Dr. Maria Adamantia Malliarou is a pediatrician and Director of one of the four clinics at the First Pediatric Clinic of the University of Athens, Agias Sofias Children’s Hospitals, in Athens, Greece. She is a practicing pediatrician, and trains residents and students in her position. She began working to improve breastfeeding rates in Greece 15 years ago when “Greece had nothing in place to support breastfeeding,” says Adamantia.
In 2005, Adamantia advocated for the reinstitution of the National Breastfeeding Committee of Greece, which has backed many important initiatives over the past two decades. The Committee has helped four Athens hospitals to gain Baby-Friendly designation since 2011; performed national studies in 2007 and 2017 assessing national breastfeeding rates and practices in Greece; and created the ALKYONI project under the Child Health Institute of Greece, to lead breastfeeding initiatives.
Adamantia also engineered the translation of the Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes into Greek, and the distribution of 20,000 copies. In June 2017, she successfully shepherded a national law through the Greek government to require that all hospitals and maternity hospitals in Greece obtain written consent from mothers who decided not to breastfeed and give formula.
Adamantia’s hard work, and that of her colleagues, was rewarded when the results of the 2017 Greek National Study showed that any breastfeeding at 6 months in Greece had doubled since 2007 (from 20% to 40%), and that exclusive breastfeeding at 4 months had also doubled.
Right now, she has her sights set on increasing breastfeeding rates at 6 months, and on working with the Roma, a minority in Greece with a breastfeeding rate of 0%. Adamantia is also working with and assisting the CHEER team to further their goal of expanding into the international arena. Her breastfeeding-based website can be found at www.mothereducation.gr
CHAMPS congratulates Adamantia on her advocacy, leadership, and ongoing hard work on behalf of mothers and babies in Greece!
CHEER Champion of the week
Each Monday (besides public holidays), we will recognize a CHEER Champion for all the work they have done for CHEER (Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research)/CHAMPS (Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices).