Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Mother: Eight Reasons for Moms to Nurse
Most people have heard of how good breast milk is for the baby, and the advantages go far beyond the nutritional ones. That being said, a lot of people don’t realize just how beneficial breastfeeding is to the mother herself. When all is said and done, choosing to breastfeed your child offers numerous benefits for both mom and baby, which shouldn’t be a surprise when you consider that it is a perfectly natural way to feed a baby.
The truth is that there are tons of physical, emotional, and other perks that a mother enjoys when she chooses to breastfeed her child, and below are just a handful of them.
1. Breastfeeding Is Convenient
One of the biggest benefits of breastfeeding for the mother is the fact that you can breastfeed anytime, anywhere, any place. You never have to make the formula, buy a bunch of bottles, buy a special device to keep the formula at the right temperature as you’re shopping or running errands, or wonder how you’re going to warm up the formula when the baby gets hungry. When your baby is hungry, you can simply move to a discreet location and start feeding them!
Breastfeeding is a simple and fast feat that you can do anywhere, so even if you’re shopping or running errands, all that you have to do is slip into a quiet place and start feeding.
2. Breastfeeding Is Free
When you buy a can of baby formula, which can last as little as one week, it costs an average of $40 to $50 and sometimes more. Plus, you’ll need lots of bottles, nipples, a bottle warmer, and a few other things. Breast milk, on the other hand, is free and therefore can save you a minimum of $150 per month on baby formula. Naturally, no one recommends that you breastfeed just because it’s cheap, but this is still a great advantage of nursing your baby.
3. Breastfeeding Helps You Get Your Figure Back Quickly
Your uterus is going to be out of shape after you have your baby, and you won’t be able to do anything about that if you feed them formula. Nursing, on the other hand, produces oxytocin, which is a hormone that shrinks the uterus each time that you feed the baby. This means that sooner rather than later, you’ll start to lose the extra “belly” you gained while you were pregnant. For most women, this happens quickly because the uterus will shrink every time that you nurse your baby.
To be sure, if you want to start looking like your pre-pregnancy self now instead of in the future, one of the smartest things you can do is breastfeed.
4. Breastfeeding Lowers the Risks of Certain Cancers
Breastfeeding has been proven to lower the risk of getting certain types of cancer, most notably breast and ovarian cancers. This doesn’t mean that breastfeeding is a guarantee that you’ll never get these diseases, but the odds are greatly reduced.
Even better, the longer you breastfeed, the more your chances of getting ovarian and breast cancer are lowered. This is a huge advantage for women who have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer because it gives them the peace of mind that they want and deserve.
5. Breastfeeding Can Lower Your Risk of Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is not that uncommon, and it can be nothing short of miserable. When you breastfeed, the hormones related to your pregnancy are lowered slowly over time instead of all at once. This is because in some ways, your body still thinks it’s pregnant when you choose to breastfeed. Since these hormones are lowered slowly instead of abruptly, your body has more time to adjust; therefore, you are much less likely to suffer with postpartum “blues.”
6. Breastfeeding Lowers the Risk of Other Medical Issues
Other studies have proven that in addition to certain types of cancer, breastfeeding your baby can reduce the risks of other medical issues, especially high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. Again, this is not to say that women who breastfeed never get these diseases, but if you look at women across the board who breastfed their children, a much smaller percentage of them have these illnesses when compared to women who did not breastfeed.
7. Breastfeeding Burns a Ton of Calories
In addition to contracting the uterus every time that you nurse and making it smaller, breastfeeding also burns a lot of calories; therefore, a lot of women find that they do not have to watch their weight as long as they’re nursing.
The only negative part of this is the fact that when you do stop nursing, you’ll have to remember that you cannot eat like you did when you were still breastfeeding. Nevertheless, it’s good to know that you can concentrate on healthy feeding for your baby instead of trying to lose that pregnancy weight.
8. Breastfeeding Allows Moms to Know That They’re Giving Their Children a Great Start in Life
Breastfeeding your child gives you a great feeling because you know that you’re giving your baby the best start in life. Breast milk builds up the baby’s immune system, helps develop the brain properly, makes it unlikely that they’ll get ear infections or allergies, and even reduces the chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).There’s also the closeness that you and your baby will share every time that it’s feeding time, which is similar to the comfort and security they felt when they were in the womb.