3 Maternal Benefits of Breastfeeding


The benefits of breastfeeding and/or receiving human milk to the infant seem to be widely known, but what about the benefits to the person producing that liquid gold? They are far reaching and equally as important as the benefits to baby.

1. Physical

Not only does Mom benefit from the release of feel-good hormones, oxytocin and prolactin, but there are many other physical benefits. Breastfeeding/chestfeeding can also help with recovery from childbirth by causing the uterus to return to its regular size more quickly and can help to reduce postpartum bleeding. Breastfeeding can also delay the return of maternal menstrual cycle and with exclusive breastfeeding that meets certain criteria can even be used as a natural form of birth control called Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM), (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2016). Another fun benefit is that producing breastmilk burns about 500 extra calories a day!

2. Preventative

Studies have found that breastfeeding mitigates several health risks. Possible health risks to those who do not breastfeed are as follows: Breast cancer, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, myocardial infarction, obesity, and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding reduces these risks and is dose-dependent, meaning the longer you breastfeed over your lifespan, the more you’ll reduce the risks of these health issues (Schwarz & Nothnagle, 2015).

3. Emotional and Psychological

If everything is going well with breastfeeding it can help to reduce the risk of postpartum depression and supports a positive mood. Those wonderful “feel good hormones” we mentioned earlier also aid in bonding with baby and can increase calmness in both Mom and baby (Cleveland Clinic, 2018.)

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1)Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom. (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2019, from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/breastfeeding/Pages/Benefits-of-Breastfeeding-for-Mom.aspx

2) Schwarz, E. B., & Nothnagle, M. (2015, May 01). The Maternal Health Benefits of Breastfeeding. Retrieved from https://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/0501/p602.html

3) Clinic, C. (2018, January 1). Benefits of Breastfeeding. Retrieved July 15, 2019, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15274-the-benefits-of-breastfeeding-for-baby–for-mom

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