6 Totally Selfish Reasons to Breastfeed

breastfeeding momWe hear a lot about all the benefits of breastfeeding for babies: how a mother's milk adapts to her baby's changing needs; how it's rich in nutrients; how it contains antibodies that protect infants from everything from asthma to diabetes to obesity to SIDS; how it promotes bonding -- and, heck, may even make kids smarter!

So, yeah, there are a ton of selfless reasons to breastfeed. But you know what? There are also a lot of totally selfish reasons to breastfeed, too.

For instance? Well, let's see ...

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1. Breastfeeding makes you thinner: When your body is producing breast milk, it burns through calories faster -- like around 500 to 600 calories a day. That means you can unapologetically snack up a storm (OK, OK, within reason) and still shed those pounds you packed on during your pregnancy.

2. Breastfeeding is a total cost-saver: Seriously, those cans and bottles of formula really add up after a while. (Some estimates put the cost of formula-feeding at around $1,500 a year.) If you breastfed instead and pocketed the cash you'd save on formula, you could buy yourself a pretty nice piece of jewelry (or two -- or a whole new collection of fab shoes) when it was all over.

3. Breastfeeding doesn't have to cost you sleep: When I was breastfeeding my kids, I sometimes dozed off while nursing them in bed. Those were some of the best zzzz's I've gotten in my life.

4. Breastfeeding's good if you're forgetful: For those of us who can never remember to pack the wipes and the diapers in our diaper bags, breastfeeding means you're off the hook if you forget the formula, too. Your milk supply is always right where you are.

5. Breastfeeding is great for your health, too:
Studies have linked breastfeeding to a lower risk for Type 2 diabetes, postpartum depression, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer in mothers. That's a serious bonus.

6. Breastfeeding feels good: That skin-to-skin contact with your baby boosts your level of the hormone oxytocin, which gives you that amazing, blessed-out feeling that goes a long way toward offsetting those sore nipples.

Did you choose to breastfeed for selfish reasons?

 

Image via viralbus/Flickr

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