Most people have heard that “breast is best” for babies, but did you know that breastfeeding is beneficial for moms too? Here are 8 reasons why choosing to breastfeed may be the best option for moms:
1. Breastfeeding burns calories.
Breastfeeding burns an average of 500 calories a day, which is equal to approximately 10 Oreo cookies! If you’re eating sensibly, you may watch your baby weight burn away without much added effort. Despite the calories burned by breastfeeding, some women have trouble losing weight while nursing; however, I lost all my baby weight strictly through breastfeeding.
2. Breastfeeding forces you to sit down and take a break.
Nursing your little one every couple of hours requires you to literally sit back and take a load off. While this might be frustrating at times, it really is good for you. This is especially important in those first few weeks after giving birth. Your body needs time to rest and recover and bond with baby. So sit back, take a deep breath, and enjoy.
3. Breast milk is always there and ready for your baby.
Unless you are also pumping, you get a free pass from preparing and cleaning bottles. The milk is always the perfect temperature, and it goes wherever you go!
4. Breastfeeding saves money.
There are some initial costs that can come along with breastfeeding (such as a pump or nursing bras), but it doesn’t compare to the weekly cost of formula. Additionally, babies often fluctuate in the amount they eat from feeding to feeding and age to age, sometimes resulting in formula dumped down the sink, which is really expensive.
5. Breastfeeding delays periods.
Exclusively breastfeeding has the power to delay the return of your monthly period. With my first baby, my period returned after 10 months. With my second baby, my period returned after 14 months. Sadly, this isn’t always the case for some women, but when it does work out that way, it’s a nice perk! Not only can you skip the monthly inconvenience of your menstrual cycle, but it also delays ovulation and prevents pregnancy until you’re ready.
6. Breastfeeding results in a healthier mom.
Breastfeeding has been proven to lower the risk of women developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and cervical cancer. Research also shows that it lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
7. Breastfeeding is a great excuse to invest in yourself.
Did you know there are clothes specifically designed for breastfeeding mothers? You don’t need special shirts for breastfeeding, but if you enjoy shopping or fashion, this is a great excuse to invest in some new clothing. Of course you’ll want to be sure you buy nursing bras and tank tops. You can read about my favorites, along with other major essentials in 14 Things You Need for Your Postpartum Body: a pre-baby shopping list for mommy. If you enjoy quiet time alone with your baby, breastfeeding is a highly accepted way to get that — even in the most crowded places.
8. Breastfeeding boosts baby’s immune system.
This list is supposed to be all about how breastfeeding is good for mom, but trust me — boosting your baby’s immune system is totally beneficial for you. Anything that decreases the chances of your baby getting a stuffy nose or fever is a win for you. With a healthier baby, you will be less stressed and you’ll sleep better.
Breastfeeding is one of the best choices you can make for you and your baby. It doesn’t always start out easily, but with some good support (from family, friends, and lactation professionals) your breastfeeding journey can blossom into something beautiful.
Do you breastfeed? What benefits does it give YOU?
Photo Credit: Cecily Berkey