We often hear that breastfeeding is the best for babies, but it’s highly beneficial for mommies, too. A lot of studies reveal that the benefits of breastfeeding extend in both the mother’s physical and emotional aspects. What are these benefits? Let’s find out here.
The Physical Benefits of Breastfeeding
While breastmilk protects the baby from various diseases, the act of breastfeeding gives the mother the following benefits:
It Encourages Faster Recovery
When a mother breastfeeds her baby, her body releases the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is highly beneficial because it helps the uterus get back to its previous, pre-pregnant state and it prevents postpartum bleeding.
This means that breastfeeding may help you heal faster.
It Promotes Weight Loss
When a woman is pregnant, itis only natural for her to gain some weight. Now, after giving birth, many mommies find it hard to shed the extra pounds they have gained while they were carrying their baby.
Doctors say that one of the benefits of breastfeeding is faster weight loss. This happens because, to be able to build and maintain milk supply for the newborn, the body burns about 500 extra calories.
It Could Prevent Diseases
Some studies indicate that lactation could also affect the metabolism of glucose and lipids or fats. Although researchers have not yet established its long-term effects, the implication is that, through breastfeeding, it is possible to prevent diabetes and heart diseases.
There are also large studies suggesting that “extended lactation,” may reduce the risk of developing premenopausal endometrial, ovarian, and breast cancer.
And of course, experts say that breastfeeding could result in fewer occurrences of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and less risk of developing anemia.
It Acts as a Natural Birth Control Method
Finally, one of the best benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child is that it acts as a natural birth control method.
Breastfeeding mommies experience delayed ovulation and decreased fertility due to “lactational amenorrhea.” Lactational amenorrhea happens when a woman is not menstruating because she is fully breastfeeding.
This amenorrhea increases the time between pregnancies, and therefore gives the mother enough time to recover and focus on her newborn.
Emotional Benefits of Breastfeeding
After discussing the physical benefits of lactation, let us tackle its emotional benefits for the mother.
It Gives a Feeling of Relaxation
While breastfeeding, the body produces the hormone, prolactin. Prolactin gives a sense of peace and relaxation to the mother. Additionally, it also provides a nurturing sensation that encourages mommies to focus on taking care of their babies.
It Promotes Bonding
One of the emotional benefits of breastfeeding is it promotes bonding between mother and child. While prolactin also contributes to this benefit, the hormone oxytocin plays a big role. This is because oxytocin promotes “love and attachment.”
Aside from the effects of the hormones, the act of breastfeeding in itself promotes bonding. When a mother breastfeeds her baby, the skin-to-skin contact, together with the holding and stroking, allows for a deeper feeling of affection.
It Builds Self-Esteem and Confidence
Breastmilk is the best for babies for a lot of reasons. For one, it has antibodies that help fight viral and bacterial infections. Additionally, babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of developing certain conditions like allergies and asthma.
For many mothers, knowing that she is providing all these benefits to her baby boosts her self-esteem and confidence.
Another thing that makes a mother feel good is the fact that through breastfeeding, she is slowly getting to know her newborn. She learns about their cues – what makes them contented and what makes them fussy.
Practical Benefits of Breastfeeding
Aside from the physical and emotional benefits of breastfeeding, we also have the following bonus benefits:
It is More Simple and Less Expensive
There is no doubt that breastfeeding is more simple and less expensive. As mentioned earlier, mothers only need to spend around 500 calories to build and maintain an adequate milk supply for her baby. Whereas if a mother chooses to give milk formula, she needs to:
- Decide on the best milk formula as there are a lot of brands to choose from.
- Talk to a pediatrician if she is having doubts about her choice.
- Spend money depending on the brand of choice and how much her baby consumes.
Breastfeeding speeds up the process as mothers do not need to choose. The breastmilk is exactly what her baby needs.
It is Less Time Consuming
Since mommies do not need to measure the amount of milk formula or test the temperature of the water, breastfeeding is truly less time-consuming. Breastfeeding is convenient and accessible for the baby.
While this seems like such a small benefit, think about the late-night feedings that babies need. Wouldn’t it be much easier to simply allow the baby to take their mother’s breast than for the mother to get up and prepare the formula?
Additionally, when going out, breastfeeding is highly practical as parents do not need to bring a bag full of feeding equipment.
A Sense of Maternal Fulfillment
Finally, something that transcends the physical, emotional, and practical benefits of breastfeeding is the sense of maternal fulfillment.
Many mothers state that it is the top benefit of lactation. For them, breastfeeding is not just the act of giving food to their newborn; it is also an emotional experience. It is a parenting behavior that only a mother can do.
Many mothers take pride in breastfeeding because they know about the countless benefits it gives their babies. They would also be happy to know that it is also beneficial for them.
The benefits of breastfeeding not only improve the mother’s physical and emotional health but it also promotes bonding between parent and child.
Learn more about Breastfeeding here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.