A Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Efunbo Dosekun, has called on operators of healthcare facilities that provide maternity services to extend neonatal services to new mothers and babies.
Dosekun, who works with Outreach Children Hospital, Lagos, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday.
The consultant paediatrician, who also specialises in neonatology – the care of premature or sick newborns, said that the services should not just end after the delivery of a baby.
“Just having the mother living, the baby living is not enough.
“They must be proactive in making sure that there’s no problem; new problem, old problem like a congenital abnormality, the mother’s psychological state, the mother’s preparation for breastfeeding and other social issues,” he said.
He decried the present situation where many grandmothers don’t have much time to teach their daughters who are either pregnant or just delivered, how to care for themselves and their babies.
“Everyone assumes breastfeeding is an automatic process, it’s not. It wasn’t too hard for us when grandmothers were all around.
“They would notice if nipples are retracted, they would ask, ‘how’s the baby going to attach to feed.
“The grandmother would have started preparing her daughter for delivery but nowadays, grandmothers are so busy. Most of them are still working,” she told NAN.
He urged maternity centres to take up the role of working with new mothers, to avoid casualties with their newborns.
Dosekun said “They have to teach mothers things like, preparing for lactation, ability to produce breast milk and also teach the mother how the child can attach to the mother properly.
“If a baby is trying to breastfeed and it’s not getting success, it’s going to give up; the glucose can go low and the baby might die from that.
“We’ve picked out many cases here when babies come in so wasted and dehydrated, very low glucose level that they are having symptoms like seizures and at the point of death.
She recommended that maternity and childcare provi
ders should set up structures such as home care teams, where they can reach new mothers in their homes. (NAN)