Breastfeeding has specific benefits to you as a mom. These go beyond even the close bond with your baby and knowing you're providing him or her with the best nutrition possible.
Breastfeeding changes your reproductive cycle. Nursing your baby can cause your body to stay in a state of amenorrhea longer after giving birth. This means you don't ovulate and you don't have a period.
If your baby is nursing often at night and during the day, your ability to conceive again can be delayed! Scientists have outlined a method of delaying fertility called the Lactational Amenorrhea Method.
Lactational amenorrhea is normal and healthy. Some experts believe that the modern-day experience of years of periods is not healthy. It't normal for women to go for extended time without a period – as you do during pregnancy and while you breastfeed.
Women who have had fewer periods due to nursing their babies may have a lower chance of developing cancers of the reproductive system.
Breastfeeding Protects You
There's evidence that nursing a baby lowers your risk for osteoporosis later in life. Your body takes calcium from your bone reserves during lactation – but once your baby begins solids and weans your body replaces the calcium at an increased rate.
Studies show that women who breastfed their children are at lower risk of hip fracture and other bone problems.
There is mounting evidence that nursing protects women against breast cancer. Large meta analysis (reviewing the results of many studies and showing the combined data) shows that women who breastfeed have a lower incidence of breast cancer than women who do not breastfeed.
These studies also show that women who were breastfed themselves seem to have a lower risk of breast cancer, so you are giving yourself and your daughters protection by nursing!
Breastfeeding Saves You Money
Breast feeding has economic advantages for you as well. Using formula can cost anywhere between $1,160 and $3,915! Even if you receive assistance from the United State's Women Infants and Children program (WIC), you still have to pay for some of your baby's formula. This is true with other nations' assistance programs, too.
The cost savings of nursing your baby are also seen in your baby's good health. You pay less in medical bills, prescription costs, and insurance co-pays because your baby stays healthier than she might if she were being fed formula.
Though nursing your baby is a skill you'll build in the early weeks, in the long run it pays off big time. You've already seen numerous reasons. But one huge reason is it saves you effort and lets you rest.
Use your time nursing your baby to sit down and relax. Rock your baby and focus on him or her. Or read a book or magazine you've been hoping to read. These times benefit you so much.
Nursing also lets you feed your baby while lying down. You can nap with your baby – and you should – and if you choose a family bed you can nurse your baby right in your bed at night. You don't have to get up, and after the first few weeks you'll hardly notice your baby waking at night. This results in a far more rested you, and a happy baby.
Your body and your baby expect to breastfeed. Nursing is a natural continuum moving from pregnancy and birth. By breastfeeding your baby, you have access to an instant mothering tool that helps you feel more confident in yourself and your mothering instincts. And you have a happy baby!
Choosing to breastfeed your child is giving her the gold standard, and giving both of you a great start in your journey together.
Want step-by-step tips and natural techniques for nursing your baby? Click Here for our 7 Steps to a Great Latch quick-reference guide and our How to Boost Milk Supply Naturally report (plus get our email mini-course on natural baby health, conscious parenting, and enjoying motherhood!). Opens in a new tab.
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Photo by David Lisbona