Goodness, I still remember the first time a nurse handed me my baby and asked me to breastfeed. I just pushed the baby’s mouth against my breast. That has to be one of my biggest laugh out loud blunders ― even the best comedy writers couldn’t have penned such a scenario. At that point, the only info flooding my ears was, You are producing liquid gold! The baby needs it… It is so important for the baby… and on and on... I did not know what affect breastfeeding was supposed to have on the manufacturing plant a.k.a. on me. Until I started researching breastfeeding (to increase my lactation supply), I really did not understand how this process was benefiting not just my little drunken sailor, but also benefitting ME. So let me pass on to you the benefits of breastfeeding for mother’s health.
Positive effects on the brain:
Your body produces oxytocin every time you breastfeed. Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter and a hormone that encourages a sense of happiness and promotes a strong bond between baby and momma. Breastfeeding in mothers is also connected to improved social interaction, a decrease in stress, and the ability to cope with postpartum depression.  Who doesn’t need the extra nudge to relax and have fun? YES, PLEASE!
I MAKE MILK. WHAT'S YOUR SUPERPOWER ? - UNKNOWN
Long-term health benefits:
Research has shown that mothers who breastfeed for several months have lower stress reactivity and lower systolic (when your heart contracts) and diastolic (between heartbeats) blood pressure levels.
Breastfeeding reduces the chances of being susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer and we sure could use any and all the help we can get in that department.
MY FAVORITE! We burn somewhere around 300 calories per feeding. That’s what I used to burn on my elliptical machine after running for 25 minutes. Breastfeeding is the easiest way I have spent 300 calories in 15-20 minutes.
It’s what I call the food-chain cycle. Your child will “eat” what you indulge in – chocolate and ice cream a.k.a. junk food that contributes to future obesity and depression, to name a few negative effects of not eating healthy. No one wants their child to be unhealthy; a balanced diet goes a long way in producing fit, healthy, smart, energetic kids!
Goodbye “Aunt Flow”:
This one is a lifesaver... I mean, you are already dealing with a new sleeping cycle, feeding cycle, LIFE cycle so this is a great time to keep the menstrual cycle out of the picture, at least until mom gets the hang of her life again. Seriously, leaky breasts and a bloody cycle ― that’s just too much for one body to go through at the same time. The hormonal changes during breastfeeding somehow prevent Aunt Flow from visiting for anywhere from three weeks to six months on average.
Why sterilize baby bottles?:
Changing your newborn’s diaper at night and sticking them to the breast is far more convenient than the cycle of sterilizing bottles, mixing formula, “rinse and repeat.” Imagine doing all that in the middle of the night. NO, THANK YOU!
Save money on formula:
I am sure everyone can relate to this one. I love saving! Guess what? Liquid gold is FREE and formula = NOT FREE! Let’s face it, nothing gets much cheaper than free!
Soothe a crying baby:
This may not sound like a direct health benefit, but trust me, the first few weeks are a blur to most moms, from no sleep to feeding, sterilizing, changing diapers, etc. That baby cry you were not used to before can really take a toll on your mental health. Also, a baby can be colicky, which can make them cry continuously for hours. That’s when being able to soothe a crying baby instantly by breastfeeding worked like a MIRACLE to me. Breastfeeding serves as a natural pacifier that can soothe baby anytime, anywhere! Thank you, boobs!
If everything I listed above has not convinced you enough to breastfeed, let me then tell you the breastfeeding advantages for baby:
Yes, you are the amoxicillin for your baby, AND the natural, free kind. In order to develop the immune system, the breastfed baby is provided with 0.25-0.5 grams per day of secretory IgA antibodies via your breast milk . When you are sick, your body creates even more antibodies, which your mini-me gets through your breast milk. This way they are protected, or shall I say, ready to fight the virus you are carrying.
Breast milk might be packed with all super nutrients, but it is easy to digest, which would eliminate the stomach issues that might be heightened in formula-fed babies.
Again breastmilk might be power packed, but the fat is appropriately proportioned to ensure steady weight gain.
Bonding with your baby:
That skin-to-skin bond cannot be replaced by anyone or anything (including formula). You and your little one are way more connected, and those halftime giggles your baby throws at you when they unlatch? I call it the gratitude moment. Nope, you don’t get to see that with formula feeding!