Breastfeeding has been proven to be a perfect source of infant nutrition The World Health Organization (WHO) too emphasizes the value of breastfeeding for mothers. Apart from satisfying emotional needs and stabilizing the progress of maternal endometriosis, it is also shown to lower the risk of various lifestyle related concerns in women who have breastfed their babies. Few of them are discussed below:
- Weight loss - As the fat accumulated during pregnancy is used to produce milk, extended breastfeeding for more than 6 months can help mothers to lose weight, thereby reducing their risk of obesity.
- Cancers - It is shown to reduce the risk of various types of cancers - breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer. Even though there is no direct link to breast and ovarian cancers, it is said that it has something to do with the structural changes in the breast tissue caused by breastfeeding and the fact that lactation suppresses the amount of estrogen your body produces.
- Type 2 Diabetes - Women who do not breastfeed their infants, have as much as twice the risk of developing type 2 Diabetes compared to those who breastfeed their infants. Studies have also linked obesity and insulin resistance to difficulties with breast-feeding.
- Depression - Oxytocin is a hormone that helps milk flow and can calm the mother. The hormone released during breastfeeding helps to strengthen the maternal bond and bring down anxiety and depression.
- Cardiovascular disease - a study indicated that lactation lowered the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering the blood cholesterol in later life.
There are studies going on to prove the breast feeding and Osteoporosis link as well. It is said that it decreases the chances of maternal osteoporosis in later life.
"The longer a mother nurses her baby, the better for the both of them."