There are so many benefits of breastfeeding. However, keep in mind that breastfeeding is totally a mother’s decision to make. Unless the mother is HIV positive or has untreated active tuberculosis or other conditions which may pose risks to the baby. Those without these issues can choose to do it or not. There are numerous advantages to breastfeeding for both mother and child for mothers who are considering it.
Breastfeeding benefits a mother by assisting in weight loss, lowering disease risk, reducing depression, and assisting in uterine contraction. On the other hand, breastfeeding is beneficial to the child by lowering the risk of disease, being nutritious for the baby, and supporting its growth and development.
This guide will guide you through the benefits of breastfeeding for the mother and the child. Keep reading if you are caught between choosing whether to breastfeed or not and want to make a more informed decision.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mother and Child.
Breastfeeding is not just about making your baby full and quenching its thirst. Usually, the mothers who have opted to breastfeed are told to breastfeed for up to 6 full months before giving their children water or any type of food.
Always remember that breastfeeding is beneficial not just to your baby but also to you. The following are breastfeeding benefits for mother and baby;
Benefits of breastfeeding for a mother
1. It helps in losing weight.
Among the major benefits of breastfeeding include enabling a mother to lose weight. This happens after a few months of inclusive breastfeeding. Do not expect results after one week.
After gaining So much weight during pregnancy, many women successfully lose some weight as they breastfeed. However, not all women lose weight while breastfeeding; others add weight.
If your goal is to lose weight after pregnancy, breastfeed, exercise, watch your diet and avoid some habits. This is because breastfeeding alone will not make your dream of losing weight after pregnancy come true.
2. Lowers disease risks.
Breastfeeding also helps lower disease risks in the mother. Among the diseases that those who do not breastfeed may risk are ovarian cancer, breast cancer, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
Women who have breastfed have a lower risk of the above disease risks than those who have never breastfed.
3. Reduces depression.
Other benefits of breastfeeding to the mother include helping them to reduce depression. Usually, pregnancy and breastfeeding come with some kind of stress and depression. Breastfeeding reduces stress. The type of stress women goes through after birth is known as postpartum depression. Breastfeeding is usually a bonding time between the mother and baby. During that time, the baby and mother maintain eye contact, enabling her to learn more about the baby. The baby also uses this moment to recognize its mother.
Women who breastfeed have a low chance of falling into postpartum depression. Seek help if you suspect you have postpartum depression.
Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- Bad thoughts- hurting yourself or your child.
- Crying more frequently than usual.
- Feeling disconnected from your child.
- You’re doubting your ability to care for your child.
- Being overly concerned or anxious.
- Bad anger.
- Withdrawing from family and friends.
4. Helps in uterine contraction.
Pregnancy expands a woman’s uterus so the baby can fit in comfortably. Every woman goes through this, but after delivery, the uterus slowly contracts back to its normal size. As you breastfeed, your body produces oxytocin.
The hormone oxytocin is produced for various reasons during pregnancy, labor, and childbirth. Oxytocin levels rise after childbirth as you breastfeed. Oxytocin stimulates uterine contractions and reduces bleeding, allowing the uterus to resize.
Benefits of breastfeeding for the toddler.
5. It is nutritious.
Breast milk is said to be the best source of nutrition for babies. It contains the necessary nutrients, is easily digestible, and is readily available if the mother is healthy. There is no perfect source of nutrition for a newborn baby beside breast milk.
According to research, as the baby grows, the milk changes to meet its needs. A woman’s breasts produce colostrum which is high in protein, low in sugar, and rich in beneficial compounds for the baby, within the first few days after birth.
After a while, the color changes, and the milk becomes lighter in color while remaining very nutritious.
6. Supports its growth and development.
Breast milk provides the best nutrition for a baby and promotes growth and development. Breast milk has nutrients that support the growth and development of the baby while quenching its thirst and dealing with its hunger.
Because breast milk provides your baby with nutrients, when you breastfeed, nutrients bring about the growth and development of the baby in the breast milk are guaranteed your baby’s growth.
The presence of antibodies makes it possible to fight diseases keeping your baby safe as it grows.
7. Protects it from diseases and infections.
Breast milk also protects the baby from diseases and infections. How? Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight pathogens, which is especially important in those early months when the baby is vulnerable to infections.
One of the most common antibodies is immunoglobulin A (IgA), which provides protection by forming a protective layer in the baby’s nose, throat, and digestive system.
Some of the diseases and infections that breast milk can prevent for the child include:
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Diabetes- Type 1 diabetes.
- Gastrointestinal infections – may include diarrhea and vomiting.
- Lower respiratory disease.
- Acute otitis media -ear infections.
- Colds and coughs.
Breastfeeding has a couple of benefits for the mother and the newborn baby. If you d not have any issues that may lead to you not being able to breastfeed, consider breastfeeding because it is beneficial to you and the child/children.