It’s natural to feel overwhelmed as a new mother. Adjusting to life with a newborn is a beautiful time in your life, but it can be difficult with all of the changes that will arise and the decisions you will have to make. One of the most personal decisions a new mother will make is whether or not to breastfeed. Here are some benefits for mom and baby as you begin your research and breastfeeding journey.
Benefits for Mom
Well, it’s mostly free. The equipment you purchase to breastfeed is the investment. However, many new moms find benefit in saving on formula costs or related preventative health care costs. Many insurance companies also cover the cost of some breastfeeding equipment, such as pumps.
Reduces Risk of Breast Cancer
Breastfeeding changes the balance of hormones in the body. Many studies have linked this change and delay to a reduced risk of breast cancer. In addition to this hormone balance change, many women who breastfeed tend to live healthier lifestyles and eat more nutritious foods. Women also may experience fewer menstrual cycles, which results in lower estrogen levels.
Helps Moms Return to Pre-pregnancy Weight
While you cannot escape the basic needs of a healthy lifestyle to get back to your pre-baby body, breastfeeding does help you burn calories; however you cannot rely on breastfeeding alone. Exercise and a healthy, well-balanced diet will still be important in helping new moms return to a healthy weight.
Benefits for Baby
Helps Protect Against Acute Illness
Your breast milk is especially beneficial to your baby when it comes to protecting against acute illnesses. The antibody transfer from mom to baby is full of healthy enzymes and immunity-boosting properties that can’t be matched.
Provides Superior Nutrition
Not only does your breast milk protect your baby from some illnesses, but it acts as the perfect superfood, providing above-average nutrition that is ideal for optimum growth. Your breast milk will also naturally adjust to meet your baby’s needs as the child grows.
Decreased Risk of Respiratory Issues and Other Issues
Studies show that breastfed babies experience fewer upper respiratory issues, wheezing, influenza, asthma, allergies, ear infections and GI issues. When your baby is sick, breast milk also helps prevent dehydration.
While there is a lot to learn when it comes to breastfeeding, you are not alone. Children’s Physicians offers breastfeeding support for all new mothers. Visit our website if you’d like to learn more or meet one of our certified lactation consultants.