Approved Six Months Paid Maternity Leave, Hugh Achievement For Kaduna Women – Wife of Governor

By: Mayen Etim

 

KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – Wife of the Kaduna State Governor, Hajiya Ummi El-Rufa’i has described the approved six months paid maternity leave for working mothers in the state civil service by the State Government as a huge achievement for women.

She stated this shortly after a kilometer walk to mark 2019 World Breastfeeding Week organized by the State Government in collaboration with a Non-Governmental Organization, Alive & Thrive in Kaduna on Saturday.

Hajiya Ummi disclosed that part of the Clause in the approved maternity leave is that a woman will not be given such leave again till after three years.
According to her, the clause is to encourage the women to practice child spacing; “so it is a whole package of excitement for the women and we are trying to do other things to make sure that we sustain the promotion of the understanding and enlightenment of breastfeeding and other things related to nutrition,” she said.

Wife of Kaduna State Governor, Hajiya Ummi El-Rufa’i (middle), A&T State Team Lead, Mrs. Sarah Kwasu, (Immediate right) and others.

The Governor’s wife also said that the walk was to send message across to citizens for the need to support exclusive breastfeeding“Today is World Breastfeeding Week and we are trying to enlighten our citizens, not just the mothers who are beginning to understand the need for exclusive breastfeeding, but also the fathers, mothers in-law, relatives among others that could lend a hand to ensure that the practice is supported.

“And beyond exclusive breastfeeding, the right kind of nutrition that should be added to a child’s diet is one of the things we are creating hype for.

“We plead with mothers to keep water out of the first six months of the baby’s life because the breast milk itself contains about 80 per cent or more of water. So there is no need to add water to the child’s breastfeeding.

“The water content in breast milk is enough to satiate the child and this is very necessary for the first 1,000 days of life for a child to be fed exclusively because that is when its cognitive development, immune system strengthening and everything that is required for the rest of its life,” she added.

Hajiya Ummi dismissed the misconception about sagging breast, saying as long as a woman is going to bear a child, or as she aged there is a significant amount of sagging that will come to the breast.

“So, breast feeding a child is not the reason the breast sag. Part of the issue the women have always raised is that their children are never satisfied but always clinging to the breast.”

In view of above, she said there is a technique on how the baby should be breast fed, pointing out that these are some of the things the women would be taught at various centres and avenues.

To ensure that the enlightenment trickles down to the grassroot, Hajiya Ummi said the media would be massively engaged especially the radio and social media platforms.

“We are going round the Primary Healthcare Centres to talk to the women. Our community volunteers would be sent on door-to-door to engaged the women; as well as religious and traditional leaders who would preach and talk to the citizens regarding cultural and traditional practices that hinder the success of exclusive breastfeeding and good nutritional like practices,” she added.

Also, the Alive&Thrive State Team Lead, Mrs. Sarah Kwasu acknowledged the efforts of the State Government for approving six months paid maternity leave for mothers in the state civil service.

She said it was in line with the theme for the 2019 World Breastfeeding Week, tagged: “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding”, pointing out that the six months maternity leave would give room for the pregnant/nursing mothers to have time for exclusive breastfeeding for the required number of months.

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