Breastfeeding is a personal choice for mothers, and if this is the case for you, it is important that you have the best information available to make an informed decision about how you want to feed your baby. You should be supported and educated regardless of your choice. If you decide to breastfeed, both you and your child may reap significant health benefits.
Health Benefits for the Nursing Mother
Having a baby for the first time is a tough row to hoe. A woman changes physically and emotionally as a result of her relationship with her child. However, breastfeeding helps the mother recover her physical and mental state of being. Read more to find out how breastfeeding improves the mother and the baby.
1. Promotes Post-Pregnancy Weight Loss Quickly:
Every time a breastfeeding mother nurses her child, she naturally burns calories to produce breast milk. Lactation also makes the uterus contract and makes the body work harder to shrink it back to its pre-pregnancy size. Most breastfeeding mothers experience quick postpartum weight loss.
2. Breastfeeding helps the uterus contract:
Your uterus grows significantly during pregnancy, going from the size of a pear to nearly taking up the entire area of your abdomen. The uterus undergoes a process known as involution, which helps it return to its previous size. This process is driven by the pregnancy-related rise in the hormone oxytocin. During labour, the body produces large amounts of oxytocin to aid in delivery and lessen bleeding. This will make you feel closer to your new baby.
Additionally, studies have demonstrated that mothers who breastfeed typically experience less postpartum blood loss and more rapid uterine involution.
3. Breastfeeding may stop periods:
Breastfeeding your child may also help in postponing ovulation and menstruation. Nature may use the interruption of menstrual cycles to ensure that there is some time between pregnancies. You can consider this change an added perk. It is just one less thing to worry about while you are spending priceless time with your child.
4. Decreases Breast Cancer Risk:
According to studies, your risk of breast cancer decreases the longer you breastfeed. Breastfeeding women experience fewer menstrual cycles throughout their lives, which results in less oestrogen exposure, which contributes to some types of breast cancer. Another hypothesis is that breastfeeding strengthens breast cells' defences against cancer-causing mutations.
5. Saves time and money:
You can save money by breastfeeding instead of buying expensive formulas and supplements. It also saves you time and effort by not having to mix solutions, warm formula or prepare baby bottles.
6. Reduces Depression and Postpartum Risk:
Postpartum depression (PPD) may appear soon after giving birth. A study conducted in 2012 states that women who breastfeed appear to be less likely to experience PPD than mothers who wean early or do not breastfeed. However, those who experience PPD quickly after giving birth have a higher likelihood of struggling with breastfeeding, and they tend to do so for a shorter period. Consult our best gynaecologist in Bangalore as soon as possible if you experience any PPD symptoms, which include:
- Loss of appetite
- Intense irritability
- Difficulty bonding with the baby
The Benefits for the Infant
Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to provide your baby with a healthy diet and give them a strong, natural start in life. If breastfeeding is an option, there are numerous physical, mental and emotional advantages.
1. Breastfeeding promotes stronger bone development:
This implies that the skeletal frame of your child will grow stronger. Studies show that 8-year-old children who had been breastfed for three months or more had stronger bone density in the spine and neck than those who had been breastfed for less than three months or not at all.
2. Babies who are breastfed have good cholesterol levels:
Mother's milk is packed with cholesterol compared to infant formula. While that may not be so great for adults, babies need cholesterol for development and healthy growth. The high cholesterol in breast milk helps nutritionally programme the newborn's metabolism to make it more resistant to high cholesterol and other dietary fat issues later in life.
3. Breastfeeding may help prevent obesity in the future:
Research demonstrates how the abundance of the protein hormone leptin in mother's milk affects a baby's body composition and growth development. In the end, this may have an impact on a baby's capacity to self-regulate calorie intake as well as their capacity to be satisfied by food. Breastfeeding may aid in weight management and shield against childhood obesity. Studies also show that breastfed infants have lower insulin levels, which can help manage obesity.
4. Better immune system:
Breastfeeding can protect your baby from various illnesses because breast milk contains a variety of disease-preventing immune factors. Breast milk may have more prolonged protective effects, and the baby's immune system continues to grow stronger even after weaning than in non-breastfed infants.
5. Nursing lessens the risk of allergies:
Breastfeeding can help you protect your baby from a variety of allergic conditions, such as allergic rhinitis and even atopic dermatitis. Infants who were exclusively breastfed for their first two years of life had a lower risk of developing any of these issues.
1. Is my baby getting enough milk?
You can determine how much milk your baby consumes by checking the diapers.
2. How can I know whether my infant is hungry?
It is better to feed the baby before it begins to cry. Keep track of the signs of hunger that the newborn exhibits, like sucking on fingers, smacking lips and increased activity or alertness.
3. Does my baby need extra water or vitamins?
All the nutrients and fluids a baby needs are present in the mother's milk. Throughout the first six months of breastfeeding, you need not supplement with water, vitamins or iron.
4. When is breastfeeding most beneficial?
A baby's immunity is at its lowest between the ages of two and six months. Breastfeeding helps to build a better defence system during this vulnerable period.
5. Does breastfeeding weaken the mother's immune system?
There is no conclusive evidence that breastfeeding affects your immune system, but the health benefits for you are numerous and have the potential to keep you healthier.