The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Moms

newbornmotherasian2By Janine Kelbach, RNC-OB, for HNB:

Overtime, there have been many studies conducted on the benefits of breastfeeding to babies and even older children who breastfed, but what about the mother’s health? The woman who breastfeeds reaps the benefits physically and emotionally. Due to the production of lactin, oxytocin and other hormones that help in the aid of lactation, breastfeeding women have decreased risk for health problems. 

Keep in mind that Intact babies respond better to breastfeeding and have a better bond with their mother.  Circumcised babies have to contend with a burning and painful wound for weeks afterwards, which interrupts their feedings. Circumcised babies have a more difficult time forming a bond with their mother, because they are aware pain was inflicted on them and they don’t know whom to trust.

Breastfeeding Helps the Emotional Health of Mom

Breastfeeding helps moms build a close connection with their babies. This reduces anxiety and stress. Also, it builds a confidence in mom knowing she alone keeps her baby alive! Also, with less illness discovered in breastfeeding babies, less stress will be given to the mom. Mom will not have to miss work due to a sick baby, or have to visit the doctor for more than well care checks. The hormones released during breastfeeding will help the bond between mother and child, which will last a lifetime!

Breastfeeding Mothers Bleed Less

Immediately after delivering, the mother’s uterus needs to contract so she does not bleed. Breastfeeding will help the uterus shrink to the pre-pregnancy size faster, therefore decreasing bleeding. In a hospital setting, after delivery, the mother will have oxytocin in her IV bag that will be given very quickly to aid in the contraction of the uterus.

Breastfeeding Helps Moms Lose Weight

Mothers who breastfeed can burn approximately 20 calories per ounce of breastmilk!  Breastfeeding will help them lose weight. Some mothers think that cutting calories is the sole means to lose weight. This is not recommended post-pregnancy because of the demands of your body. You should not cut calories to help yourself lose weight. You will decrease the amount of calories your baby receives. Instead, make wise choices with food. You will have to increase your protein, healthy fats, low-glycemic carbs, fruits and vegetables. This itself will keep you energized, maintain metabolism, and help  you lose weight appropriately.

Breastfeeding tends to Inhibit Ovulation

Breastfeeding acts to inhibit ovulation and is nature’s way to prevent another immediate pregncay so your newborn baby gets all the attention it needs.  This is because mom’s body knows she is feeding someone, therefore she will not ovulate. Keep in mind that women still can during pregnant under some circumstances while breastfeeding, so please use a backup method when breastfeeding for birth control.

Breastfeeding Helps Reduce Mom’s Risk For Breast , Endometrial, Ovarian, Uterine Cancers, and other health problems

According to cbsnews.org, a study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology on June 5 revealed that if people stuck with the recommended length of breast-feeding their newborn for at least one year, there would be 5,000 fewer cases of breast cancer, 54,000 fewer cases of hypertension and almost 14,000 less heart attacks in women each year. While breastfeeding, the mother’s insulin levels decrease in the amount she needs. It also protects the baby from juvenile diabetes later in life.

According to nytimes.com, other recent studies have suggested breast-feeding may also reduce the risk of osteoporosis and both breast and ovarian cancer, as well as Type 2 diabetes.

Breastfeeding can even makes Mom’s life easier

The first two weeks of breastfeeding are the most difficult for most women. After that, think about how easy life will be. Mom won’t have to measure, mix, or even buy formula! No bottles to wash or heat up. In the middle of the night, all she has to do is hold her baby, and her baby will do the rest! No need for baby to sob until a bottle is heated up, which overall, makes her sleep and house quieter at night.

Breastfeeding helps with post-partum depression

Post-partum depression is a large misunderstood, under examined, medical condition. Mothers that breastfeed release oxytocin, the love hormone, therefore, she becomes happy when feeding. This helps women who are are susceptible to post-partum depression. Looking at her little newborn, knowing this child depends on her to live, makes most mothers less depressed.

These benefits may make mother want to breastfeed to know she will live longer and happier with her baby. Beyond these benefits, mother’s who breastfeed are going to give their child so many health benefits as well!