I think that there are a lot of fabulous benefits of breastfeeding your baby- for baby AND for mom too! Some of the reasons that I decided to breastfeed was that it often means a healthier baby (the little gets the antibodies that my body creates and I think that rocks), it can help reduce his risks of chronic diseases (like Diabetes, Celiac and Crohns), it reduces his risk of SIDS by about 50% and it decreases his risk of childhood obesity too. Boom! All amazing things (you can read more about the benefits HERE and HERE).
I am not going to say that breastfeeding was easy though, especially at first. Little boyfriend was just not interesting in the boob at all for 2 days after he was born. We actually ended up staying at the hospital a little longer than normal (for Danish standards) because they wanted to make sure that he could latch. When he finally figured out how to latch- IT WAS PAINFUL. Holy, no one ever told me how bad that it would hurt! Every time he was about to nurse I would basically start sweating just anticipating the pain. Sky and I like to joke that he was a little barracuda baby too, cause he would like attack the nipple every time! Once we got past the first month though, it ain’t no thing anymore (anyone seen the movie “Four Christmases” with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn… the sister in law kills me in that movie when she’s talking about nursing and her nipples haha!)
Now that we have the hang of it, I am so happy that we stuck with it, not only for baby’s benefit but also for me too! Did you know that nursing can burn up to 500 calories a day?! That’s an extra workout that you don’t even have to do, your body just does it. Like a boss. A bad-a lady boss. According to Fit Pregnancy, each ounce of breast milk is 20 calories and if you feed your baby about 20 oz, your baby is eating about 400 calories per day. Your body has to use at least that many calories to create that much (law of conservation of energy- the energy has to stay constant). In addition to killing it in the calorie dept, which I can help attribute my weight loss to already, it aids in other things too. When you breastfeed your body releases a hormone called oxytoxin, which helps your uterus contract back down to its normal size (about the size of an orange compared to a watermelon at the time of birth! See HERE for more info)
And additional benefits- according to the CDC breastfeeding can reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancers and might even reduce the risk of postpartum depression!
If you need help with breastfeeding, I would recommend visiting and researching a few different places:
- Mommy to be Prep
- La Leche League
- Youtube also has some great videos on how to properly latch your baby (these helped me a ton!)
* Disclaimer: Breastfeeding is a personal choice and not everyone wants to or can breastfeed and that is TOTALLY fine. I know this can be a sensitive topic, and this post is not meant to shame anyone who bottle feeds their children. Bottle-feeding has it’s perks as well, I just personally prefer to breastfeed.