Not just your baby, breastfeeding is good for you too.

It is no secret that breastfeeding boosts your baby’s immune system. Breastfeeding can protect your baby from illnesses such as meningitis, stomach viruses, respiratory problems, Haemophilus influenza, and urinary tract infections. Additionally, it can prevent the development of allergies. Children who were breastfed as infants have been known to develop fewer food allergies than those who were not. The secretory IgA in breastmilk prevents the development of food allergies in children by providing a protective lining to the child’s intestinal tract. So, there’s no reason not to breastfeed when it comes to your baby’s health.

Benefits for Mom

But little did you know that breastfeeding can benefit the mother as well. Studies show that breastfeeding reduces the risk of postpartum depression. This can happen due to a hormone released during breastfeeding, called oxytocin. Also dubbed the ‘love hormone’, oxytocin reduces stress levels, leading to not only generally better health for the breastfeeding mom but also lower chances of them developing postpartum depression. The reduced stress levels due to the release of the hormone also results in lower blood pressure.

Getting back in shape

The release of oxytocin also reduces postpartum bleeding. Oxytocin helps the uterus return to its normal size, which leads to a halting of the bleeding. It also helps return the mother’s menstrual cycle to normal, which can be a struggle for some mothers after giving birth. But once the uterus goes back to normal, it’s only a matter of time till the mother’s menstrual cycle is restored. This is also why it is said that breastfeeding helps lose postpartum weight. While that is not necessarily true, the uterus being restored to its normal size gives the appearance of weight loss.

The Feel-Good Factor

As breastfeeding releases oxytocin into the mother’s system, it also releases the hormone, prolactin, which produces a peaceful, nurturing sensation. The release of these hormones help the mother bond with their newborn child and produce feelings of happiness. This not only helps the mother-child relationship develop but keeps them both happy and healthy. So, considering all the benefits that breastfeeding has for the mother in addition to the baby, there’s no reason why a new mother shouldn’t consider breastfeeding over bottle-feeding.

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