Congratulations MOM! Baby has arrived, and the wait is finally over. But with all the happiness, joy, and satisfaction comes great responsibility and choosing what is best for your baby. There are many challenges along the way. Taking care of the new baby can be tricky even if this is your second or third child, but more so if it is your first baby. One of the challenges moms face when giving birth is whether to breastfeed or not. You may have given it a shot, and it did not work out, but why not give breastfeeding a second chance? The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the challenges.
Protects Baby from Illnesses
Breastfeeding will protect your baby from many illnesses; and the list is long. At least six months of breastfeeding has proven to offer the most protection from illnesses. Protection from stomach viruses, ear infections, meningitis, and lower respiratory illnesses, among many others. If any of these illnesses happen to a breastfed baby, they tend to be less severe.
Breastfeeding is such a good immune system booster because of a substance called secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) which is mostly found in colostrum. Colostrum is the first milk your body produces for your baby. This substance forms a protective layer on the mucous membranes in your baby’s intestines, nose, and throat, offering protection against invading germs. As your milk matures, the substance is still present in lower amounts, so keep nursing as long as you can.
Boosts Intellectual Development
Breastfeeding may also increase your child’s IQ. Many research studies have found connections between breastfeeding and intellectual development. When premature babies were breastfed, they were also found to have improved mental development scores at 18 months compared with those who have not been given breast milk. It is essential to mention that a premature baby who has been breastfeeding will be less likely to be hospitalized again.
Experts have expressed that the emotional relationship between mom and baby supply some of the benefits that power up the brain. They also mention that fatty acids in breast milk do play a very significant role.
Benefits for Mom
But Momma, the benefits are not just for baby but also for you! When you decide to breastfeed, your stress levels are reduced, and you are also at lower risk of postpartum depression. Many moms report feeling relaxed when breastfeeding. The reason behind it is a hormone called oxytocin. Studies done on animals and humans show that oxytocin promotes happiness and relaxation. Another fun fact is that oxytocin, that is being released while breastfeeding, will help your uterus contract after giving birth. This ensures less bleeding and many other benefits.
Mom, It may Help with Losing Weight
Those hormone-releasing contractions while breastfeeding will also allow you to go back to your pre-pregnancy body faster. Each time you nurse, your uterus will contract more, and by the sixth week of giving birth, your uterus will be back to the size it was before. Breastfeeding will also use up calories in your body. When you are pregnant, you gain extra calories from the foods you eat every day and the fat gets stored in your body. While breastfeeding, you are using up those fats that have been stored and you lose the baby weight much faster.
So, if you are expecting a child consider the benefits of breastfeeding and experience a healthy, precious bond with your newborn.
Contact Moonstone Naturopathic Today to learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding and how naturopathic medicine can support breast feeding.