SIX BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING FOR MOTHERS
Breast milk is without a doubt the most important source of nutrition for babies. Not only is breast milk the most suitable, natural and freshest nutrient for a baby’s mental, intellectual and physical development, but also it does not require any kind of preparation or need any special heating or storage conditions. Breastfeeding also plays a very important role in the bonding between mother and baby. In fact, breast milk is not only important for the baby but also for mothers, because breastfeeding can protect the mother from a number of different illnesses like anemia connected to iron deficiency, osteoporosis and depression. Acibadem Fulya Hospital Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist Dr. Selin Özaltın Orcan explained the 6 important benefits of breastfeeding for mothers.
- Breastfeeding protects against iron deficiency anemia
By increasing the secretion of the oxytocin hormone, breastfeeding makes the uterus contract which reduces postpartum bleeding. Thus anemia connected to iron deficiency is seen less in breastfeeding mothers.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of pregnancy in the first three months
In situations where 80 percent of the baby’s nutrition is provided through breastfeeding pregnancy is prevented at a high rate for the first three months.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of cancer
Five months of breastfeeding in a lifetime can reduce the mother’s risk of getting breast cancer by 2 percent. As the period of breastfeeding is extended the level of protection increases. It has also been proven that uterine and ovarian cancer are encountered less in women who breastfeed.
- Bones are reinforced
Since calcium absorption increases with breastfeeding bones become stronger. Thus the risk of osteoporosis in later years is reduced.
- Depression is seen less
Breastfeeding is an important thing that mother’s need to do to feel maternal and to understand and enjoy motherhood. While breastfeeding helps maternal feelings to develop it also strengthens the bond between mother and baby. Being able to calm their baby, satiate their hunger and feel them get stronger are priceless feelings for a mother. The calming effect of the oxytocin hormone, which is at high levels in the blood of breastfeeding mothers, results in less postpartum depression in mothers.
- Breastfeeding makes it easier to lose weight
Since breastfeeding increases a mother’s energy usage by 500-600 calories a mother with a healthy diet can lose weight faster. Because it helps to lose weight after the birth, breastfeeding helps motivate mothers both physically and psychologically.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of getting diabetes
It has been observed that the metabolism in breastfeeding mothers changes to regulate the blood sugar level and therefore also regulate good cholesterol with productive weight loss. It is thought that the possibility of having heart problems is less in mothers who breastfeed. Since breastfeeding regulates blood sugar, it also reduces the risk of diabetes.