6 Ways Breastfeeding Gives Moms a Rockin' Body

Cynthia Dermody | Apr 27, 2012 Baby

baby breastfeedingI never intended to breastfeed, did not think it was for me at all. But once I tried it, and loved it, and found that my babies loved it and benefited from it, it was only natural I tried to convince friends and relatives to do the same -- or to at least give it a shot! What many women and newbies don't realize is that for all the nutritional and health benefits there are for baby, there are just as many for mom. Here are 6 amazing benefits to breastfeeding that I love to tell my friends about. Hey, would you mind sharing this for me?

 

Image via iStock

  • A Strong Heart

    1

    Image via Chris. P/Flickr

    Not just the awesome bond you'll form with your baby, but a vigorous cardiovascular system, lowering your risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.

    The greatest overall health benefits come after a year of breastfeeding: The odds of having high blood pressure drops by 12 percent; the odds of diabetes decreases by 20 percent; the rates of abnormal cholesterol levels go down by 19 percent; and the overall risk of cardiovascular disease falls by 9 percent, compared to women who never breastfeed.

  • Your Sexy Body Back -- Faster!

    2

    Image via camaguay/CafeMom

     

    By burning about 500 calories a day producing milk, you'll get back to your pre-pregnancy weight faster. Your uterus also shrinks more quickly in response to breastfeeding, which means you could be squeezing into those favorite skinny jeans in a few weeks!

  • Healthier Breasts

    3

    Image via ...love Maegan/Flickr

    It's so great that breastfeeding is associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer among women who are at particularly high risk: those who have a history of breast cancer in their family.

    Studies have shown that among women with an immediate relative (a mother or a sister) who had breast cancer, those who breastfed had a 59 percent lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer.

  • A Happier You!

    4

    Image via Enokson/Flickr

    And that's because your breastfed infant could have fewer behavioral problems as he grows! More than 100,000 parents found that those who breastfed their babies were less likely to report a psychiatric illness or behavioral problem in their child in the first five years of life.

    And breastfed children were 37 percent less likely to have a medically diagnosed behavioral or conduct problem than those who had been formula-fed. It could be due to better nutrition -- the nutritional composition of breast milk might affect the way your baby's brain develops.

  • You'll Be Rich (Sort Of)

    5

    Image via TaxBrackets.org/Flickr

    Breastfeeding is generally cheaper than formula, though you may have to factor in other expenses like buying or renting a breast pump, nursing bras, breast pads, nipple cream, etc. One comparison figuring in all those extras found that nursing is only about $50 cheaper over eight months. But, hey, that's something, isn't it?

  • You'll Age More Gracefully

    6

    Image via jessie_0/CafeMom

    Breastfeeding protects against osteoporosis, according to kellymom.com. During lactation, a mother may lose bone mineral. A nursing mom's bone density may be 1 to 2 percent lower during the whole time she's nursing. But this is gained back, and the bone mineral density may actually increase when the baby is weaned.

breastfeeding baby first year baby development slideshow

More Slideshows