9 Ways in Which Breastfeeding Benefits the Mum!
Breastfeeding is more than feeding your baby! Experts suggest that breastfeeding is not only good for the baby but also helps the mother grow both physically and emotionally. Breastfeeding not only nourishes the body of the infant, but its production and delivery can also help aid the health of the mother. It provides numerous health benefits for mothers who are beyond emotional satisfaction.
Let’s find out how breastfeeding benefits the mum!
Release of Good Hormones
Prolactin: Breastfeeding is associated with the release of high levels of prolactin. Prolactin release helps you bond with your baby by providing a peaceful, nurturing sensation during feeding that allows you to relax and focus on your child.
Oxytocin: Breastfeeding sends signals to your brain and stimulates the release of oxytocin. This promotes a strong sense of love and attachment between you and your baby. It also promotes uterus contraction and causes it to shrink quickly after the birth of your baby.
Pitocin: Pitocin, a synthetic hormone also causes your uterus to shrink and reduces bleeding after delivery. Studies have suggested that breastfeeding mothers are more likely to return to their pre-pregnancy weight than the mothers who formula feed their babies. Thus, reducing the risk of long-term obesity.
Aids in Weight Loss: It has been reported that breastfeeding can help the mother lose weight. The fat which is accumulated during pregnancy is utilised to produce milk after the delivery period. Also, mothers tend to lose many calories during lactation, as the body requires energy to produce milk for the baby.
Relief from Engorged Breasts: Engorged breasts may cause throbbing pain and swell in the breasts, which sometimes extends as far as your armpit, and could make your breasts feel fairly hot or lumpy. This is because your breasts are constantly producing milk for your newborn baby. The most effective way to treat your breast engorgement symptoms is feeding your hungry baby! To find relief from painful breasts you should try to empty your breasts as much and as often as possible to help keep the milk flowing. So, try feeding your baby on demand at least between eight and 12 times every 24 hours.
Provides a Sense of Confidence: Breastfeeding can strengthen the maternal bond between the child and the baby. It provides a sense of confidence to the mother that her baby is getting all the nutrients she needs.
Reduces Anxiety and Depression: Breast-feeding provides most of the mothers with a powerful psychological experience. The most common mode of interaction between the baby and mother is via breastfeeding which also enhances the emotional health of the woman resulting in fewer feelings of anxiety and a stronger sense of connection with her baby. Research has also suggested that exclusive breastfeeding may have fewer episodes of post-delivery depression.
Reduces the Risk of Breast Cancer and Reproductive Cancer: Research studies have shown that nursing the baby for at least six months or more negates the risks of breast cancer or reproductive cancer. It has also been reported that prolonged nursing suppresses ovulation and lowers a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer.
Heart Disease: The beneficial effects of nursing are also extended to the heart, where nursing has been found to reduce the risk of CVD by exerting a beneficial role in the body’s metabolism of sugar and fats. Breastfeeding may also reduce the visceral deposition of fat around the abdominal region and promote healthier fat storage on the hips and thighs thus reducing the risk of obesity and CVD.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Numerous research studies have reported that nursing can lower the risk of arthritis. This can be attributed to its role in influencing the levels of female sex hormones, like estrogen and certain androgens which can help fight the debilitating condition. This is due to the decrease in humoral immunity and an increase in bone density which is brought by estrogen and androgen levels. There are also other mechanisms which suggest breastfeeding to reduce the risk of arthritis.
Diabetes: The latest studies have shown that breastfeeding protects the mother against type 2 diabetes. That’s likely because lactation makes cells more sensitive to the hormone insulin. Also, the amount of insulin that the mother requires after the delivery period is decreased.