During pregnancy, the uterus grows to hold the baby. Oxytocin is a hormone needed for the reversal of this process which is known as involution. Secretion of Oxytocin takes place in the mother’s body during labor. Breastfeeding increases the production of Oxytocin thus helping in faster involution of the uterus and less blood loss after delivery.
Pregnancy is a special experience for a couple and especially a woman. Carrying another life inside her body builds a special bond of the mother with the child. Within the nine months, the woman faces difficulties and challenging times but learns to overcome them and is happy with them for the love of her child. On the completion of nine months starts another challenging task of breastfeeding. Ask the lady who has delivered her first child, she is lost and does not know how to tackle the feeding, cleaning up the child now and then, face her own body’s changes and requirements, and catching up on some sleep.
The first week of August is celebrated as Breastfeeding Week. So today we bring forth the numerous benefits that breastfeeding has both for the child and the mother beside the strengthening of the bond between the two.
Benefits Of Breastfeeding for the Baby
1.Breastfeeding provides ideal nutrition for the baby
During the first days after birth, the mother’s breasts produce a thick yellowish fluid called the colostrum. This is high in proteins, low in sugar, has all the beneficial compounds needed by the baby, and is easy for the child’s immature digestive tract. Breast milk contains everything that a baby requires for the first 6 months of life.
2.Breast milk contains important antibodies
Breast milk is rich in antibodies that help the child to fight against the bacteria and viruses that are critical at that age. When a woman contracts bacteria and viruses her body produces antibodies. Breast milk helps to transfer all these Immunoglobulins produced in the mother to the child. These then form a protective layer in the child’s nose, throat, and digestive system thus protecting the child.
3.Breast milk may reduce the risk of diseases in the child
Feeding a child on formula milk may make it vulnerable to several infections and allergies such as middle ear infection, respiratory tract infection, colds, bowel diseases, diabetes, etc. Breast milk feed keeps all these infections and diseases at bay for the child.
4.Breast Milk promotes a baby’s healthy weight
Breast milk helps to develop healthy gut bacteria which affects fat storage. Also, breast milk has leptin which is the key hormone for regulating appetite and fat storage. Breast-fed babies have good eating patterns as they feed only until their hunger is satisfied.
5.Breastfeeding may make babies smarter
The physical intimacy, touch, eye contact associated with breastfeeding leaves a baby feeling secure and loved. Such children tend to have better brain development and less to no behavioral issues.
Breast Feeding Benefits For Mother
1.Breastfeeding helps to lose weight
Breastfeeding helps to burn calories. After three months of lactation, mothers may experience an increase in fat burning as compared to non-lactating mothers.
2.Breastfeeding helps the uterus to contract
3.Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of depression
Breastfeeding stimulates the production of the hormone prolactin which helps to keep the mother calm and stress-free thus preventing her from going into postpartum depression.
4.Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of diseases
It has been found in researches that mothers who breastfeed have lower risks of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis, high blood fats, heart diseases.
5.Breastfeeding may prevent menstruation
Continued breastfeeding pauses ovulation and menstruation. The suspended menstruation is a natural way of keeping a gap between two pregnancies and give sufficient time to develop a strong bond between the mother and child.
6.It helps to save time and money
The mother does not have to spend time sterilizing the bottles, all she needs to do is just clean her nipples well both before and after each feeding session. Breast milk is always at the right temperature so do not have to heat or cool it. All this time saved she can spend with the child and on herself. The family saves a lot that they would be otherwise spending on formula milk.
Whether to breastfeed or not is the personal choice of the mother. However, the numerous benefits both for the mother and child are so many that it is difficult for a mother to overlook them for a few discomforts that she might face during the sessions of breastfeeding.
Have a happy pregnancy and strong bonding breastfeeding months with your baby!