According to Mayo Clinic, the benefits children receive from breastfeeding are well-established. Breastfeeding can provide newborns with antibodies to help them fight off infections and can lower their risks of developing allergies. Additionally, the CDC recommends that babies are breastfed for at least the first year. While breastfeeding provides a host of nutritional benefits for your baby and fosters a bonding experience, moms can benefit health wise too! Here are some reasons to consider breastfeeding your baby:
Mothers will typically lose 10 to 15 pounds immediately after their baby is born. However, returning to pre-pregnancy weight can sometimes be a struggle for new moms. Mothers who breastfeed tend to lose weight quicker than those who do not. Here are some fun facts about weight loss and breastfeeding:
- Breastfeeding can burn between 200 to 500 calories per day.
- Moms who make a higher supply of breast milk will burn more calories.
- The younger the baby, the more calories you burn.
It’s essential to keep in mind that trying new fad diets or not taking in enough calories while breastfeeding is never a good idea. Not only do newborns rely on their mothers for nutrients through breast milk, but it’s also important for mom to stay healthy, too. Stick to eating a healthy and well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and lean cuts of meat.
Helps to Contract the Uterus
Pregnancy causes the uterine muscle to stretch, but after you give birth, your body will begin to contract the uterine muscle back to pre-pregnancy shape. This is why many new moms feel-menstrual-like cramps after giving birth. Feelings of “crampiness” after giving birth is a natural sign that your body is doing its job. Breastfeeding your baby can aid your body in getting your uterus back into its pre-pregnancy shape. When breastfeeding, the hormone oxytocin is released into the bloodstream and causes uterine contractions.
Reduces the Risks of Certain Cancers
Breastfeeding your baby can help reduce the risk of the following cancers in women:
Breastfeeding can slightly lower a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Breastfeeding reduces a woman’s number of menstrual cycles thus decreasing a woman’s exposure to hormones like estrogen. Estrogen production can be a factor in the growth of breast cancer cells.
Breastfeeding may reduce a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer due to the delay of ovulation. The more a woman ovulates, the more the risk of cancer cell mutation that could trigger the onset of ovarian cancer.
Parrish Medical Center cares for women in every stage, whether through supporting a healthy pregnancy, diagnosing and treating disease or easing the transition to menopause. Parrish Medical Center’s team-based care philosophy ensures your concerns will be heard, understood and treated appropriately.
PMC’s Women’s Care provides a full range of gynecologic services, from routine medical screenings and treatments to gynecologic surgery, oncology and health navigation services.
If you would like more information about how breastfeeding can help improve your overall health and reduce your risk of certain cancers, visit parrishhealthcare.com or call 321-268-6682. Our team of health care professionals is here to answer all of your questions and ease your concerns.
Hear from Our Experts
“I love helping moms reach their breastfeeding goals! It’s been a passion of mine for the last 25+ years. The ways breastfeeding helps children has been talked about for years but more is being discovered all the time. The ways breastfeeding helps moms…now that’s another matter—many don’t know that there are any benefits for them. It’s fascinating to learn about the way a woman’s body naturally protects her baby (and herself) from harm, and the connections between breastfeeding and postpartum healing,” said RN International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Rita Jordan.