We all know that breastfeeding is the best way to feed newborn babies. But, do you know it’s also good for moms too? Whether you’re about to have your first baby or this is your second time, a mom always has to face the decision of whether to breastfeed or formula feed their baby. And, we’re sure you might have heard that breastfeeding can be difficult. To be fair, it is always hard to start doing something new. No worry, with the support from your family and friends, breastfeeding is totally worth your efforts. So, if you’re able to breastfeed, here are 7 surprising ways breastfeeding benefits your health.
Help you Lose Weight
Being overweight after birth is always a concern for many mums. Luckily, breastfeeding can also help you deal with it. If you’ve ever wondered how many calories are burned during the breastfeeding process, the answer is up to 500 a day. That’s like an hour-long of riding bike! Plus, the results can also be similar if you only pump breast milk. With the extra calories burned from breastfeeding, your body can shed any weight you’ve put on during pregnancy. Or, alternatively, it might just let you get away with eating some extra snacks! However, you need to be a bit patient because you have to breastfeed past the six-month period to really get some benefit of weight loss.
Minimum the Risk for PPD
According to researchers, most new moms may experience postpartum depression (PPD) after childbirth, which commonly includes mood swings, difficulty sleeping, and anxiety. Furthermore, all of that can even make you have trouble bonding with your newborn baby. Luckily, breastfeeding can reduce the risk of PPD significantly. Some researches found that moms who breastfed their babies at least for the first four months had a much lower chance of having PPD than others. Breastfeeding has been associated with getting more sleep. It is probably because it’s faster than preparing a bottle in the middle of the night and having lower levels of stress hormones during anxiety-provoking situations. Both of which can improve mood and reduce the risk of depressive symptoms.
Breastfeeding for Cancer Prevention
When you’re breastfeeding, your hormones are altered. Also, that’s why so many women love the first couple of months after pregnancy. On top of that, there’s an even bigger benefit, which is the decreased risk of cancer, especially breast cancer. The longer you breastfeed, the lower your risk for ovarian cancer!
Protect Your Heart
Breastfeeding is good for your heart. And, we don’t just mean that good connection it creates with you and your baby. When US researchers looked at the connection between breastfeeding and heart health in 2018, they found that women who breastfed for at least four months had 20 to 30 percent lower risks for hypertension and heart disease. Also, both exclusive breastfeeding and part-time breastfeeding had benefits, no matter what!
Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
Nowadays, diabetes is on the rise. But, the good news is breastfeeding can have a protective effect against this disease. According to a study in JAMA International Medicine, moms who breastfeed for at least six months or more have their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in half during their childbearing years. The effect is even present for women who have suffered from gestational diabetes. Researchers suspect that it may be due to lactation hormones interacting with the pancreatic cells that control your insulin levels.
Create a Closer Emotional Bond
Breastfeeding not only nurtures your baby, but it also creates a strong emotional bond between mother and child. Oxytocin, a hormone that leads to positive emotions such as trust, is released throughout the mother’s body while she breastfeeds. Plus, with the skin-to-skin contact, you will have a lot of precious bonding time with your little one.
Save Time and Money
In a more practical sense, breastfeeding saves you a lot of time and money. With mothers who breastfeed, they exclusively don’t have to buy formula or spend time prepping as many bottles. Even more, breastfed babies typically need less medical care and prescriptions because breast milk boosts your baby’s immune system. So, with all of these advantages, the decision is up to you now!
Remember that breastfeeding is the safest and most natural way to raise babies. And, every child should have their mothers breastfeed them for at least in the first 6 months. So, choose your favorite breastfeeding position, and don’t be afraid of doing it! With all of these breastfeeding benefits to you and to your baby, it is worth trying. Let us know if you have any questions about breastfeeding in the comments!