10 Surprising Breastfeeding Benefits for Mamas

Many mamas love the choice to breastfeed their babies! Aside from the natural bonding experience, your baby will also reap nutritional, developmental, and psychological benefits that they just can’t get from formula. While there are tons of articles on the advantages and benefits of breastfeeding for the baby, not many touch on the benefits that you receive as a breastfeeding mama. Here are a few benefits you get from nursing your baby:

  1. Less Blood Loss – women who choose to breastfeed their babies can significantly reduce their postpartum blood loss.

  2. Faster healing – after the baby is born, your uterus will need to heal and shrink back down to its original size. Women who breastfeed have found that their healing time is a lot faster and that the uterus shrinks faster. As you breastfeed, your body releases a hormone known as oxytocin which helps the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy size.

  3. Lose Weight Faster – I’m sure this one will get all moms excited! Breastfeeding has been known to help mothers lose that baby weight a lot faster.

  4. Reduces Risks of Arthritis – studies have shown that women who breastfeed for at least a year can reduce their chances of getting rheumatoid arthritis by as much as 20 percent!

  5. Reduces the Risk of Breast Cancer – The longer a woman breastfeeds the lower her chances are of having breast cancer later on in life.

  6. Improves Mental Health – women who breastfeed are less likely to experience common mental health complications associated with pregnancy and birth such as postpartum depression, clinical depression, and anxiety.

7. Reduces Risks for Ovarian Cancer – Estrogen levels in women who breastfeed are a lot lower than those who don’t. Lowered levels of estrogen in the uterus can prevent tissue from turning cancerous.

  1. Saves Money – another exciting benefit for nursing mothers is saving money! Since breast milk is ultimately free, you’re saving a decent amount of cash. You can save even more money if it’s possible for you to nurse rather than using expressed milk in bottles.

  2. Saves Time – yep, breastfeeding saves time! When you’re dealing with a newborn, time is wonderful. Since there is no need to mix up a bottle, or heat it to the right temperature before feeding the baby, this can save you a decent amount of time. You also don’t have to worry about cleaning the bottles afterwards.

  3. Promotes Healthier Food Choices – as you’re probably aware, you want to be careful of the things you consume when nursing (some treats are OK of course!). But breastfeeding seems to encourage moms to make healthier choices when it comes to their food. Since they want baby to be happy and healthy, eating foods rich in vitamins and nutrients are often a first choice for many moms.

Hooray for Nursing!

Hopefully all of this has given you even more reason to breastfeed your baby. Research has concluded the longer you’re able to breastfeed your child, the more long term benefits you receive 🙂 Keep in mind that breastfeeding is a process that will take time for both you and your baby to get used to. Don’t be discouraged if it takes you a while to get the hang of things – you can always get help from your local La Leche League, lactation consultant, or even ask me on this week’s Q&A call!

At the end of the day, we as moms want to give our little ones the best chances we can. Breastfeeding is just one of those ways in which we can start early in helping them to develop into smart, healthy people. Though breastfeeding is the first of many decisions you’ll have to make as it pertains to the health and safety of your child, it is certainly a decision to take pride in. So here’s to happy, healthy, babies and mommies.

References:

http://www.whattoexpect.com/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-guide/benefits-of-breastfeeding-for-mothers.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/nursing-basics

7 Ways Breastfeeding Benefits Mothers

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/breastfeeding-fights-arthritis/

http://www.livescience.com/18708-breastfeeding-health-benefits-moms-women.html