New mothers Alert: Breastfeeding is healthy and it’s only your decision

For a new mother, the experience of having and feeding her newborn is surreal. These moments can also be beneficial for her health but it’s also her own decision if she wants to breastfeed or not.

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There are many health benefits associated with breastfeeding but it should only be your decision.

Deciding whether or not to breastfeed the newborn is a personal decision. Some mothers want to do it willingly, some try and then decide against it and some are not willing from the beginning. No matter how beautiful it seems, it’s true that breastfeeding causes some discomfort for mothers, especially at the beginning. Paediatricians are also of opinion that only breastmilk is important for the baby for the first six months. And breastfeeding is essential until one year of age. However, weigh the benefits and decide if it’s the decision you want to make.

Health Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Mothers

A study reveals that breastfeeding women are 30 per cent and 13 per cent lesser risk of developing diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure, respectively. This happens because mothers who breastfeed burn more calories thus bringing their metabolism on track which may go off during pregnancy. Therefore, there’s always a risk for new mothers to develop health issues like high cholesterol, diabetes, inability to process excess fats and sugar in the blood. Thus, breastfeeding can help deal with these issues. Breastfeeding also boosts the production of hormones that control blood insulin levels that helps lowering the blood sugar levels. This is another reason why the cases of diabetes are lesser in women who breastfeed for at least six months or more.

Another reason that experts suggest breastfeeding for is the weight loss that accompanies it. Technically, milk production takes a lot of energy in the human body. For new mothers, this energy used aids weight loss post-delivery. This helps in preventing women from gaining weight; excess weight is one of the major reasons for cardiovascular diseases and major metabolic issues.

Apart from the weight and metabolism, breastfeeding also helps in getting the body back to its normal state. It helps in the production of oxytocin hormone. This hormone help uterus to get back to its pre-pregnancy size and may also reduce post-delivery bleeding. It also helps in to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and osteoporosis. Other than these, there have been studies that prove that women who breastfeed are less likely to have depression, obesity and risk of developing cancers.

Health Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Babies

With the health benefits for mothers, it’s a well-known fact that the breastmilk is the healthiest food for babies. The nutrients that the baby gets from breastmilk are not there in formula milk. Newborn babies have a weaker immune system which is strengthened slowly. Thus, during first few months, babies are susceptible to ear infections, allergies, respiratory infections and obesity. Breastmilk can help protect infants from these health issues.

Issues With Breastfeeding: Why They’re Normal

Some women get paranoid when it comes to breastfeeding. It’s natural to happen. Some are not biologically fit for it and some just don’t approve of the idea. However, in India, women have often been misguided regarding breastfeeding. They are often scared for the baby’s and their own health in case they choose not to breastfeed. Though it’s recommended, there are many things you can do for your health in case you do not breastfeed.

There have been a long-established association between difficulty in breastfeeding and postpartum depression. In India, women who decide not to breastfeed are often tagged as ‘lazy’ or ‘insensitive.’ In most of the cases, women feel that external pressure, like that of family, in-law(s), society and friends, in deciding whether or not to breastfeed the baby sabotaged their mental peace and caused depression and stress. Experts believe that the last thing for a new mother to feel is stress and tension. The quality of the breast milk is largely affected when the mother is depressed or not at peace.

What Can You Do?

The idea here is while you know that breastfeed is probably the best for your child, it can be emotionally and physically draining for you. It’s completely fine to accept that you are unable to breastfeed your child. You might have traumatic experiences in life that prevents your body to make milk. Or you are taking certain medication that may not be safe during breastfeeding. No matter what the reason is, be aware that it’s fine if you can’t breast feed.

While paediatricians will suggest you to safe options to feed your baby, there are plenty of things you can do in order to have similar heath benefits as with breastfeeding. In such case, make your lifestyle your priority. Once you recover from delivery stress, get back on your toes. Diet and exercise can help bring down your weight and the sugar levels. Take proper rest, sleep when your child is sleeping for organising the house, dealing with people, is secondary.

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