Dr. John Otoo, the Eastern Regional Deputy Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, underscores the positive impact of exclusive breastfeeding on postpartum weight loss, emphasizing its role in achieving a flattened belly for mothers.
According to Dr. Otoo, mothers who exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first six months post-delivery can experience a reduction in belly size, contributing to a healthier physique.
Exclusive breastfeeding involves providing infants with only breast milk without introducing any other foods or liquids, such as formula or water, for the recommended duration of six months.
Dr. Otoo, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, highlighted the physiological benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for both mothers and infants.
He explained that the increased production of prolactin hormone during breastfeeding aids in the rapid contraction of the uterus, helping it return to its original size.
“The more the child sucks (the breast), the more prolactin is released, and the uterus shrinks back to its original size,” he explained.
Moreover, Dr. Otoo emphasized that exclusive breastfeeding plays a crucial role in preventing postpartum hemorrhage, a potentially life-threatening condition where mothers experience excessive bleeding after childbirth.
He added that the well-being of mothers is closely tied to proper breastfeeding practices, as it aids in the closure of all pulses in the womb, contributing to overall uterine health.
Highlighting the natural contraceptive effect of exclusive breastfeeding, Dr. Otoo noted that it prevents ovulation in nursing mothers.
Enumerating the benefits for infants, he pointed out the accelerated growth of the brain, the production of antigens to combat diseases, and the regulation of body temperature.
Despite these advantages, Dr. Otoo acknowledged the challenges of the three-month maternity leave, which falls short of the recommended six months for exclusive breastfeeding.
He suggested that organizations create supportive environments allowing nursing mothers to bring their infants to work, fostering a conducive atmosphere for breastfeeding.
In conclusion, Dr. Otoo urged husbands, family members, and work colleagues to provide support to nursing mothers in undertaking the significant task of exclusive breastfeeding, promoting the well-being of both mothers and infants.