Starting from some reflections on how Hera played the role of mother in mythological tales, we move to take into consideration the special case of the goddess suckling Heracles (sometimes as an adult). Notoriously, the Greeks attributed specific properties to breast-milk, such as transmitting genetic traits and creating bonds of kinship; therefore it does not seem unlikely to think that the episode in question alludes to the (symbolic) adoption by Hera of the illegitimate son of her husband, in order to let him access the divine family. Adoption in the ancient world, in fact, often involved adolescents and adults, with the primary goal being the provision of a legitimate heir to a citizen.
function is still not recovered completely by 6 months postpartum [ 8, 9 ]. Infant feeding method The World Health Organization defines exclusive breastfeeding as no other food or drink, not even water, except breast milk (including milk expressed or from a
10620-008-0587-1 2. Gerson , L. B. Gastro Enterol. Hepatol. 2012 , 8 , 763 . 3. United States Pharmacopeial Convention . United States Pharmacopoeia 30; National Formulary 25 ; US Pharmacopoeial Convention , 2007 . 4. http://www.who.int/maternal_child_adolescent/topics/newborn/nutrition/breastfeeding
–8 ]. According to a position statement of the World Health Organization (WHO), the starting point of healthy development and optimal growth of children is breastmilk and, therefore, they recommend exclusive breastfeeding from birth until the infant reaches the
, Black RE , Antelman G , Baqui A , Caulfield L , Becker S : Exclusive breastfeeding reduces acute respiratory infection and diarrhea deaths among infants in Dhaka slums . Pediatrics 108 , E 67 ( 2001
Sensitive detection methods, such as DNA PCR and RNA PCR suggest that vertical transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) occurs at three major time periods; in utero, around the time of birth, and postpartum as a result of breastfeeding (Fig. 1). Detection of proviral DNA in infant's blood at birth suggests that transmission occurred prior to delivery. A working definition for time of infection is that HIV detection by DNA PCR in the first 48 h of life indicates in utero transmission, while peripartum transmission is considered if DNA PCR is negative the first 48 h, but then it is positive 7 or more days later . Generally, in the breastfeeding population, breast milk transmission is thought to occur if virus is not detected by PCR at 3–5 months of life but is detected thereafter within the breastfeeding period . Using these definitions and guidelines, studies has suggested that in developed countries the majority, or two thirds of vertical transmission occur peripartum, and one-third in utero [3–6]. The low rate of breastfeeding transmission is due to the practice of advising known HIV-positive mothers not to feed breast milk. However, since the implementation of antiretroviral treatment in prophylaxis of HIV-positive mothers, some studies have suggested that in utero infection accounts for a larger percentage of vertical transmissions . In developing countries, although the majority of infections occurs also peripartum, a significant percentage, 10–17%, is thought to be due to breastfeeding [2, 8, 9].