Nutritionists have recommended that babies who cannot be fed with their mothers’ breast milk should be breastfed by their grandmothers, saying it is better than baby formula.
The experts said healthy grandmothers can breastfeed babies.
According to the experts, instead of feeding babies with infant formula, surrogate nursing, either by a grandmother or any other woman, should be encouraged for babies whose mothers have died or have health complications that make breastfeeding impossible.
According to The PUNCH, the experts; Dr. Modupe Akinyinka, a Consultant Public Health Physician at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, and Nwabumma Asouzu, a Registered Dietician-Nutritionist at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, said elderly grandmothers can still produce milk.
They explained that it is very possible for grandmothers as old as 60 years, to start a re-lactation process and recover the ability to produce breast milk under some kind of training.
The nutritionists stated that breast milk is produced from the brain, stressing that if a grandmother develops the passion, willingness and love for a child, the brain has hormones that are able to make her start producing breast milk again.
Akinyinka said grandmothers can still resume breastfeeding after many years of childbearing, provided they are healthy.
“Breast milk is definitely better than infant formula,” she said.
“If the mother of a baby is unable to breastfeed because she is not there anymore, then if we can get somebody else that can assist in giving that breast milk, that would definitely benefit the child than a formula.
“A grandmother can assist in breastfeeding the baby. But it is required that she is healthy and does not have an illness that the child has a possibility of contracting.
“So, grandmothers can still produce breast milk and breastfeed babies, irrespective of their age. If the breast milk starts to flow, they have to be taking a lot of fluids.
“Once the grandmother is well-nourished and properly fed, the breast milk will still be of high quality.”