Breastfeeding Benefits For Mothers | Hea Boosters
Reviewed by Arushi Agrawal.
Fewer instances of allergies? Check. Brain development? Check. Reduced risk of viruses? Check! Breast milk provides easily absorbable and vital nutrients, antioxidants, enzymes and antibodies for babies.
These are some of the well-known benefits of breastfeeding your child. However, did you know that breastfeeding offers a whole bunch of benefits for moms too?
While breastfeeding comes with its own set of initial teething problems, (no pun intended), once you get the hang of it, it provides almost as many physical and emotional benefits to the mom as it does to the baby.
Here are a few amazing benefits of breastfeeding for mothers:
1. Psychological Benefits:
Many new mothers feel more confident as they become adept at breastfeeding their newborn children. Breastfeeding stimulates the release of a few hormones that help strengthen the maternal bond.
Oxytocin, also known as the 'feel-good or the love/cuddle hormone', is chief amongst these and is released when there is skin-on-skin contact between you and your baby. It helps relieve stress, stimulates maternal caregiving and behavior patterns and creates a strong emotional bond between a mother and her baby.
Breastfeeding also increases the production of prolactin, another hormone that is primarily responsible for the production of milk in your body. It also helps in stress reduction and promotes positive feelings in the nursing mother, thus reducing the occurrences of anxiety and postpartum depression for new moms.
2. Burns calories:
Breastfeeding burns around 300-500 kcal (depending on the mother's metabolic rate). When combined with the right diet, breastfeeding can go a long way to help create a calorie deficit, and could consequently contribute to weight loss.
3. Faster postpartum recovery:
During pregnancy, your uterus expands significantly in order to accommodate the baby. The release of oxytocin while breastfeeding stimulates your uterus to shed the intrauterine lining (which in turn causes post-delivery bleeding), contract, and return to its normal size. This is nature’s way of helping you recover as quickly as possible!
4. Reduces your risk of diseases and life-threatening conditions:
The total time spent on breastfeeding is linked with a reduced risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding also reduces the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. For women who already have type 2 diabetes, breastfeeding increases insulin sensitivity, thus decreasing the severity of this condition. Women who breastfeed have a lower chance of developing high blood pressure, heart disease and high blood fats.
5. Works as a natural contraceptive:
Your body automatically pauses menstruation and ovulation cycles while you are breastfeeding, thus encouraging a well-advised and much-needed gap between successive pregnancies. As an added advantage, at least you can drop keeping track of your period from your ever-growing list of to-dos as a new mom, and can hopefully enjoy some quality family time too in the process, one less thing to worry about.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful experience and offers many amazing benefits for mothers and children alike. Having said that, there is no shame in choosing not to breastfeed your child (at any point). Breastfeeding has no substitute, even if the mother has had a very difficult beginning with the right guidance and support, she can start breastfeeding her child. Even if the mother finds bottle-feeding or any other feeding easier, breastfeeding is much easier and takes less time as compared to any other kind of breastfeeding.