Instinctively, mothers are aware that breastfeeding their new born infant is best for him/her, providing Nature’s perfect food. Naturally loaded with just the right sugars, fats, proteins, antibodies and trace elements, mothers recognize that breast milk protects their babys’ tummy from discomfort and from illness that cannot be duplicated in formula. But did you know that there are significant benefits to moms, too, making breastfeeding a win/win for everyone?! The benefits continue by using a breast pump to store your milk for feeding your baby later, or to allow dad and family the sublime pleasure with the bonding experience of feeding a newborn.
Breastfeeding Reduces Your Risk of Postpartum Depression
The National Institutes of Health has concluded that women who breastfeed have a lower risk of postpartum depression. Breastfeeding -- even while using a breast pump -- triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin, which promotes nurturing and relaxation, which can help lower your blood pressure. Talk to your healthcare practitioner about safe ways to treat your depression while breastfeeding your baby.
Breastfeeding Reduces Your Risk of Illnesses
The longer you breastfeed, the more you are protected against breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding for at least a year appears to garner the most protection. Researchers believe that this protection comes from the fact that lactation suppresses the amount of estrogen produced by your body.
Breastfeeding also reduces your risk of Type 2 diabetes. Because the body uses extra calories to produce breast milk, many mothers find that they return more quickly to their pre-pregnancy weight when they breastfeed. Nursing (or pumping your breasts) helps your uterus contract after birth, resulting in less postpartum bleeding. There is also some evidence that nursing may protect you from osteoporosis. Many mothers find that breastfeeding exclusively will delay the return of their normal ovulation and menstrual cycles, which can provide a natural form of birth control (you should still talk to your healthcare provider about contraceptive options).
Share the Love
When you use a breast pump, you can take a much-needed break from the demands of your newborn and let someone else feed him/her. Dad, a babysitter, or an older sibling can benefit from the joy and bonding that occur when feeding the baby. Your baby can still receive the optimum nutrition and health benefits that come from your stored breast milk and both baby and mother will benefit from having mom well-rested and cared for!