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12 babies born on first day of year

Twenty minutes into the new year, Ms Lucy Wanjiku Ng’endo, 34, gave birth to a baby girl and promptly named her after her own mother as is the custom in her community.

And her husband, Gibson Mureithi, arrived at the Kenyatta National Hospital’s maternity ward not long after with a thermos flask full of porridge.

“Naming this girl after my mother is a dream come true because it is a way of appreciating her,” the mother of five said.

She was one of the 12 mothers who gave birth on Wednesday as Kenya welcomed 2014.

Ms Peggy Ng’ang’a was another happy mother after a son, Trevor, was born at 12.30am, also at KNH.

Ms Ng’ang’a, who works as a pharmacist in Kiambu, has two other children aged 13 and four years.

Weighing 2.8kg at birth, Trevor came a week and a half earlier than expected, which Peggy described as an “awesome way to mark the year”.

To give them a healthy start in life, these mothers said they would exclusively breast-feed their children as advised by their midwives after delivery.

By choosing to exclusively breast-feed, mothers give a child the best start in life, thus investing in their future.

World Health Organisation and Unicef recommend putting the baby to the breast within half-an-hour of birth, and to breasfeed exclusively for six months without introducing any foods, including water.

Breastfeeding for two years nourishes the baby and protects against infections such as diarrhoea.