Breastfeeding Benefits for Moms


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breastfeeding

breastfeeding (Photo credit: sdminor81)

 

By now, practically everyone knows that breastfeeding is best for babies. What fewer women realize is that breastfeeding actually has lots of health benefits for moms, too. Some of the benefits are immediate, while other benefits can last into old age.

Here are some of the health benefits realized by mothers who breastfeed their babies:

  • Reduced uterine bleeding. Breastfeeding releases hormones which help reduce your uterus to its pre-pregnancy size. This in turn helps stop uterine bleeding.
  • Emotional bonding. Mothers who breastfeed often claim to have a closer emotional bond with their babies because of breastfeeding.
  • Lower risk of breast cancer. Studies have shown that women who have breastfed at least one baby have significantly lower chances of developing breast cancer.
  • Lower risk of uterine and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding has also been linked to lower chances of developing ovarian and uterine cancer.
  • Lower risk of osteoporosis. Most of us aren’t thinking about osteoporosis in our childbearing years, but maybe we should be. Studies consistently show lower rates of this debilitating condition among women who breastfed their children.
  • Provides natural birth control. While breastfeeding doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get pregnant, it does help with natural child spacing by delaying ovulation.
  • Weight loss. Believe it or not, breastfeeding eats up Calories. Lots of them. Your body burns up 20 Calories for every ounce of breast milk produced. Multiply that times 20-30 ounces per day for the average baby, and it adds up fewer hours on the treadmill.
  • Reduces depression and anxiety. Studies have shown that women who breastfeed are less likely to have severe postpartum depression and anxiety.
  • Easy on the pocketbook. Bottles and formula are expensive. Very expensive. Your body produces all the nutrients your baby needs, and it does so without adding one thin dime to your grocery bill. Maybe all that extra money in the pocketbook has something to do with the lower instances of anxiety.

Of course, all this says nothing of the well-known benefits to babies. The more we study breastfeeding, the more benefits we find, both for mothers and for their babies. When you consider all of the benefits, it makes breastfeeding the easy choice when it’s possible.

In today’s world, it’s becoming easier to make the choice to breastfeed. As society becomes more educated about the benefits of breastfeeding, new mothers are finding that most employers and businesses are willing to accommodate their needs as breastfeeding moms.

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