When most women think about breastfeeding, they associate it with the hard work of feeding on demand, sleepless nights and lack of freedom. Whilst all of these definitely play a part in the process- the lasting benefits greatly outweigh the short-term difficulties. Breastfeeding not only provides your child with all the required nutrition needed to sustain your baby’s growth and development, it’s uplifting and empowering for the mother too.
Below, we’re sharing six great benefits of breastfeeding. Let the good vibes embrace you, and for those of you still breastfeeding- let us know in the comments how long you’ve been going for!
Losing baby weight in a healthier way.
Don’t get us wrong, breastfeeding is no gym miracle, but it can burn approx. 500 calories a day which can help towards losing weight. Lactation requires energy and and by combining breastfeeding with a healthy diet and regular exercise you’ll definitely make a dent on your weight loss goals.
Breastfed babies have a lower risk of infections and sickness.
Due to the cannabinoid compounds from breast milk, babies who have their mother’s milk tend to be protected more against viruses, infections, eczema and other diseases. A mother’s milk contains antibodies that are shared between mother and baby to prevent common infectious diseases as well as reducing the development of chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and obesity later in life.
Calming down postpartum depression.
The hormonal imbalances that occur after giving birth has a profound effect over a mother’s mood (not helped by the lack of sleep!) The strong bond created during breastfeeding between mother and baby really helps to provide a calmer centre and reduce the risk of postpartum depression!
Bonding and connecting.
Breastfeeding is the ultimate tool for mother and baby bonding. Skin to skin contact is encouraged as soon as possible after birth, so much so that midwives often adhere to the ‘Golden Hour Rule’ where they aim to place baby on the chest and onto the breast within the first hour after delivery! Read more about the first 24 hours here.
Reducing major risks for Mamas.
Apart from reducing the risk of osteoporosis, breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer! These types of cancer are more common in women who have higher levels of oestrogen that occurs when you're not breastfeeding.
Calming the baby.
It is shown that certain hormones (Oxytocin and Prolactin) produced by a Mother’s body are pacifying both mentally and physically. The Kara Bloom dress allows mothers to feel really close to their baby by providing clothing that doesn’t bury your child under lots of layers. Being able to see them whilst breastfeeding and your child being able to see you causes a release of these special hormones allowing both to feel relaxed, calm and secure!
Those are great incentives to initiate or continue breastfeeding! What are some of the other positive things you've learnt/experienced with breastfeeding? Comment below!