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Arch Hellen Med, 32(3), May-June 2015, 364-368


Breastfeeding and maternal mental health

E. Harami, D. Tsoromokos, H. Mazarakou
Nursing Unit of Molai, General Hospital of Lakonia, Monemvasia, Lakonia, Greece

World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF recommend the exclusive feeding of infants with breast milk during the first six months of life, followed by breastfeeding with appropriate complementary feeding until they aged two years or more. In recent years, apart from the benefits of breastfeeding for the physical development of infants, it has started to emerge, through years of research that there are significant benefits for the mental health of mothers who breast feed their babies. Breastfeeding strengthens the bond between the mother and infant, the mother becomes more confident and feels complete as a woman. Breastfeeding helps the mother to enjoy motherhood, promotes self-esteem and reduces levels of stress and depression, and, by the hormones produced, the feelings of love, peace and comfort to the baby are reinforced, leading to a sense of euphoria and positivity in the mother. During breastfeeding the mothers learn to listen to their babies and to communicate deeply with them, feeling complete, stronger and more patient.

Key words: Breastfeeding, Infant, Mental health, Mother.

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