Breastfeeding, what's in it for mom?

In a previous article, we discussed the health benefits of breastfeeding for the baby, and for many that alone provides a great enough incentive. However, breastfeeding doesn't have to be viewed as a sacrifice just for your baby, as it also provides numerous benefits for mom.

Here are some of the benefits breastfeeding offers mothers

  • Improved Mood- A nursing mother produces the additional hormones of Prolactin and Oxytocin. Prolactin,creates a peaceful, nurturing sensation that allows you to relax and focus on your child, while Oxytocin promotes a strong sense of love and attachment between the two of you. 
  • Weight Loss- On average, a nursing mom will burn an extra 500 calories a day.
  • Reduced Risk of Cancer- Studies have shown that breastfeeding reduces the future risk of breast cancer by 14%-28% and ovarian cancer by 18%-34%. The longer one nurses, the greater the benefits. Interestingly, the study in regards to reduction in ovarian cancer risks were shown to be cumulative, even if the nursing occurred years apart.
  • Benefits for Mothers' with High Blood Pressure- Although studies have not been as extensive, nursing appears to lower high blood pressure, it is believed to be a result of the bodies increased production of Oxytocin.
  • Type 2 Diabetes- Between 5-9% of women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Of those who develop gestational diabetes, 10% will develop Type 2 Diabetes within 2 years. A study by Kaiser Permanante involving 1000 participants has shown that breastfeeding reduces the risk of those who have gestational diabetes from developing diabetes by up to 50%.

  So while nursing is great for your baby, it is also great for mom.


Benefits in mood -

Reduced Risk of Ovarian Cancer-

Reduced Risk of Breast Cancer-

Lowers High Blood Pressure-

Lowers the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes-