Most people are aware that breastfeeding holds benefits for the child being nursed, but not everyone knows that breastfeeding benefit’s the woman who is nursing as well.
Breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of developing breast cancer.
It is estimated that 12.2% of women born in the United States will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. Breastfeeding has been proven to reduce the instances of breast cancer by up to 25% in women who nurse. This is a substantial difference! This prevention method can be especially important if the woman has a family history of breast cancer.
Breastfeeding reduces the occurrence of post partum depression.
Approximately 12-15% of women suffer from post partum depression. Post partum depression is less commonly seen in mothers who breastfeed, due to the release of the “happy” hormone, oxytocin. Mothers who breastfeed tend to have deeper bonds with their infants and suffer less from post partum depression and anxiety.
Breastfeeding reduces the woman’s chance of developing osteoporosis.
Women who do not breastfeed are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than their breastfeeding counterparts. This is a significant difference between the two groups. This preventative measure can be especially important if the woman has a family history of osteoporosis or brittle bones in the later years of life.
Breastfeeding costs less money.
It comes as no surprise that money is often considered the number one cause of stress. Formula is not only second best to breastfeeding, but it costs a great deal more as well. On average, a baby who is formula few will cost the parents around $2,000 or most, just in formula for the first year! This cost can go up if the child requires a specialty formula. This is a large chunk of money and the financial burden may stress the mother out, leaving her with less energy, patience, time and putting her in a bad mood. Breastfeeding mothers do not need to worry about this additional financial burden.
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer.
Breastfeeding is known to reduce estrogen levels. Higher estrogen levels have been proven to speed up and encourage cancerous cells to form and multiply. Due to this decrease in estrogen, the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer also decreases.
Breastfeeding helps prevent pregnancy.
Although it is not impossible, it is much less likely to get pregnant while breastfeeding than while not. Breastfeeding, especially exclusively, helps prevent and delay ovulation. If there is no ovulation, there can be no pregnancy. This is beneficial to the woman, allowing her body to recover and heal before going through another pregnancy, as well as helping to encourage healthy spacing between children.
Breastfeeding helps women lose weight.
Most women are anxious to lose their “baby weight” after delivery. Although you shouldn’t diet while breastfeeding, breastfeeding alone can help a woman burn as much as 20 calories per ounce of breast milk produced! For most women, this is an average of 500 calories a day! Half of the calories used to product breast milk and pulled from the woman’s fat stores.
Breastfeeding helps the uterus return to pre-pregnancy size.
Breastfeeding stimulate the release of oxytocin, which causes the uterus to contract. These contractions help return the uterus to its pre-pregnancy size more quickly. Immediately following birth, these contractions may help prevent or reduce the severity of post-partum bleeding and hemorrhage.
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“7 WAYS BREASTFEEDING BENEFITS MOTHERS.” Dr. Sears Official Website | Parenting Advice, Parenting Books & More. Web. 14 Oct. 2010.
“Probability of Breast Cancer in American Women – National Cancer Institute.” National Cancer Institute – Comprehensive Cancer Information. Web. 14 Oct. 2010.
“Postpartum Depression – U-M Depression Center.” University of Michigan Depression Center. Web. 14 Oct. 2010.
“How Much Does Baby Formula & Other Baby Supplies Cost?” Pregnancy and Parenting – From The Labor of Love. Web. 14 Oct. 2010.