5 Ways Breastfeeding Can Benefit Mom

5 Ways Breastfeeding Can Benefit Mom

Did you know that breastfeeding can be as beneficial for mom as it is for baby? The American Academy of Pediatrics, in addition to other organizations, recommend exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding while complementary foods are introduced for 1 year or longer (or as mutually desired by the mom and infant). While most people are aware of how important breastfeeding is for baby, the benefits for mom are not as commonly discussed. Here are some of the many ways that breastfeeding can support mom, too.

5 Ways Breastfeeding Can Benefit Mom

  1. Helps reduce the risk of breast cancer. Long-term lactation (at least a year) is associated with a decreased risk of both hormone receptor-positive and hormone receptor-negative breast cancer (1,2).
  2. Helps support emotional health. Recent information has shown that breastfeeding mothers show less postpartum anxiety and depression (3).  
  3. May help reduce risk of osteoporosis. Bone mineral density in women who breastfeed returns to that of the pre-pregnancy state, or even higher, which has been linked to stronger bones and lower risk of osteoporosis (4).   
  4. Helps with postpartum weight loss. Breastfeeding mothers tend to have an earlier return to their pre-pregnant weight. In order to produce breast milk, your body uses additional calories, which can help with postpartum weight loss. Breastfeeding alone won’t do the trick, making healthful food choices helps too (5)!
  5. It’s convenient! It’s always available and at the perfect temperature. Convenient it is, but we also know it can cause some serious nipple soreness. Pro-tip: Get nipple cream and thank us later.

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  1. Ma H, Bernstein L, Pike MC, Ursin G. Reproductive factors and breast cancer risk according to joint estrogen and progesterone receptor status: a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies. Breast Cancer Research 2006; 8(4):R43
  2. Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer. Breast cancer and breastfeeding: collaborative reanalysis of individual data from 47 epidemiological studies in 30 countries, including 50,302 women with breast cancer and 96,973 women without the disease. The Lancet 2002; 360(9328):187–195
  3. Postnatal depression and infant feeding: A review of the evidence. British Journal of Midwifery . Oct 2011, Vol. 19 Issue 10, p619-624
  4. Dursun, N., Akin, S., Dursun, E., et al. Influence of duration of total breastfeeding on bone mineral density in a Turkish population: Does the priority of risk factors differ from society to society?  Osteoporosis International, 2006; 17, 651-655.
  5. López-Olmedo, Nancy, et al. "The Associations of Maternal Weight Change with Breastfeeding, Diet and Physical Activity During the Postpartum Period."Maternal and child health journal 20.2 (2016): 270-280.

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.