Why Breastfeed? How it benefits Moms

I am so excited to write this one! I think that when many people try to weigh the pros and cons of breast vs. formula for their baby, they forget that the mother also benefits greatly from breastfeeding! Here a few rewards that mom can expect to reap from all those 4 A.M. feedings:

--Easier weight loss. According to kellymom, you will burn 200-500 calories per day, just by sitting there and feeding your baby! Now that's my kind of a workout! Personally, I now weigh ten pounds less than I did before I got pregnant. Part of that is probably due to Sugarless 2011, but I'm sure that breastfeeding is the big factor... I figure about four more kids, and I will be ready for the runway!

Oh, God, NO!!! I take it back! I take it back!!!
--Lowered risk of breast and reproductive cancers. Dr Sears says so. (I trust his medical advice, not so much his advice concerning noodles.) And the benefits are directly proportionate to how early, how long, and how many you breastfeed. As someone with a family history of breast cancer on one side and ovarian cancer on the other side, you better believe I'm going to be nursing my kids for as long as I can get them to! ;-)

--Breastfeeding *usually* works as effective birth control. I say usually, because of course, there are the exceptions. But as long as you haven't had a period, and you are exclusively breastfeeding, you should be good to go for the first six months. Many women go even longer, up to a couple years (!) and actually have to start weaning so they can conceive again!

--Potentially more sleep! If you decide to co-sleep, and if you master the art of nursing while lying down, you are setting yourself up for a lot more sleep than the parenting norm. I haven't gotten out of bed to feed Oscar since he was 2 months old. He still wakes up a few times every night to eat, but all it takes me is latching him on and going right back to sleep.

I smell a practical joke in the works.

So now we have discussed that breastfeeding has a multitude of benefits for both baby and mom. Still not convinced? Well, guess what, the benefits of breastfeeding extend way past mother and child! Stay tuned!

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