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    289974
    Peer Reviewed

    The National Breastfeeding Policy in Nigeria: the working mother and the law.

    Worugji IN; Etuk SJ

    Health Care for Women International. 2005 Aug; 26(7):534-554.

    In this article, we examine the National Breastfeeding Policy in Nigeria, the extent to which the law guarantees and protects the maternity rights of the working mother, and the interplay between the law and the National Breastfeeding Policy. Our aim is to make people aware of this interplay to lead to some positive efforts to sanitize the workplace and shield women from some of the practices against them in employment relations in Nigeria as well as encourage exclusive breastfeeding by employed mothers. We conclude that the provisions of the law in this regard are not in accord with the contemporary international standards for the protection of pregnancy and maternity. It does not guarantee and protect the freedom of the nursing mother to exclusively breastfeed the child for at least the 6 months as propagated by Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) and the National Breastfeeding Policy. Moreover, there is no enabling law to back up the National Policy Initiative as it affects employer and employee relations. We, therefore, suggest a legal framework for effective implementation of the National Breastfeeding Policy for women in dependent labour relations. It is hoped that such laws will not only limit some of the practices against women in employment but also will encourage and promote exclusive breastfeeding behaviour by employed mothers. (author's)
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