances she has had to stand her ground and turn a deaf ear to some relatives and friends who advised her to complement the breast milk with some solid food. “I have been pressured to give water to my daughter but I always adhere to the midwife’s advice of exclusive 6 month breast feeding”