The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has directed the entire employers of labour in the country to prioritise establishment of crèche in their various offices to boost exclusive breastfeeding practices.
Mrs Rukayat Afonja, Chairperson NLC, Oyo state council said this on Friday in Ibadan, on the sideline of the commemoration of the World Breastfeeding Week in Ibadan with the theme “Sustaining exclusive breastfeeding together.”
She said that the essence of the directive was to ensure mothers exclusively breastfeed their babies up to six months and for healthy children and healthy nation.
Afonja, however, warned said that failure by the employers, whether public or private, to comply with the directive would attract sanctions.
“I urge all nursing mothers here to take this message to their employers, that they should establish crèche in their offices and if they fail to comply report back to any of our chapel closer to you.
“We will take appropriate action against erring employers of labour,”Afonja said.
The chairperson, who also responded to questions from working mothers on their challenges in complying with six months exclusive feeding, said ‘’every working mother is entitled to maternity leave.’’
According to her, the maternity leave is obtainable in private or public offices.
Speaking earlier on behalf of mothers, Mrs Temilola Oladele, a working class mother, said that lack of crèche in many offices deprived many babies of enjoying exclusive breastfeeding.
Oladele said that though majority of the nursing mothers were aware of the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding, they could not maintain it because of its challenges.
She decried a situation whereby many nursing mothers introduced complimentary feeding for their babies as early as one, two, three months as the case might be.
Oladele reminded such mothers that complimentary feeding exposed babies to so many health challenges which could affect them, some through their life time, if not properly addressed.
It was reported that the world breastfeeding week is commemorated annually from Aug. 1 to 7 to galvanise efforts in promoting exclusive breast feeding, to boost the health of the babies among others.