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Breastfeeding has lots of positive effects for you, too
You’ve likely heard that breastfeeding provides many health benefits for your baby—but what does it do for you? Through breastfeeding, moms receive plenty of physical, mental and emotional benefits. It aids in everything from recovery and immunity, to weight loss and bonding.
Here are five of the biggest benefits of breastfeeding for moms:
1. Helps you recover from birth
From the earliest days, breastfeeding helps moms physically recover from birth. The act of breastfeeding releases oxytocin, a hormone that causes the uterus to contract and shrink back to its normal size. It can also decrease the amount of postpartum bleeding.
2. Stabilizes your mood
With all the hormonal shifts, sleep deprivation and big lifestyle changes, it’s easy to see how having a baby can affect your mood. The good news is that breastfeeding reduces the risk of postpartum depression over the first four months after birth.
3. Protects you from disease
Because breastfeeding can prevent ovulation and delay the return of your period, it also reduces your lifetime exposure to estrogen, in turn decreasing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It also has heart health benefits including a lower risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease. For those moms who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy, breastfeeding can help prevent type 2 diabetes for up to two years after birth. And breastfeeding can help keep your family from getting sick as often—always a positive.
4. Burns calories
Breastfeeding can burn as many as 500 calories a day. Talk about a workout! This calorie burn may help you lose the baby weight more quickly. Women who partially or exclusively breastfeed tend to lose more weight in the first three to six months after birth than those who strictly use formula. But don’t worry if weight loss takes some time: your body just went through an incredible change and it’s doing an important job in feeding your baby! Do your best to eat healthy foods and listen to your body.
5. Encourages a strong bond
Frequent nursing sessions mean your baby is often at an arm’s reach. All that skin-to-skin contact and quality time together help build a very special bond. It’s pretty amazing that your breast milk can literally fuel your baby’s growth. When you think about it, your body is helping to sustain your baby’s life! This relationship translates to one strong mother-baby bond.
We know breastfeeding benefits a mom’s physical, mental and emotional health. That’s why we’re so passionate about supporting your breastfeeding journey. From helping you secure your insurance-covered breast pump to connecting you with an IBCLC, we’re here to help!