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Dr. Orfanoudaki Irene MD  PhD  -  Breastfeeding

Breast milk is the only food that offers the newborn and the baby the necessary substances, in the right proportions and in the right composition.

Breast milk contains all the necessary ingredients for the physical and mental development of the baby, ready antibodies and anti-inflammatory substances.

Breast milk is irreplaceable and breastfeeding,

the most important psychic link between mother and newborn.

Immediately after childbirth and placental abruption, two hormones, prolactin, are released into a woman's body.  and oxytocin.

These hormones are produced in the pituitary gland, a gland located in the brain. However, the order for the start of milk production is given by the baby itself through breastfeeding.

Prolactin or "maternity hormone" is released in the body
  every time a mother breastfeeds her baby.

Oxytocin or "love hormone" helps to release milk when the baby is breastfeeding and is even secreted when the baby cries. It is the hormone that intensifies the feeling of love and affection.

The only one  content of breast milk, consolidates it as an irreplaceable food for every newborn.

The albumin contained in breast milk is of superior biological value. Its fats are better absorbed, are easily digestible and are dominated by unsaturated fatty acids.

The carbohydrates in breast milk are unique. They provide energy, play an important role in protecting the child from infections of the gastrointestinal tract and in the normal development of his nervous system.

Calcium, phosphorus and iron are more easily absorbed and better used by the baby.

That is why anemia, rickets, tetanus occur less frequently in breastfed children.

Breast milk vitamins depend on the mother's diet.

A and C are higher in content than cow's milk and protect babies from various diseases.

Specific substances, the epidermal and nerve growth factors found in breast milk contribute to the maturation of the digestive and nervous systems.
The defense elements of breast milk, ie immunoglobulins, antistaphylococcal agents, lysozyme, lactoglobulin, lactobacilli, protect the newborn and the baby from many diseases.


It is now proven that breastfed babies are much better  intellectual development.

On average, they get around 8.3 points higher on intelligence tests.

This has to do with the special composition of breast milk fats, which promotes the development of the baby's brain.

Breast milk is  digestible,  its breakdown and metabolism do not burden the baby's kidneys and liver.

Breastfed babies have  fewer colic  and  skin irritations in the diaper area, because breast milk, with its special composition, favors the growth of lactobacilli  in the baby's gut.

Breastfeeding also has a lot  long-term advantages  for the health of the child.

It has been proven by scientific research that breastfeeding  protects against  obesity, diabetes, some cancers, heart disease and multiple sclerosis!

However, breastfeeding also has many benefits for the mother.

The massage that the newborn does with his hands on the breast as well as the contact of the baby's lips with the nipple, are responsible for the release of a large amount oxytocin from the mother's pituitary gland.

By its action, the contraction of the uterus and the hysterectomy are achieved.

At the same time, the vessels of the uterus constrict, blood loss is reduced and anemia is prevented.

To the mother, breastfeeding offers protection against a subsequent pregnancy, because it inhibits the reproductive process, providing partial contraceptive protection and also protects iron stores through the absence of menstruation.

It has been observed that breastfeeding women lose the weight they gained during pregnancy more easily, at a rate of about 2 kilos per month, since the milk they give to the baby and its production process amounts to about 700 calories daily.

Breastfeeding also helps reduce the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer before and after menopause.

Most importantly, breastfeeding offers the mother a sense of accomplishment where she is psychologically encouraged, as the hormones that are released during breastfeeding cause a state of pleasant relaxation and calm reducing the risk of postpartum depression.

The fact is that breastfeeding imposes a heavy nutritional cost on the mother as energy  its requirements, in calcium, minerals and vitamins.

However, a large portion of the growing energy needs are met by the maternal fat stores that are created during pregnancy, while helping to restore the mother's normal body weight.


There are no restrictions on breastfeeding, however when the mother has a serious illness that makes contact with the baby forbidden, then breastfeeding is contraindicated.

Also, when the mother is infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or is immunosuppressed, breastfeeding is still not allowed and in general, the administration of drugs should be avoided during breastfeeding and the pediatrician should be informed before taking them.

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