The decision to breastfeed is totally a personal matter. Being a woman, you might hear opinions of friends and family, both positive and negative but before you make the final call, it is always recommended to have a look at the benefits of breastfeeding.
Lots of medical authorities such as American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend breastfeeding. So, the question is what are the benefits of breastfeeding anyways? The milk of a mother is ideal nutrition for infants. It is a perfectly natural combination of protein, vitamins, fats and everything a baby needs to grow. With breastfeeding, you can also reduce the risk of your baby to allergies and asthma because the milk contains antibodies which help the baby in fighting against bacteria and viruses. Your baby will have fewer trips to the doctor and hospitalization.
Researches on Benefits of Breastfeeding
Let’s see what scientific research has to say about the benefits of breastfeeding and its effect on health. According to a Surgeon, breast milk is the best live substance having unmatched immunological and anti-inflammatory properties. It plays a vital role in protecting not just the baby but the mother also against a bunch of illnesses and diseases. Breastfeeding also prevents from severe health risks. These risks are relatively rare but they can cause serious diseases and infections like leukemia and lower respiratory infections.
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There is another research by the LLLID on the benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding gives lots of reasons to a mother to be pleased with her choice. It is not just physiological benefits, but it comes with long-term health benefits too. As soon as the baby is born, repeated suckling releases a hormone called oxytocin in the pituitary gland of the mother. It is responsible for signaling the breasts to release milk and it also produces contractions in the mother’s uterus. This prevents postpartum hemorrhage and promotes uterine involution.
Breastfeeding also causes a mother to lose iron but it is way less as compared to the amount of iron lost caused by menstrual bleeding. The longer a mother nurses; it keeps her menstrual cycle at bay which ultimately reduces the risk of iron-deficiency anemia. The benefits of breastfeeding are not just limited to short-term benefits after the birth. There are lots of long-term benefits of breastfeeding that many women are unaware of.
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Other Benefits of breastfeeding
The common benefits of breastfeeding are:
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of post-menopausal osteoporosis.
- Nursing burns up to 500 calories per day. That means breastfeeding will keep your weight in control.
- The release of oxytocin helps the mother in getting healed from post-delivery in a better and faster way.
- Breastfeeding means that your ovulation will delay, meaning that your menstruation will delay too. Yes, you will get a vacation from periods. Nursing will make your period return between 6 to 8 months after the delivery.
Most of all, you won’t have to buy formula milk and extra stuff like sterilize nipples and bottles. It will actually save you time and money.