We are all aware of the numerous benefits of breastfeeding. Breast
milk supplies your baby optimal nutrition. It’s readily available, easy to
digest, and has the right amount of nutrients a growing baby needs. Actually, breast
milk is pretty amazing, not only does it contain everything a baby needs in all
the right proportions, the composition of breast milk changes according to your
baby’s individual needs, and is full of antibodies that help prevent illness. Breastfeeding
benefits your newborn in so many ways, but what about the great benefits for
the nursing moms?
Lose Baby Weight
If you’re like most new moms, you are carrying around extra
baby weight. Did you know that breastfeeding can actually help you lose that
weight? It’s true, when you are breastfeeding you are burning extra calories, and
this can help you lose pregnancy weight faster.
Helps Uterus Contract
After delivery, breastfeeding helps your uterus return to
its normal size and also reduces bleeding you may experience. When you nurse, a
hormone called oxytocin is released, and this helps your uterus contract and
return back to its normal size, in about six weeks as compared to ten weeks in
non-breastfeeding moms. Breastfeeding moms also report recovering from
childbirth more quickly and easily.
Mothers who breastfeed have been shown to have lower levels
of depression. Breastfeeding can help mothers relax and reduce stress.
Oxytocin, the same hormone responsible for helping your uterus contract, is
released which helps moms relax and feel good.
Reduces Risk For Disease
Breastfeeding can keep moms healthy by reducing their risk
for many diseases. Studies have shown that women who have breastfed experience
reduced rates of breast cancer. Research shows that the
longer a mother breastfeeds, the lower her risk of developing breast cancer.
Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer.
Once in a good feeding routine, breastfeeding moms will see how
easy and convenient breastfeeding is. It’s always fresh, readily available, and
there’s no formula to mix or bottles to worry about. On average, it
costs around $1,200 a year to formula-feed your baby. Breastfeeding can save money over time
since there’s no need to purchase formula.
Breastfeeding provides a unique bonding experience for nursing
moms and their baby. The benefits for both baby and mom are numerous. Take some
time to sit down, relax and nurse your baby knowing you are giving him exactly
what he needs. If you have questions about breastfeeding, contact the caring
providers at Great Plains Women’s Health Center for information and resources.