Most breastfeeding mothers are well aware of the multitudes of benefits their baby receives when he breastfeeds. That’s great news, but don’t overlook the numerous mother’s benefits of breastfeeding, too.
You’re not just doing baby right. You’re setting yourself up for long-term benefits of breastfeeding. Not only do you eliminate the hassle and expense of purchasing and toting around a bag of formula, bottles and nipples, but mothers also enjoy the health benefits of natural feeding.
Breastfeeding promotes the release of natural hormones in mothers’ bodies. Mothers enjoy a release of oxytocin that promotes bonding with the baby. Prolactin is also released, which allows nursing mothers to partially shrug off daily stresses and relax and focus on the baby.
Oxytocin doesn’t just promote bonding. It helps the mother’s body recover from the stresses of childbirth. Nursing mothers’ uteruses return to their pre-childbirth size in about six weeks, versus 10 for non-nursing mothers. Oxytocin also plays a role in reducing postpartum bleeding.
Breastfeeding women also have a lower risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis, and even have stronger bones later. Lactation improves a mother’s ability to absorb calcium. After six months of nursing, breastfeeding mothers’ bones are actually stronger than before pregnancy.
Mother’s Benefits of Breastfeeding – Long Term
While studies haven’t cemented long-term health benefits for breastfeeding mothers, there is strong evidence to suggest lifelong benefits. Mothers who breastfeed may also enjoy:
- Reduced rates of ovarian and breast cancer
- Reduced rates of Type 2 diabetes
- Reduced rates of rheumatoid arthritis
- Reduced rates of high blood pressure
- Reduced rates of high cholesterol
- Reduced rates of cardiovascular disease
- Reduced rates of obesity
All those health benefits come with savings of healthcare costs. A 2010 study in Pediatrics estimated that the United States would save $13 billion every year in healthcare costs if 90 percent of mothers chose to breastfeed.
You probably don’t need any reasons beyond the improved health of your baby to breastfeed, but it’s nice knowing nursing has benefits for mom, too. Questions about breastfeeding? The Youth Clinic is here to help.
Call us at 970.267.9510 to schedule your appointment.