How breastfeeding benefits mums
Benefits for mums
There are a number of health benefits for mums who breastfeed:
- Breastfeeding reduces post-delivery bleeding and the risk of anaemia.
- Breastfeeding mothers have a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Breastfeeding mothers have a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer. They are also four times less likely to develop osteoporosis.
- Breastfeeding lowers the risk of developing postpartum anxiety and depression.
- Breastfeeding delays the return of the menstrual cycle. But be aware that breastfeeding cannot be used as a method of birth control.
- Feeding your baby breast milk can help you burn over 500 calories per day and will help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight more quickly. You would need to run 8km or walk 11km every day to burn the equivalent amount of calories.
Benefits for family and society
In addition, breastfeeding and breast milk feeding have several benefits beyond infant and maternal health:
- Breast milk is readily available and lets mothers avoid the high cost of formula.
- Breastfeeding lowers healthcare costs for you and for society as a whole.
- Breastfeeding is energy efficient. There is no need to boil water or wash or sterilise bottles, which means it causes less waste and is good for the environment.
There are many ways mums, babies and society as a whole benefit from breastfeeding.