Too few mothers breast-feed

Fewer and fewer Greek mothers are breast-feeding their babies, thus placing their own health and that of their children at risk, a leading paediatrician warned yesterday. «Despite the significant benefits of breast-feeding, most Greek women avoid it with the excuse that they have to work, that their breasts will become flabby or that they do not have enough milk,» Professor Andreas Constandopoulos, head of the Hellenic Paediatric Society, told Kathimerini, ahead of the World Breast-feeding Week that starts today. Twenty years ago, Constandopoulos said, a fifth of all Athenian mothers breast-fed their children for over three months. Now, the average figure has fallen to 5 percent for up to three months of breast-feeding. But breast-feeding is more common in poorer parts of the capital – where nearly half the country’s population live – with 80 percent of Menidi mothers breast-feeding their babies. Constandopoulos said babies that breast-feed are more healthy and develop a higher IQ, while their mothers have a lower rate of breast and ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis.

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