Author: Carrie Lauth
If you’re feeling frustrated with breastfeeding, remind yourself of why you wanted to nurse your baby in the first place, then run – don’t walk – to find the help you need to continue to breastfeed.
Here are some of the benefits of breastfeeding your baby.
1. Breastfeeding creates a strong emotional bond between Mom and baby. Breastfeeding can even help you be a better Mom – when you breastfeed, your body is stimulated to create the mothering hormones, prolactin and oxytocin, which can help you feel relaxed and calm. These hormones even make you feel less stressed and more rested despite sleep deprivation!
2. Breastfeeding can create a calmer baby too. The regular skin-to-skin contact that breastfeeding provides helps reduce the stress baby feels of having left the womb.
3. If your baby is experiencing discomfort or pain, the closeness of breastfeeding can help as well. Besides physical closeness, breast milk contains endorphins that help suppress any pain your baby feels.
4. Breastfed babies are healthier. According to many studies, breastfeeding your baby can help reduce food allergies, eczema, asthma, prolonged colds, childhood cancers, bronchitis, diaper rashes, and many other conditions.
5. Breastfeeding mothers can also be healthier. They have lower rates of breast, ovarian, uterine, and endometrial cancers, as well as a reduced risk of developing osteoporosis.
5. Breastfed babies are smarter. Some studies show that breastfeeding can increase an infant’s IQ, and there is evidence that breastfed children achieve higher on developmental tests.
6. Breastfeeding mothers lose weight more quickly. If you’re anxious to shed those pregnancy pounds, stick with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding helps the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size faster than if you don’t breastfeed. Breastfeeding also increases the level of the hormone prolactin which speeds up post-partum weight loss.
If you’re having breastfeeding frustrations, here are some places you can find the support you need.
1. Remember that your doctor may not have the answers you need. If she can’t answer your questions, don’t give up – just look for help somewhere else.
2. Find someone who is specially trained to answer your breastfeeding questions, like a lactation specialist or a member of the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
3. You could also speak with a La Leche League Leader. These are volunteers who have been specially trained to help mothers with breastfeeding. They are also good listeners, and non-judgmental.
4. One of your best sources of help and support can be other mothers who have successfully breastfed their children. They can tell you about their experiences, and assure you that things you are experiencing are normal. They can also give you advice and tell you what worked for them.
If you’re not having problems with breastfeeding right now, it is still a good idea to learn what resources are available and where you can connect with other breastfeeding moms. If you ever do have concerns, you will know exactly where to go for help and won’t be tempted to give up breastfeeding your baby before you’re ready.
About the Author
For more information about breastfeeding, including tips, advice, mom’s stories and resources, go to the Breastfeeding Book