Not every woman wishes to nurse, and rarely there are complications that make it difficult or impossible for a mother to do so. For those who are able to breastfeed, however, it can be a positive and rewarding experience with far-reaching benefits, many related to maternal weight loss and health.
When a mother breastfeeds her new baby, she is not only doing something beneficial for the child’s health, but for her own health as well. For the baby, breastfeeding means fewer ear infections, diarrhea, colic, and a greatly reduced chance of succumbing to SIDS. Though there are many ways to bond without breastfeeding, the act of breastfeeding may allow the maternal/child bond to be more easily forged when breastfeeding is in place.
For mothers, studies have shown that breastfeeding can reduce postpartum depression, help regulate the mother’s blood sugars, and for some women speed up postpartum weight loss. Even more startling are studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine which show that women who breastfeed reduce the odds of their developing certain types of breast cancer between 11 and 25%. Breastfeeding baby girls may also produce antibodies that help to protect the child from cancer later in life.
So far those who are looking for a healthy outlet to lose weight and improve their health, breastfeeding is a smart choice for both mother and baby. It can also help new mothers to burn up to 500 calories a day, while working to shrink their uterus back to normal size at a far faster rate.