Breastfeeding not only provides benefits to the new born, but it also provides several benefits to the mother. By following the natural way of feeding their baby, mothers can gain from the natural benefits of breastfeeding which helps them in different ways. Here are some of the most important health benefits of breastfeeding for mothers.
Natural Birth Control
Breastfeeding mothers do not need to worry about contraceptives, especially if they exclusively breastfeed their baby in the first six months after pregnancy. As long as they continue to feed their baby, and do not have their periods, they will not become pregnant again. Breastfeeding actually slows the return of menses which aids in natural child spacing after child birth. This gap helps the mother to recuperate before she conceives again. However, breastfeeding alone does not provide 100% protection, and women may need to take contraceptives if their menstrual cycle has started or their baby is not completely on breast feeding.
Prevents the risk of Cancer
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of developing cancer in breastfeeding moms. A study shows that women who breast feed reduce the chance of developing breast cancer by 25%. The more a mother breast feeds her child, the more she lowers her risk of developing breast and other cancers such as ovarian and uterine cancer. Research shows that women who do not breastfeed have a 1.6 times greater risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Reduces the chance of Osteoporosis
According to several studies, breastfeeding reduces the risk of osteoporosis in women after menopause. Women who do not breast feed their babies are 4 times more likely to suffer from hip fractures and weak bones post-menopause. This is due to the different hormonal and calcium levels in the body when a mother breast feeds her child.
Reduces the risk of fatal postpartum hemorrage
Obstetrical hemorrage is one of the major causes of maternal mortality, and refers to heavy bleeding during pregnancy, in labor and after child birth. If a mother breastfeeds her child, she can reduce the risk of postpartum hemorrage, which means there will be less bleeding after child birth. Nursing and nipple stimulation during breastfeeding helps release oxytocin in the body, a hormone which is released during arousal and sexual response, also known as “the love hormone”. It helps to stimulate contractions of the uterus, helping to expel the placenta. This helps the uterus to shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size relatively quickly after birth. Non breastfeeding mothers usually have to take synthetic oxytocin to protect against postpartum hemorraging.
Psychological and emotional wellbeing
Breast feeding is the best way for a mother to spend quality time with her baby. A mother gets immediate satisfaction by feeding her baby whenever the baby is hungry. Breastfeeding also develops the infant-mother bonding, which can never be achieved through bottle milk. This bonding is not only beneficial for the mother, but is of great benefit for the child, as it provides warmth, comfort and care to the child. A feeding mother may also find time to relax while she breast feeds her baby.
Saves you time and money
One of the most overlooked advantages of breastfeeding is that it can save you a lot of time and energy as well as save you money. Mothers who do not breast feed their children often spend a lot of money on getting the right formula milk for the baby along with nipples, feeders and bottles. Not only that, but they have to make sure that the utensils they use to feed the baby are clean and safe to use, which adds to the cost of electricity and fuel. Breastfeeding moms do not have to worry about bottles and warm milk in the middle of the night, and they can easily feed the baby without keeping him waiting.
Breastfeeding benefits for diabetic moms
Diabetic mothers who breastfeed their infant after child birth require less doses of insulin as compared to diabetic mothers who do not breastfeed their child.
Along with all these benefits, breastfeeding provides several other benefits, such as helping the mom to lose weight after child birth. This is possible as breastfeeding takes up extra calories from the mothers body to provide to the baby. If you are not already breastfeeding your child, now is the time to start.