There is a lot of focus on all the nutritional benefits of nursing for a baby. While these are all true, amazing and definitely worthy of being noted we can’t forget about mom! That’s right the long list of benefits for nursing apply not only to baby but also to mama. Let’s look at a few of those great benefits together/
- In the first few days and weeks following delivery nursing plays a huge roll in helping your uterus contract and shrink back to it’s non-pregnant size. This contracting also helps reduce the amount of blood loss you experience and how quickly it stops.
- Reducing your risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Multiple studies have been done that show a decrease in the risk of developing these two types of cancers when exclusively breastfeeding for at least 6 months. The longer you breastfeed past that 6 month period the more that risk decreases. One study showed that for every 12 months a woman breastfeed she reduced her risk of breast cancer by 4.3%. Another study found that a woman could reduce her risk of ovarian cancer by as much as 91% by breastfeeding for a cumulative time of at least 31 months (can be over multiple children).
- Breastfeeding also has shown to reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and arthritis.
- While certainly not a driving factor many women do loose weight while nursing!
- Nursing for some women will delay the return of their periods. ( But if you really don’t want to get pregnant don’t trust this as birth control!)
And last but certainly not least we can’t ignore the emotional bonding benefits of nursing that both mom and baby experience! The hormones that are released causing a let down are really a love concoction! The main one being oxytocin which just sends all kinds of love signals to yours and baby’s brain! Breastfeeding really is a wonderful experience for mom and baby both mentally and physically.