Breast is Best is a catchphrase commonly seen on buttons, badges, and stickers on the labor and delivery floors of hospitals. The benefits of breastfeeding are recognized by the U.S Surgeon General, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, among many others who recommend that a baby be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life. Many of these organizations have even published studies, fact sheets, and guidelines to support their recommendation.
This is true for most babies, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card states that only 51.8% of babies in the United States are breastfed the recommended 6 months. It’s possible that a lot of new moms don’t know that the catchphrase applies to mothers as well. Breastfeeding actually has a good number of game changing benefits for mama too.
Increasing Your Breastmilk for Baby
Legendairy Milk – A Must-have Supplement For Nursing Mothers
The last thing you need to do is cry over spilled milk when you know breastfeeding is best for baby when you aren’t available. Gone of the days of sobbing over the spilled breastmilk that took every sniff of baby-head hair and meditation music to relax your body into giving up your golden elixir. No more winching in pain due to vacuum-swollen sore nipples for just a 1/3 ounce of your precious golden liquid. Enrich your milk, plump up your breasts, and satisfy your babe with the Legendairy Milk products. They are as convenient as a dropper or a lactation-inducing addition to your supplement routine. They are available here. Now that your supply is no longer an issue, keep reading about the amazing benefits of breastfeeding your baby for as long as it suits you both.
The Benefits of Breastfeeding
Reduced Risk of Postpartum Depression
According to an article in the International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, studies show that there is a relationship between breastfeeding and postpartum depression indicating that women who breastfeed their infants reduced their risk of developing PPD.
Better Emotional Health
Breastfeeding is known to increase the level of oxytocin produced in the mother’s body, linking breastfeeding to reports of reductions in anxiety, negative mood, and stress when compared to formula-feeding mothers. Additionally, some women report that breastfeeding helps with baby bonding and feeling a sense of closeness to their babies.
Mothers Miss Less Work
According to the federal Office on Women‘s Health, society benefits from mothers electing to breastfeed. Mothers may miss less work with breastfed babies as breastfed babies tend to be healthier and have more immunity to illness passed on from breast milk. This helps to make the workforce more productive.
Read More: 7 Ways to Handle Breastfeeding Challenges
Reduced Risk of Disease
As the saying goes ‘the numbers don’t lie’. Here are a few numbers that show breastfeeding reduces the onset of diseases seen later in life.
- Ovarian cancer – Mothers who breastfed their babies experienced a 30% reduction in the risk of Ovarian Cancer compared to women who have never breastfed.
- Breast cancer – 47 different studies across 30 countries of over 147,000 women found that the risk of breast cancer decreases 4.3% for every 12 months of breastfeeding in addition to a 7% decrease for each birth.
- Stroke – The risk of stroke is reduced 19% in women who breastfeed up to 6 months with a greater reduction in risk being associated with longer duration in breastfeeding.
- Diabetes – Studies including this one listed in the PubMed database from the National Institutes of Health show that postmenopausal women who had breastfed for at least 12 months in their lifetime had a lower “prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease.”
Simply put, breastfeeding provides unequivocal health benefits for the mamas who breastfeed for at least six months and increased benefits for those who breastfeed for longer durations.
Less Expensive Than Formula
Breastfeeding costs less than formula feeding because it is, for the most part, free. Formula alone is expensive, costing an average of $1200-$1500 per year per child. In addition to the actual formula, bottle feeding requires the purchase of bottles and accessories for each stage of bottle feeding.
Savings in Future Medical Costs
Breastfeeding also saves in medical costs. Breast milk contains antibodies that formula does not. These antibodies protect against viruses and allergies helping babies who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months to be healthier than formula-fed babies. Healthier babies mean lower medical costs.
The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding noted that the United States could save an estimated $13 billion in medical expenses each year if 90% of families exclusively breastfed their babies for the first six months.
Read more: The Secrets to Breastfeeding Success
The release of oxytocin during breastfeeding causes the uterus to contract, bringing it back to pre-pregnancy shape and size (though it may take several months). This, in turn, may reduce uterine bleeding. In this way, breastfeeding helps you heal and start to get your body back.
Better for the Environment
Our society also benefits from breastfeeding because it is better for the environment. Breastfeeding exclusively reduces the need for bottles as well as the plastics and waste that go along with it. The National Center for Biotechnology Information even adds that “human milk is a natural, renewable food that acts as a complete source of babies’ nutrition for about the first six months of life”.
All in all, breastfeeding may not be easy but it is beneficial to your body if you can hang in there. Cheers to all the breastfeeding mamas out there and the non-breastfeeding mamas out there too!
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Sources: https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Breastfeeding-Your-Baby https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0822-breastfeeding-rates.html https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.2190/PM.43.3.d https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6096620/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24998548 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12133652 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180822082625.htm https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19384111 https://www.hhs.gov/surgeongeneral/reports-and-publications/breastfeeding/factsheet/index.html https://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/making-decision-breastfeed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK52687/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6096620/