10 Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding your child is a wonderful choice for both you and your baby. Breastfeeding doesn’t get the positive credit it deserves! While each person’s breastfeeding journey has its ups and downs, it’s a choice that you won’t regret. Did you know that breastfeeding has more benefits than just increased nutritional health for your baby? That’s right, there are many benefits for you too! Some of them might surprise you. If you’re on the fence about breastfeeding, or just need some encouragement, read on.
Here are just a few of the benefits of breastfeeding.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mama:
Faster Calorie Burning
Many Moms report that they lose weight faster while breastfeeding. It’s said that breastfeeding burns up to 500 calories a day, so they might be on to something! Each time you expel breast milk you’re also expelling excess calories out of your system. This means that you may lose the “baby weight” faster!
When you’re breastfeeding, you don’t have to worry about formula and all the gear that comes with bottles. You also don’t have to do as much prep work to get your baby fed. You can breastfeed virtually anywhere. You don’t have to worry about groggily filling and heating up bottles, so you can get the maximum amount of sleep, which as all new Moms know, is much needed. The simplicity breastfeeding brings can be great for new Moms who need life to be as simple as possible. Less time washing bottles means more time cuddling!
When your milk lets down your body releases oxytocin, which is a chemical that makes you feel totally in love with your baby. Oxytocin calms nerves and it helps cultivate a great bonding experience for Mom and baby. Oxytocin can help aid in the treatment of post-partum depression because it encourages bonding with your baby, which is something that can be a struggle for moms struggling with PPD. It also helps your uterus to contract back to its normal size, making you lose less blood.
Most mothers don’t get their period until about 6 months post-partum if they’re breastfeeding exclusively. Some don’t get their period until baby turns 1! This is because breastfeeding releases prolactin, which holds back excess amounts of progesterone and estrogen. Without those two hormones, ovulation won’t occur which means no time of the month!
Breastfeeding is a great way for new Moms to save money. Formula can be expensive, as can bottles and other gear. Breastfeeding usually requires nothing but a healthy diet for Mom! Breast milk provides your baby with all the nutrients it needs for the first six months of its life. If you’re a new Mama who needs to save money, this reason alone might be enough motivation to continue breastfeeding.
Lower Risk of Disease
Breastfeeding your baby not only provides them with antibodies, but it also helps you lower your risk of disease. Studies show that mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of getting ovarian and breast cancer. They also have a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby
A Customized Formula for Ultimate Health Success
Your breast milk automatically adjusts to give your baby what it needs. This starts at birth with the production of colostrum, a yellow-tinged liquid that is full of extra nutrients. The process continues as your baby gets older as your milk adjusts to include needed antibodies. Those antibodies help protect your child from illness, giving them an extra boost in a germ-filled world.
Your breast milk also gives your child the perfect combination of vitamins and minerals. This custom formula helps your child’s brain to develop and as a plus, there’s nothing as cute as chubby baby thighs! But don’t worry about your child becoming a little too well nourished. The chances of breastfeeding children becoming obese are very slim compared to formula-fed babies.
Breastfeeding gives your child a close bond with you that they may not have otherwise. When you’re breastfeeding, your child automatically gets skin to skin and eye contact both of which are extremely important in developing emotional stability. Breastfeeding gives your child the chance to get oxytocin through your milk, giving them the same feelings of love that you feel. Many mothers of autistic children have reported that their babies were able to be touched more after they began breastfeeding them.
Fewer Trips to the Doctor
Studies show that if your baby is breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months of its life, that your trips to the Doctor are significantly less than if you’d chosen formula. That’s because the antibodies I mentioned earlier reduce the risk of ear infections, pneumonia, asthma, allergies and respiratory illnesses. When you’re exposed to a sickness, your body starts making antibodies to combat the sickness and protect your baby so they won’t get sick.
A Happier Baby
When you breastfeed your baby, Mom is primarily the one doing all the work. While this isn’t a huge hassle because there’s less to think of than with formula feedings, this can be a great chance for your child to experience a more relaxed version of their parent. When you breastfeed, you’re forced to stay in one spot, put your feet up and relax. This can be a benefit for your baby because it’s an automatic reminder to enjoy the moment. It’s been proven that babies feed off their mother’s emotions, so overall, you’ll have a happier baby.
These are just a few of the many benefits of breastfeeding. I’m sure that as your own breastfeeding journey progresses, you’ll find more things to appreciate about it. As women, our bodies work in mysterious ways that are designed to bring optimal emotional, mental and physical health to our babies. I know that each mother is unique, but I’d like to encourage you to breastfeed your child if you’re able! The benefits listed above speak for themselves.