We’ve all heard about the many benefits of breastfeeding for your baby. And while those are fantastic, did you know that there are benefits of breastfeeding for mom as well? It’s true; check it out below!
- Bonding with Your Baby
When a mother breastfeeds her baby, there are hormones that her body produces. These hormones have multiple functions but are also nature’s way of helping humans to bond to their baby. One hormone released is called oxytocin: the “feel good” hormone. It promotes a strong sense of love and attachment to your baby. Another hormone is called prolactin. Not only is this the hormone that will help you produce more milk, but it is also a hormone that helps you feel a sense of peace. It lets you relax and focus on your baby.
Oftentimes, when we sit down to feed our baby, it’s these moments that help us cope the rest of the day as we learn to adjust to this new way of life.
- Benefits to Your Body
Breastfeeding has been shown to help mothers recover more quickly after birth; it helps the uterus contract and shrink back to pre-birth size more quickly (compared to those who do not breastfeed). It can also help reduce postpartum bleeding and has even delayed the return of a menstrual cycle in some women.
Some women do experience more weight loss after birth due to the need for extra calories to produce milk. Breastfeeding can lower your chances for urinary tract infections, reduce your risk of anemia, and lower your risk for postpartum depression. Some possible long-term benefits are reduced risk for breast or ovarian cancer.
Overall, the human body is amazing. (As is obvious by the fact that you just created and birthed another human!) It’s reassuring to know that not only does your body have the ability to do this, but it also has natural, built-in tendencies to help you recover and continue living your best life.
- Benefits to Your Wallet
It’s no secret that formula can be expensive. Finding the right formula that settles well with your little one’s stomach, as well as one that is affordable, can be a very tall order. It can also be stressful and quite a mental load, for some people, to navigate formula feeding (timing, amount, cleaning bottles, packing feeding equipment every time you go out, etc.) Breastfeeding can be a really great way to not only save money but also avoid a potentially stressful situation.
- The Truth
It’s true that breastfeeding itself can be tricky as well. (You are reading a lactation consultant blog after all, right?) But most situations in life have both pros and cons, and in many cases, the benefits of breastfeeding for mom outweigh the drawbacks. It’s a very emotional and special way to bond with your child; it’s not something every mother can do (which makes it extra special for those who can and choose to); it can save money and time; there are benefits, both short term and long term, for your body.
Fed is definitely best and our goal at Arkansas Lactation is to partner with you on your breastfeeding journey however we can. Be sure to check out our other blogs for more helpful tips, and feel free to contact us with any questions or to schedule your consultation!