Breast feeding is not only good for babies, but it’s also good for moms. Unfortunately, more than 70% of women in the US don’t breastfeed for the first six months or longer. If you’re one of them, here are 6 reasons why you should exclusively breastfeed your baby.
1. It reduces your risk for breast cancer.
According to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, breastfeeding doesn’t only prevent breast cancer, but it also helps lower the recurrence and death rates (30 percent and 28 percent, respectively). There’s a condition, though. A woman diagnosed with breast cancer should have previously breastfed to be able to benefit from its cancer protective effects.
The rule of thumb is the longer you’ve breastfed, the better protected you are from this disease. Researchers found out that women who breastfed for a year or more have a lower breast cancer risk compared to women who breastfed less than a year or didn’t breastfed at all.
2. It protects you from brittle bones.
When you’re pregnant, your baby demands a higher supply of calcium for its developing bones. If your diet is not rich in this mineral, your baby will get it from your bones. The good thing is most mothers who breastfeed don’t experience this problem because their bodies absorb calcium better. If they do, it’s easy to correct.
3. Your reproductive organs heal faster and better after delivery.
Whenever you breastfeed, a hormone called oxytocin is released by your body. Oxytocin is responsible for womb (uterus) contraction, moving milk to your breasts, and stopping post-delivery bleeding.
4. It is a natural birth control pill.
Breastfeeding protects you from unwanted pregnancy by up to 98 percent. But to be truly effective, you have to exclusively breastfeed, around 6 times in 24 hours. If you mix feed, even if you still don’t have your monthly period, you’ll lose this benefit.
5. It will help you burn off calories.
Now you know how to shed off that post-pregnancy weight. In just one day, you can expect to burn at least 300 to 500 calories.
The secret is in the breast milk. It’s composed of different vitamins and immune-boosters that are important for your baby’s growth and development. Since this is a special process, it requires your body to work even harder to keep up with the demand.
6. It can protect you from certain diseases.
Some of these diseases are type II diabetes, high blood pressure, joint inflammation, high cholesterol levels, and heart problems. It also provides protection against allergies.
These six are just some of the great reasons for breast feeding. To get the most out of it, make sure to exclusively breastfeed and avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, like smoking. This is still a personal choice, but if it’s possible, breastfeed your baby.
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