9 Perks of Breastfeeding
Okay so the title of this post is sort of an oxymoron seeing that your boobs really won't have as much "perk" in them after pregnancy and breastfeeding BUT there are many major benefits to breastfeeding your baby! And while it may seem like an impossible journey at some points, it is well worth it to give your baby your breastmilk. Here is why:
- Breastfeeding helps protect your little one against viruses, bacteria, and other diseases. The first milk that you produce is called colostrum, and it is full of immune boosting factors and it helps baby's digestive system. When I was in the hospital my nurses referred to it as baby's first round of natural vaccinations (so that is super important!). Then, once your milk comes in and takes over, it will continue to develop your baby's immune system.
- Breastfed babies are less likely to become overweight. When babies are breastfeeding they suckle but sometimes they are just sucking for comfort and not for food. Thus, they are able to regulate their calorie intake and not over eat.
- Breastmilk can seriously help your baby's skin irritations. If you are lucky, your baby will have super soft, blemish free skin for their entire infancy, but if you are like most parents, you will run into baby acne, eczema, cradle cap, and many other skin irritations that are common for babies to get. Breastmilk is a natural remedy for all of these things. My daughter had baby acne, cradle cap, dry skin, and diaper rashes and we give her breastmilk baths every other night. The baby acne went away within a few days, the cradle cap is slowly disappearing, and her diaper rash cleared almost instantly! Breastmilk is a great way to get back to that soft, smooth baby skin.
- Breastfeeding helps prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Breastfed babies are more easily aroused from sleep than formula fed babies. SIDS typically occurs while infants are asleep so babies that can naturally wake themselves up stand a better chance against SIDS.
- Breastfeeding has been link to children having higher IQs. How is this possible? Well, there are special nutrients in breastmilk that are specifically linked to your baby's brain development. By drinking your breastmilk, your little one is increasing their chances of having a higher IQ, thus, receiving further benefits down the road. Examples include having more schooling and a higher income later in life.
- Breastfeeding creates a special and intense bond between baby and mother. Breastfeeding allows for cuddling, nurturing, soothing, and skin-to-skin contact. There is truly nothing sweeter than having your little one suckling away and then nuzzle into your chest and fall asleep because she feels so secure and safe.
- Breastfeeding helps mommas reduce their risk of getting breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Basically, breastfeeding reduces your overall exposure to different hormones (estrogen) that promote breast cancer cell growth and it can reduce your chances of ovarian cancer by preventing ovulation.
- Breastfeeding helps your uterus contract back to its pre-pregnancy size faster. After you give birth, you will feel these period-like cramps happening. That is your uterus contracting and shrinking back to its normal size. This helps you have a faster recovery from delivering and it also helps reduce blood loss. Yay to wearing less maxi pads!
- Breastfeeding helps you lose weight. Yep, that's right. Breastfeeding can burn approximately 500 calories a day! So if you don't feel as confident with your post baby bod, and you can't go to the gym because you need to heal, then breastfeed! It will start your baby weight loss journey and help you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight!