Breast milk is a complex and fascinating substance that gives a baby what he or she needs to grow. Infants get nutritional benefits from breast milk due to the many health benefits. However, the health benefit is not the only health benefit of breastfeeding. The incredible bond that a mother creates with the baby when breastfeeding is like no other, and its benefits on the mother are also less commonly known. There are many benefits of breastfeeding to the parent as it is to the baby. This article provides five facts on breastfeeding and its effects on the health of a mother.
Breastfeeding causes weight loss.
Breastfeeding can help a mother manage or lose their postpartum weight. If you are ready to shed your baby weight, then breastfeeding is one way of burning calories. Reports have shown that breastfeeding helps women get in shape. Almost every nursing mother will develop a stretched-out postpartum body and will desire to drop these pounds. Experts have stated that the act of making milk burns off a lot of calories and helps lose weight. The body of a lactating mother burns anywhere between 400 and 600 calories for every 30 ounces of the breast that a baby eats a day. Therefore, breastfeeding women are most likely to return to their original shape within a short time because of burning tons of calories.
The time needed to lose weight for breastfeeding women varies from one woman to another. The fastest way to lose weight during breastfeeding is to be mindful of the quality of food you are eating. Making the meals healthy and nutritious as opposed to eating less helps shed weight faster. For example, lactating mothers should be mindful of what they eat to jumpstart their metabolism and lose weight. They will have enough mil to breastfeed while losing a substantial amount of pounds.
Breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition for babies.
Milk from a mother has great nutritional benefits to an infant that improves their growth and immunity. The milk is rich in nutrients and minerals, such as minerals, calcium, proteins, and antibodies. In the few days after birth, breasts produce nutrient-rich food full of calcium, proteins, minerals, and antibodies to boost a child’s health. The milk contains the hormone serotonin that helps babies sleep, and therefore allow a woman to rest. At the same time, infants who feed on a mother’s milk have a lower risk of asthma, obesity, and respiratory infections.
Eating a healthy diet will give the mother and baby nutrients needed to promote growth and development. A breastfeeding mother will have enough milk for the baby when she consumes a healthy diet that includes plenty of water. Mothers will make enough milk that benefits their babies when they eat a balanced diet comprising of cereals, fruits, and vegetables. However, most experts do not advocate dieting while breastfeeding because the body needs extra fuel to make breast milk. Therefore, mothers should not go on a restrictive diet as a way of trying to get in shape as it will affect their ability to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding causes breasts to shrink and sag.
Breastfeeding creates dense tissues in the breasts, which can cause them to shrink, change the size, or make one breast seem larger than the other. Experts agree that nursing affects the size and shape of breasts. During breastfeeding, the size of a woman’s breast may shrink as the connecting tissues. Experts state that breastfeeding sets off a host of metabolic, hormonal, and structural changes in the body. Years of repeated inflating, deflating, and baby sucking means the breasts will never be the same again. The longer a mother breastfeeds, the more her breasts change in shape and size.
In most cases, the fatty tissues in breasts determine their size and shape. These fatty tissue and connectivity tissue in the breast may shift during and after breastfeeding, causing them to shrink or sag. When a woman’s breast makes milk, it creates dense tissues, which means her breasts may or may not return to the pro-breastfeeding size and shape. The production of breast milk and increase in volume causes the skin and tissues to stretch. Therefore, the breasts will become less dense after lactation, where they will sag, flatten, or feel empty.
Breastfeeding helps reduces the risk of breast cancer.
Women who breastfeed have a lower risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Experts have shown that lactating mothers have a lower risk of pre-menopausal and post-menopausal breast cancer. The disease can build when a lump of milk remains on a woman’s breasts due to a lack of breastfeeding. At the same time, lactating mothers tend to experience changes in their hormones that delay their menstruation, thus helping to reduce breast cancer. As a result, hormones like estrogen that promotes breast cancer are not available during breastfeeding. Furthermore, women who breastfeed sheds some breast tissues to help reduce the chances of developing breast cancer.
The world health organization requires mothers to breastfeed for at least two years to allow children better growth. The breastfeeding routine will also help lactating women avoid getting breast cancer. At the same time, making milk limits the ability of breast cells to misbehave and result in cancer.
Breastfeeding reduces postpartum depression.
Breastfeeding makes a lactating mother’s brain happy, thus reducing depression. While a mother is breastfeeding, the brain releases prolactin and oxytocin to help her bond with the baby. The feel-good hormones are crucial in keeping the mother happy and relaxed while dealing with stress and anxiety.
The risk of postpartum depression is less in lactating mothers. Health experts state how feel-good hormones from breastfeeding improve the mental health of breastfeeding mothers. When a woman does not breastfeed, they increase the risk of postpartum depression, which happens mostly within the first four weeks of delivering a baby. For example, women who plan to breastfeed and then fail to do so are likely to develop a mental health condition. They will feel disappointed and guilt in addition to not getting the physiological benefits of breastfeeding. As a result, the mothers will have a good mood and lower levels of stress when they have time to breastfeed their babies. Also, postpartum depression is associated with lower rates of breastfeeding for mothers, which suggests a reciprocal relationship between variables.