The Benefits and The Blues of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is a priceless bond between you and your child. It has a lot of nutritional benefits but getting use to breastfeeding and developing a daily rhythm can be sort of challenge. No matter how happy or how hard the girl is smiling on the breastfeeding brochure, don’t believe the hype, its a lot of hard work. Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mom and baby, but the dedication to pain, frustration, and sore nipples may give you the blues.
Breastfeeding Benefits for Baby
Breast milk is the best option for babies. Naturally, a woman’s body was designed to provide nutrition for her baby in the first year. Breastmilk provides so many different benefits that aid to wellness and growth.
SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome also known as Crib Death is the sudden and unexplainable death of a child under 1 years old. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to die from SIDS.
Reduced Ear Infections
Ear Infections in newborn babies are no walk in the park! Children can experience things like crying more than usual, Loss of sleep, and increased fussiness. Children who are nursed have less ear infections than those on formula.
Lower Risk of Obesity
According to the CDC pediatric obesity affects 1 in 5 children in the United States. Breastfeeding can reduce obesity by 22%.
Less Likely to be Hospitalized with Pneumonia
Globally, Pneumonia is the largest leading cause of death for adolescent children, according to WHO (World Health Organization). Exclusively breastfeeding can reduce the chances of your child developing respiratory infections.
Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom
Breast feeding provides so many benefits for the baby, but what benefits does breastfeeding provide for mom? After giving birth to your beautiful baby you want nothing more than to recover from the last 9 months. Goodbye weight gain and oversized sweatpants. Hello feet, whom I haven’t seen since the beginning of the third trimester. Here are the benefits for breastfeeding moms:
Reduced Chances of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer rates vary among ethnicities. According to Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer, studies found that for every 1 year a woman breastfed, the risk of developing breast cancer dropped by 4.3%.
Quickly Lose Pregnancy Weight
Breastfeeding can help you burn up to 500 calories in a single day. Yup, that is what I said… Burn calories without breaking a sweat? That’s my kind of cardio!
Exclusively breastfeeding your baby can aid in being a natural birth control method. FYI girlfriend, postpartum hair loss and birth control pills do not mix well together.
Please note that all women are different, and while some women may not get their period until they have stopped nursing, other women may ovulate and get their menstrual as early as 3 months after birth.
Uterus Quickly Returns to Normal Size
Breastfeeding releases a hormone called oxytocin or the “love hormone”. Oxytocin speeds up postpartum recovery by contracting your uterus back down to its normal size. Your uterus can return back to its normal size as early as the first six weeks post-delivery ; as opposed to 10 months if you aren’t a nursing mommy.
Saves Time and Money
Breastmilk is FREE Milk!! Girl, I cant tell you how much money I’ve saved by nursing all four of my children. Not to mention, its “ready to use” milk! As a mom I love the convenience of nursing because its simple and easy; no bottles and no cleaning! (Although, I do transition my children to bottle feeding around 4 months)
The Blues of Breast Feeding
While breastfeeding has many pros, it also has plenty of cons. Nursing your little one creates a special bond that could never be broken. However, it may leave a few mental scares. Hold on tight mommy, breastfeeding can feel like you’re on a roller coaster with few ups and lots of downs. Here are just a few breastfeeding blues:
I can’t stress to you enough how important the proper latch is for breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can be very painful if your little one isn’t properly latched to the nipple. Not to mention, an improper latch can cause your baby to not gain enough weight. After experiencing this with my first child it was very frustrating. I felt like I was a horrible mom because she wasn’t getting enough nutrition; only to find out in the end that it had nothing to do with me being a good or bad parent , it was due to her being tongue tied.
Cramping and Bleeding
After giving birth, the doctor recommends the start of breastfeeding right away. Earlier, I explained the hormone oxytocin or the “love hormone” regarding quickly normalizing the size of your uterus. What I did not mention was it hurts like a “MOTHA”! During the first few weeks of breastfeeding you will experience menstrual like cramps and bleeding. In the beginning stages, every time you nurse your little one, you will feel intense cramping. But remember your snap back will be quick and FIERCE! After 3-4 weeks you will likely no longer feel any pain.
During the first few days of breast feeding your breast will produce colostrum. This is the stage before your actual breastmilk comes in. Once you have your first “let down” it feels like someone is putting air in your tires, I.e. breast. Your breast quickly fills up and leak like a faulty kitchen pipe. The worst part is swollen breast glands. Once your hormones have shifted it can cause your milk ducts to become swollen and enlarged.
Nothing is worse than a yeast infection, except a nipple yeast infection! Nipple yeast infections are transferred from a baby’s mouth to a mothers breast. Yeast infections in breastfeeding flourish on milk and moisture. Babies who have thrush or yeast on their tongue can cause the mother to have yeast infections due to an overgrowth of fungus.
The Benefits and The Blues of Breastfeeding
The benefits of breastfeeding are so rewarding, but for every win there is an associated cost. You are a super mom and while breast feeding can be a challenge, you can do this!
May you find this post to be a blessing.