Breastfeeding is living a privileged and complicit moment between you and your baby. In addition to strengthening the bond, breastfeeding has been shown to have many benefits for the baby. Health, development, sleep...breastfeeding is a real natural wealth for the newborn. Good news, breastfeeding your baby will also do you good. You can even already feel all the benefits from the first feedings.
Let's take stock of the benefits of breastfeeding on you, your health and your body.
Breastfeeding, a natural ally to regain your body
Your body will recover faster from pregnancy and childbirth since breastfeeding contracts the uterus, allowing it to regain its place and its tone more quickly.
The diaper suites will be much better. Uterine contractions also reduce the chances of bleeding, hemorrhage after childbirth. By losing less/or no blood, you therefore reduce the risk of anemia. Oxytocin, a hormone released in your body during breastfeeding, also reduces the pain you may experience postpartum (especially in the event of a caesarean section).
The return of your period is also delayed during exclusive and prolonged breastfeeding. Indeed, breastfeeding prevents ovulation and is therefore an excellent natural contraceptive appreciated by breastfeeding mothers.
In addition, know that breastfeeding your baby accelerates weight loss. By breastfeeding, you draw on your resources for the production of milk and therefore you burn calories! Of course, breastfeeding must be established over time, at least 6 months, for the loss to be significant. You should also maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
The benefits of breastfeeding on your health
Even better, breastfeeding is good for your health, it prevents gynecological cancers (breast and ovarian cancers in particular). For example, breast cancer for women who breastfed for at least 6 months is decreasing. And the further you go, the better the numbers.
The first skin-to-skin contact with your baby is going to be magical… you have been waiting for this meeting for many months and here he is with you. These feelings of happiness will trigger the happiness hormone, oxytocin, in you. And with each feed, this hormone will be triggered instinctively. The latter has “antidepressant” effects, reduces stress, provides serenity and calm. Thus, studies have proven that breastfeeding your baby reduces postpartum depression.
Sleep quality is better in breastfeeding women. This same hormone, delivered during a nighttime feed, will help you go back to sleep better at night after breastfeeding your baby.
What if we told you that the benefits of breastfeeding also act on the bones? And yes, breastfeeding would improve their resistance: you reduce your risk of suffering from osteoporosis when you are older.
Real benefits for your well-being
Breastfeeding, although it can sometimes be experienced as difficult, especially at the beginning, is a source of pleasure and personal satisfaction. You will be proud to have fed your baby at the breast and to have provided him with all the essential nutrients thanks to the quality of your milk: your self-confidence increases and his confidence in you too! Breastfeeding also strengthens the mother/child bond. It's a special moment between you and him: skin-to-skin contact, sweet words, tender looks, caresses, your smells... the benefits of breastfeeding are also affective and psychological.
Contraindications to breastfeeding your newborn are very rare. Despite popular belief, the size or shape of the breasts has no impact on the feasibility of breastfeeding. In addition, the body is formidable and is full of prowess: it will prepare itself for breastfeeding. Your breasts change over the months, the areola changes color to a darker color, and your nipples harden. Know that in addition, the newborn has an innate sucking reflex... let yourself be lulled by this magical moment and do not hesitate to ask the medical team and/or your midwife for advice.
We invite you to read the article to discover our best tips to prepare for breastfeeding .
In conclusion, breastfeeding brings many benefits for you and especially for your baby. This practice remains above all a choice, a desire that belongs to you. Rather feed her baby artificial milk than give her breast under duress, your baby may feel your anxiety.
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Sources: The breastfeeding guide - Published on May 1, 2018, Updated on August 25, 2020. Santé Publique France