Breastfeeding Benefits for Mothers
Information about Breastfeeding Benefits for Mothers
The breastfeeding benefits for mothers are often less talked about. You may be surprised to know the goodness of breastfeeding your baby and how positively it impacts your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Top 6 Breastfeeding Benefits for Mothers
We often hear about how important breast-milk is for babies, but we do not hear much about the breastfeeding benefits for mothers, and how breastfeeding positively impacts the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of a woman. These 6 reasons (below) are enough to convince you:
1. Helps in Weight Loss
Breastfeeding helps moms in reducing weight, and facilitates them to get back to their pre-pregnancy shape.
If you have popped-out your 7-pound (or more) weighing baby but the weighing scale still shows you the weight when your baby was inside your tummy, you are not alone. Mathematics cannot justify this but the truth is, the hormones and calorie consumption goes totally bizarre after child-birth.
Remember that you gained all this weight in 9 months so it will take some time to shed off. And breastfeeding is the tool that will help you do that. How? Just understand this science before blaming the stubborn fat for not going away:
As a breastfeeding mother, you may find that in the first 3 months of your newborn baby, you get more hungry and your body is designed to store more fat for producing milk for your baby. Once the 3 months are over, you will notice that your body has adjusted well to this imbalance, and you will feel your weight reducing.
Studies have shown that when your baby is between 3 to 6 months, a breastfeeding mom loses more weight than a non-breastfeeding one. However, diet and exercise still play a major role, and accelerate your weight loss rate.
So, the bottom line is, let your body adjust for the initial 3 months (that’s the time you are also getting the hang of your new routine with the baby), and once the 3 month mark is achieved, keep on breastfeeding and notice the difference. Take your baby out for a stroll and eat plenty of fresh produce – this will not only help you in reducing weight and making that belly go inside, it will also help in the quality of your breast-milk as well as on your overall health. So you have nothing to lose. (except the weight, of course!)
2. Lowers the Risk of Depression
Almost 15% of mothers experience postpartum depression after giving birth. Many others go through phases of mood-swings, anxiety, or just feel low without any reason. While your body is juggling an over-supply of hormones due to labor, breastfeeding can help you reduce the anxiety, bond with the baby, feel the closeness of a tiny person, and the feeling that you are the strength and food-supply of something so adorable.
Women that start breastfeeding right away have less chances of developing postpartum depression. However, it has also been observed that women who go through postpartum depression find difficulties while breastfeeding.
A hormone known as Oxytocin is produced in high volume during delivery as well as when you breastfeed. Oxytocin is said to have a calming affect on depression. It also strengthens the mother-baby bond, making you feel relaxed and in-control. Various studies have proven the breastfeeding benefits for mothers when it comes to their mental as well as emotional health.
3. Lowers the Risk of Diseases
Studies show that mothers who breastfeed for at least one year have a 28% lower risk of getting ovarian and breast cancer. Not only that, there are tons of diseases that breastfeeding can protect you from. For instance, some of the breastfeeding benefits for mothers include:
- Breastfeeding lowers the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
- It lowers the chances of diabetes.
- It reduces the risk of ovarian, breast, and uterus cancers.
- Breastfeeding protects against arthritis.
4. Helps the Uterus Contract
When you are pregnant, your uterus starts to grow to adjust to your baby’s development. From the size of a pear it expands to take up almost all space of your abdomen.
Once your baby is out, the hormone called Oxytocin (which is produced throughout your pregnancy but is produced in increased quantity during labor and breastfeeding) helps the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy size.
When you breastfeed, your body produces Oxytocin in abundance that helps in the process of involution (uterus returning to its previous state and size) as well as reducing blood loss that women go through after their delivery.
5. Pauses Menstrual Cycles and Ovulation
One of the breastfeeding benefits for mothers (which could be one of the most favorite one) is that breastfeeding pauses ovulation and menstrual cycles in women which could lead to automatic birth control. This means less chances for another (back-to-back) pregnancy and more quality time with the new baby.
However, this may not be the most effect way for birth-control as some women can still get pregnant during this period. However, pausing menstruation and not worrying about that time of the month is so great to have, isn’t it?
6. It’s Free (and hassle-free too!)
Breast milk is all natural and 100% free! It is also convenient for you to feed your baby as you do not require any kind of bottle sterilization procedures or temperature control of the milk. Moreover, it does not run out of stock. The more you feed, the longer will the stock last!
There are some breastfeeding accessories that can assist you well with the breast feeding process. For additional help, please refer to our articles on breastfeeding tips & tricks and 8 Effective Ways to Improve your Flow and Quality of Breast Milk.
Traveling with your baby becomes a blessing as well. Unlike bottle-feeding mothers, you do not have to worry about:
- Doing the math and packing enough formula to last the entire trip, or shopping for the right one when you are out-of-stock.
- Figuring out ways to sterilize your bottles and accessories.
- Spending time measuring and mixing formula with water.
- Worrying about warming up milk while you are on the go.
To sum it up:
The breastfeeding benefits for mothers are enormous. Even if you are a working mom with busy working hours, read our article on expressing and storing your breast milk so that you can shower your baby (and yourself) with the uncountable benefits of breastfeeding – even when you are away from your little human.