12 ways breastfeeding benefits MOM!
Are you thinking about breastfeeding, or maybe you already are? If so I’m sure you have already heard the countless benefits of breastfeeding for you little one, but has anyone told you how it can benefit you?
Thats right, there are tons of benefits for your health too! While the benefits for the child are what is still most important sometimes we have to think about ourselves too. In this case thinking about ourselves comes with even more positives! Maybe if more people knew about this side of it there would be more people deciding to give breastfeeding a real shot. So let’s take a look!
- 1. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer. While breastfeeding your body produces less estrogen, and while less estrogen is available to stimulate the uterine lining(and breast tissue) you are at a lower risk of tissue being cancerous.
- Which brings us to the next benefit, reduced risk of breast cancer by up to 25%. It has been said that the longer you breastfeed the lower your risk.
- Breastfeeding insures proper child spacing. Breastfeeding delays ovulation and gives you a nice vacation from menstruation! This form of birth control is 98-99% effective for the first 6 months postpartum if you are breastfeeding exclusively! Nature has its own way of making sure mom is healed properly and prepared to give the next child the best chance of survival. If you continue breastfeeding exclusively you may not have a period for up to a year. Non-breastfeeding moms get about 6-8 weeks. A side benefit with this is the iron your body loses breastfeeding is less than the iron your body loses on a period. This lowers risk of anemia.
- Breastfeeding moms show less postpartum anxiety and depression. When milk lets down it triggers the release of oxytocin and prolactin, hormones that relax the mom and make her feel more nurturing.
- Breastfeeding moms have an earlier return to pre-pregnancy weight. Non-breastfeeding moms lose less and don’t keep weight off as well. This is most likely because of all the extra calories your body is burning through your milk. Breast milk has about 20 calories per ounce, so if you little one has a 6 ounce feeding that’s 120 calories right there! Weight loss leads right into the next benefit…
- Breastfeeding decreases risk of diabetes in later life. The optimal weight loss from breastfeeding may help decrease the risk of diabetes later on. Moms that had gestational diabetes who breastfeed have lower blood sugar than non-breastfeeding moms also. Moms that had diabetes prior to their pregnancy need less insulin while breastfeeding because of these lower blood sugar levels as well.
- Breastfeeding lowers your risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis. While lactating your body absorbs calcium more efficiently. Although your bone density does drop some when you stop breastfeeding, your bones are still more dense than before your pregnancy.
- Breastfeeding moms heal faster post delivery. Remember when we said while you are breastfeeding your body releases oxytocin? Well, that oxytocin causes your uterus to contract which in turn reduces blood loss and risk of hemorrhaging. A breastfeeding moms uterus returns to its normal size in about 6 weeks. This is a lot shorter than the 10 weeks it takes for a non-breastfeeding mom.
- Breastfeeding moms spend less time off work. This one kind of works into the benefits for the baby as well but, breastfeed babies are sick less. When you don’t have a sick baby, you don’t have to take time off work. Not to mention the money you save…which is the next benefit.
- Breastfeeding moms save money. The average cost of formula for a baby’s first year is about $1,700 and can go way up from there. That’s a lot of money you don’t have to spend if you can breastfeed. My insurance even covered my breast pump, as I think most do now, so that wasn’t even a cost for me.
- The convenience of a ready supply and not having to prepare a bottle is unmatched. You also don’t have to bring along bottles and formula and water in a diaper bag and worry about finding a place to warm it. It’s always ready and always the perfect temperature.
- The last benefit is the relationships you build with other breastfeeding moms. Everyone’s experience is unique. It is truly a bonding experience to be able to talk with others that have gone through it too. The relationships you build here may be some of the most deep and lasting relationships.
That’s a ton of benefits!
If that wasn’t enough to make you want to breastfeed your little one I don’t know what more would! The list of health benefits, weight loss, a menstruation vacation, saving money and the mental and social benefits are almost too good to be true. Breastfeeding truly is the nature’s way of taking care of both you and your baby in a way nothing else can!