5 Amazing Facts About Breastfeeding That You Didn’t Know
Breastfeeding has so many wonderful benefits for both mother and baby. Read on to discover 5 amazing facts about breastfeeding that you didn’t know!
Breastfeeding makes you feel calm
Among the many benefits of breastfeeding is the calming and stress reducing effect it has on the mother. Prolactin, the milk-making hormone, has been shown to reduce stress. Breastfeeding mothers have been shown to have a less intense response to adrenaline (Altemus 1995).
Breastfeeding can reduce your risk of osteoporosis
Research has shown that breastfeeding mothers’ bone density returns to prepregnancy or even higher levels (Sowers 1995). In the longterm, lactation may actually result in stronger bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. In fact, recent studies have confirmed that women who did not breastfeed have a higher risk of hip fractures after menopause (Cummings 1993).
Breastfeeding can stop you from getting pregnant
Breastfeeding is actually a great contraceptive. Prolactin (remember, the milk hormone responsible for relaxation?), also suppresses the release of the hormones that cause eggs to mature and become fertile. This is called Lactational amenorrhea and has a 98-99% prevention of pregnancy in the first 6 months.
Breastfeeding can help prevent iron-deficiency
If you are experiencing lactational amenorrhea (loss of periods) while breastfeeding, you are actually using a lot less iron than you would be losing if you still had your periods. This helps to decrease the risk of iron-deficiency anemia in the breastfeeding mother compared with her formula feeding counterparts. The longer the mother nurses and keeps her periods at bay, the stronger this effect (Institute of Medicine 1991).
Breastfeeding can help prevent post-partum hemorrhage
Immediately after birth, the repeated suckling of the baby releases oxytocin. Oxytocin, amongst other things, produces contractions in the uterus. The resulting contractions prevent postpartum hemorrhage and promote uterine involution (the return to a nonpregnant state).
Did you already know any of these facts about breastfeeding? Do you know any other surprising benefits of breastfeeding? Let me know in the comments!
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