The Benefits of Breastfeeding
That snapback body is obtainable, thanks to breastfeeding
When it comes to being a mother, our top priority is raising a healthy child. It is the sole reason why I chose to breastfeed. After seeing the bond my sister and nephew formed, I was sold. I also paid close attention to the health benefits of breastfeeding. All things considered, I was convinced that this was the best choice for my little boy. I found out that nursing your child is not only beneficial for your baby but for your body as well. I can also credit most of my “bounce-back” body to breastfeeding. So, allow me to tell you about my experience in breastfeeding, and then I’ll hit you with the facts.
When I held my baby boy in my arms for the first time, he immediately began giving the cues for feeding. Without any help from the nurses, he latched on successfully and I had no trouble at all. (Lucky, right?) However, it soon became painful and a bit difficult after my breasts became engorged. He was nursing constantly and my nipples started to become sore and cracked. Nonetheless, after 3 ½ days my milk finally came in and it was pretty much smooth sailing after that, give or take a few restless nights.
While I understand not everyone has the same experience with their first attempt at breastfeeding, and it may be down right impossible for others to do so, I was proud of myself for not giving up. It was important for me to give it a try, and I’m happy I did so.
After delivery, it takes 3-4 days for your milk to come in for first-time moms. It can be sooner for women who have other children. But before that, your body initially produces colostrum. This ‘liquid gold’ is a sticky, sweet milk that is packed with vitamins and antibodies that your body makes to feed your baby. Expressing this milky substance can also help your cracked and sore nipples that you may experience in the first couple of days. After your milk comes in, breastfeeding should soon begin to get easier.
When you hear talk about breastfeeding, you usually always hear how good it is for the baby. No one ever really discusses the benefits for the mamas. I’m here to do just that.
- Every time you breastfeed your body releases those ‘feel good’ endorphins that give you a natural high feeling. This is also linked to why breastfeeding mamas are less likely to experience postpartum depression.
- Breastfeeding keeps your iron at great levels. Most breastfeeding mamas don’t have a menstrual cycle every month so the iron in your blood is restored back since it can get significantly low due to pregnancy.
- You don’t have a period!! Yes, ladies, you read that correctly. While your body makes milk, it suppresses your reproductive hormones. This causes you not to ovulate. Thus, no period.
- You burn more calories making milk and your uterus contracts every time you breastfeed. This results in your uterus shrinking back down to original size a lot quicker than women who don’t nurse.
- It’s free!! On average, a breastfeeding mother saves $1700 on milk in the first year of a baby’s life. (Excluding pump, bottles, etc.)
- It lowers your risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer.
- Lastly, it saves you time on making and cleaning bottles and sterilizing nipples in the middle of the night.
Benefits for the baby
- Breast milk has the perfect balance of vitamins, fats, and calories that babies need. It’s also easier to digest than formula.
- It lowers the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
- It lowers the risk of the baby developing asthma, allergies, respiratory illness, and ear infections.
- Breastfed babies have been linked to having a higher IQ.
I can go on and on about how great it is for your body and for your baby, but I simply encourage you mom-to-be(s) out there to just give it a try. It can be challenging at first but don’t give up because it is definitely rewarding in the end.