This briefing outlines findings from operations research on exclusive breastfeeding and early initiation — such as engaging with senior religious leaders, and identify Qu’ranic teachings that support EBF. The study supports refinement of the infant and young child feeding (IYCF) strategy implemented by the Working to Improve Nutrition in Northern Nigeria (WINNN) programme.
Summary of key recommendations:
- Strengthen messages on the water content in breastmilk.
- Integrate the showcasing of healthy EBF babies into IYCF advocacy.
- Increase the targeting of men and develop specific IEC materials for this.
- Engage with senior religious leaders, and identify Qu’ranic teachings that support EBF.
- Develop an advocacy approach for older women, including songs and participatory approaches
- Provide practical support on breastfeeding within mothers’ support groups.
- Further research to develop a Hausa term for EBF that better encapsulates the full meaning.
- Consider the need to develop a Hausa term for ‘late EBF’
- Clarify that EBF is not dependent on the mother’s consumption of the recommended foods.
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