You know that breast milk is the ideal food for your baby, but did you know that breastfeeding also brings many short and long-term health benefits?
From more time without menstruation, to prevention against cancer and postpartum depression, and savings of thousands of dollars a year, breast milk is also ideal for the mother. These are its greatest benefits:
A quick postpartum recovery
Breastfeeding helps increase the levels of the hormone oxytocin, which helps reduce postpartum bleeding and contract your uterus, so that your body returns to normal sooner.
Protection against postpartum depression
The hormone oxytocin is also related to the emergence of positive feelings, such as love, attachment and happiness. Elevated levels of this hormone during breastfeeding make you less prone to postpartum depression, and in the process it helps you establish maternal attachment to your baby.
Benefit to health
During pregnancy your bones weaken, since your nutrients go first to meet the needs of your little one. Breastfeeding helps bring those minerals back to your bones (bone remineralization). In the long term, this also helps reduce the possibility of hip fractures during menopause, osteoporosis and arthritis. According to Dr. William Sears, author of “The Breastfeeding Book,” women who do not breastfeed have a fourfold higher risk of osteoporosis.
Lower risk of suffering from some types of cancer
Mothers who have breastfed are less likely to get cancer of the ovaries, uterus and breast. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your chances of getting breast cancer are reduced by 4.3% every year you breastfeed, and the more years of your life you do (with different babies), the greater the benefit.
More time without your menstruation
Breastfeeding postpones ovulation. Mothers who breastfeed exclusively take months to menstruate again, in some cases, up to more than a year. In contrast, women who opt for artificial feeding return to menstruate between six and eight weeks after delivery.
Greater reserve of iron
Because you do not have menstruation for months, your body maintains a higher iron level (during menstruation you lose your reserves). This prevents anemia and improves the quality of your breast milk.
Breastfeeding delays ovulation, and therefore it is between 98% and 99% effective to prevent pregnancy in the first six months postpartum, which allows your body to recover from pregnancy. The duration of this benefit depends on how long you breastfeed and how much your baby consumes.
Breast milk is free and the price of baby formula is quite high. In a year, breastfeeding can save you between $ 54 and $ 198 per month (depending on the brand you use). The total amount can be more than $ 2,300 per year in formula. To this you must add the bottles, sterilized water, and other implements that you use to prepare the artificial milk and keep the necessary items.
Breastfeeding consumes between 450 and 500 calories a day, which helps you lose weight more quickly after pregnancy.
No preparation is necessary
Breast milk is always ready and available. It does not require preparation or special containers, it is always at the ideal temperature and your baby decides the amount he needs.