Odochi Ewurum, a consultant pediatrician at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Umuahia, Abia state, has warned nursing mothers against breastfeeding their babies while lying down.
Speaking in an interview with NAN on Tuesday, Ewurum said the practice could lead to infections and other complications in the child.
She explained that if a baby is breastfed while lying down, some of the milk may get into the baby’s lungs or ears and cause infection.
According to her, the mother should rather sit comfortably, carry the baby up and make sure the child relaxes properly.
“One of the disadvantages of lying down is that as the child sucks, it could aspirate,” Ewurum said.
“This breast milk can leave the child’s stomach and enter into the lungs and this can cause lung infection.
“Also, as the child is sucking, some of the breast milk might drip out of the mouth into the ear. It becomes a foreign body in the ear and with that, ear infection can occur. If the breast milk enters the nose, ear or eye, it is a foreign body.
“Breast milk should get to the stomach where it should be digested and become nutritive to the child.”
Ewurum added that it is imperative for relatives to come around to help out whenever a woman puts to bed to ease the stress of breastfeeding at night.
“We encourage the tradition of relatives coming to help out because it helps to reduce the stress experienced by nursing mothers,” she said.