Breastfeeding Isn't Just About Baby
Most people are aware of the benefits of breastfeeding for babies, but don’t realise it is also has amazing advantages for moms too. Here are just a few of the great benefits breastfeeding has for moms:
Hormonal (In A Good Way)
Moms release a number of different hormones when breastfeeding that help their mind and body return to its pre-partum state. These include hormones that help the uterus to return to its normal size faster and lower overall postpartum blood loss.
Breastfeeding also releases the hormones prolactin and oxytocin that help her relax and bond with her baby by making her feel more nurturing towards them. Basically it is kicking your natural motherly instincts into action, but oxytocin also has an antidepressant effect - for as long as mom continues to breastfeed, oxytocin’s positive effects reduce stress and blood pressure, help mom feel calm and can even raise pain thresholds.
Shift The Pregnancy Pounds
Moms can burn up to 600 calories a day when breastfeeding, without additional exercise, which can aid the return to your pre-pregnancy weight. Some of the weight gained during pregnancy works as an energy source for lactation as the fat accumilated is used to produce milk.
However ladies, it shouldn’t be relied on as a weight loss technique! We would never recommend a mother to put herself through the strain of ‘returning to normal’. You are the master of your own body, by monitoring your diet and aiming to increase activity as you can will allow you be remain healthy and happy.
It shouldn’t be surprising that the countless benefits of breastfeeding do continue for moms late after you stop breastfeeding.
It can help lower the risk of numerous diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, anaemia, ovarian cancer, breast cancer and more. It has been said that moms who lactate for two years or more reduce their breast cancer risk by 24%.
Time and Money Super Saver
Financial benefits of breastfeeding are definitely not something to ignore. Because you are breastfeeding you don’t always (there can be exceptions) need to buy formula, which can add up to a good amount! And as breastfed babies are typically ill less often, employers can relish in moms taking less time off work to look after the baby, or going doctors appointments. The typical family saves $1200-$1500 during the first year when breastfeeding over using formula!
It also saves a lot of time. You don’t have to buy and measure out formula, or worry that your chosen formula is out of stock in your local supermarket. There’s no preparation, boiling, mixing or sanitising, giving you more time to bond with baby - which breastfeeding aids also. Moms don’t have to remember to pack feeding bottles, formula and all the other goods on top of all diapers, wipes and other essentials. And whilst we aren’t saying breastfeeding is easy sailing or that it doesn’t come with it’s share of equipment (*cough* pumps), it is just important to understand sometimes breastfeeding can be a saver.
Breastfeeding suppresses ovulation - didn’t understand that? It stops your period! For a lot of moms this is a huge benefit - being 98% effective, similar most pills and condoms, it allows moms to recuperate before conceiving again.
In the past, and still today in some developing countries, it worked as the most effective contraceptive and a huge amount of pregnancies may have been prevented because of it. Your body is preventing it for a reason, sometimes you just need to heal!
Which breastfeeding benefit surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments below and join our discussion on our social channels @lactlscreens or follow #lactl