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How Mother’s Benefit from Breastfeeding Their Infants

Posted by rafael on December 21, 2012 in Body Health

Fewer portraits are more intimate and demonstrate the interdependence that mothers and their children have then when we see an infant feeding at its mother’s breast. It is deeply personal, lovely, divine, and tender. But it, thankfully, more than just an emotional elicitation of thoughts and feelings – there really are medical, health, financial, and long—term benefits that mother’s acquire as a result of mothers breastfeeding their babies. Many studies have been done to demonstrate how the baby benefits from mothers milk. Articles fill books, magazines, and internet websites on this subject to inspire, motivate, and educate women and their partners on these benefits for their child. To be sure, there are studies and articles on how mothers also benefit, and they are quite significant. So, following are ten benefits mothers receive from breastfeeding their babies.

1)      Bonding – This is the most obvious one of all. The inter-connectedness the mother and child develop, the intimacy, the trust, begins with a simple feeding at the breast. This mutual relationship deepens each time the child suckles. The other is reminded of her great responsibility in providing for her child while the baby learns to trust its mother. Studies show that hormones released during feeding helps strengthen the bond between the two.

2)      Hormones – The hormones oxytocin and prolactin are released as the mother breastfeeds her child. The benefits here are multiple: the oxytocin not only helps the mother relax and help her “feel” more nurturing toward her baby, but also helps contract the uterus more quickly while reducing bleeding. Plus, mothers recover from giving birth much more quickly.

3)      Postpartum Depression – Women who breastfeed their infants are less likely to experience post-partum depression, a concern that many women have, whether they have given birth to one child or many.

Breastfeeding-1

Breastfeeding-1

4)      Weight-loss – No doubt a woman puts on extra weight while pregnant. This is usually healthy. However, once the child has been born, the mother wants to lose all the excess fat she has acquired during the gestation period. Breastfeeding in the long run helps accomplish that, according to a number of studies on the subject. Fat stored through the pregnancy are poised to be metabolized through her lactation. Women who breastfeed have a higher intake of calories for a couple of months after birth than women who feed via the bottle and formula and, therefore do not lose weight as quickly. However, after 3 months, the mother has depleted much of the fat through metabolism and loses weight more quickly and permanently than mothers who bottle feed. The real benefits are seen after 6 months. A healthy diet and exercise regimen are suggested for the mother intending on getting close to the pre-pregnancy weight, and in general as well.

5)      Breastfeeding Reduces Risk of Breast Cancer – Mothers who breastfeed have a 25% less chance of having breast cancer than those who do not. Additionally, the longer a mother breastfeeds, which would include multiple children, the greater chance she has of avoiding breast cancer.

6)      Reduces Risk of Ovarian Cancer – Yet another benefit for mothers to breastfeed. While lactating, the mother produces less estrogen, which means there is less estrogen to stimulate the lining of the uterus, a cause of ovarian cancer. It is believed to have the same effect on the breasts.

7)      Child-Spacing – Hormones released during breastfeeding help reduce fertilization and allow for more spacing between children. While it is not a fool-proof means to practice birth control, it is a natural one. Breastfeeding delays ovulation. Ultimately, how frequent and for how long the baby nourishes at their mothers breast will determine when the ovulation kicks back in to normalcy.

Breastfeeding-2

Breastfeeding-2

8)      Helps Reduce Osteoporosis – women who feed their babies by bottle have a 4 times a greater risk of getting osteoporosis. Osteoporosis reduces bone density and makes for breaks and fractures over simple movements probable later in life. Additionally, breastfeeding reduces the possibility of hip fractures and other bone problems in the post-menopausal years.

9)      Long-term Health Effects – Though other factors may be involved, women who breastfeed are less likely to get type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The likelihood of endometrial cancer is lessened, as is rheumatoid arthritis and metabolic syndrome.

10)  Financial, Time, and Rest – Without a doubt, these are important elements to any mother and father who have a newborn in their home. The financial benefits are simple: bottles and formula are expensive, costing well over $1,200 the first year. Medical costs go down as both the baby and mother are healthier. When the mother wakes up in the middle of the night due the hungry cries her child she will not have to go and prepare a bottle then sit with the baby until it is satisfied. She can provide nourishment immediately and get back to sleep more quickly. Additionally, mothers of newborns, especially those that have other kids around, are busy enough. Toe be able to quickly and immediately feed the child a more nourishing meal than they can get in a bottle will save time as it will not need to be prepped.

Breastfeeding-3

Breastfeeding-3

There are other benefits as well for why a mother should breastfeed her baby. But these are the most important ones and should be encouraging to those wondering whether or not they should breastfeed their child. As well, there are numerous benefits for the baby and should be understood by the expectant mother and father so as to make the wisest decision for all involved. In the end it should be clear that breastfeeding is the best way to feed a newborn, create intimacy, and promote health for both mother and child.

From the writing team at RevenFlo

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