Ghana to extend maternity leave to six months.

Speaking at the launch of World Breastfeeding Week with theme: “Breastfeeding, a key to sustainable development” here in Koforidua, Ghana, the Eastern Regional Minister, Mavis Ama Frimpong, has petitioned Government to extend maternity leave from three to six months, to enable nursing mothers have ample time to effectively practice exclusive breastfeeding.

While requesting for the maternal leave extension to six months, she also called for a national debate, for nursing mothers to be well sensitized on the essence of exclusive breastfeeding for six months.

She indicated that three months maternity leave does not permit mothers to fully undertake the recommended six months exclusive breastfeeding, and that there is the need to reconsider maternity leave, so that six months of exclusive breastfeeding recommended by the Ghana Health Service can be adhered to.

Ms. Frimpong added that inadequate access to skilled breastfeeding, aggressive marketing of breast milk substitutes, and lack of lactation support from male partners, as well as inaccurate information from health providers, are all hindrances to the achievement of exclusive breastfeeding, which must be addressed in the country.

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