It is widely known that breastfeeding is important to the baby’s health. Breastmilk protects infants from a variety of infections and boosts their immune system. However, unbeknownst to some, breastfeeding is also beneficial to the mother. In this post, we will discuss some of the short- and long-term benefits of breastfeeding to the mother’s health.
- Wondering how to deal with those extra pounds after childbirth? Breastfeeding can help you burn calories! Diet, exercise, and breastfeeding -all monitored by your health care professional- may be the perfect combination to get you in good shape. This strategy can also be helpful to those women who gained weight after childbirth, especially after cesarean delivery.
- Nursing stimulates the release of the hormone oxytocin, which helps the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size. It also helps reduce uterine bleeding.
- Nursing is important for the mother’s emotional wellbeing since it helps deal with postpartum anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that mothers who feed their babies with formula are at a higher risk of depression than nursing mothers.
- Breastfeeding delays ovulation in most women. Therefore, if you are are trying to prevent or delay a new pregnancy, nursing may help. However, do not use nursing as a birth control method! Many women become pregnant while nursing. Talk to your doctor for effective anticonceptive strategies.
- Formula food is expensive. Breastfeeding will save you a lot of money.
- Studies have suggested that breastfeeding may help lower the risk of urinary tract infections and of anemia.
- Breastfeeding can help you feel more relaxed and calm.
- Breastfeeding is critical to establish a mother-baby bonding. In addition to the benefits your baby will get from this experience, you will know your baby better and will be able to attend to his or her needs in a confident way.
- Breast cancer. Studies have shown that the longer you nurse, the lower is the risk of breast cancer.
- Uterine and ovarian cancer. Nursing also helps reduce the risk of risk of uterine and ovarian cancer, as the estrogen levels are lower during this period.
- Osteoporosis. Studies have revealed that formula-feeding mothers have a higher risk of osteoporosis than breastfeeding mothers. In fact, with nursing, you can reduce the risk of osteoporosis by as much as four times!
- Lessens chances of endometriosis.
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
If you have any concerns about nursing, talk to a lactation consultant after childbirth.