I consider myself pretty lucky when it comes to my pregnancy and the first few months of Aiden`s life. I didn`t have any morning sickness, I didn`t have any food cravings and I was fully pregnant in the middle of winter (how terrible would it be to suffer through a Japanese summer at 9-10 months preggo?) And although I gained 17kg (ewww), I have only 4-5kg left to lose.
Reduces the risk of breast cancer. Women who breastfeed reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 25 percent. The reduction in cancer risk comes in proportion to the cumulative lifetime duration of breastfeeding. That is, the more months or years a mother breastfeeds, the lower her risk of breast cancer. Reduces the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer. One of the reasons for the cancer-fighting effects of breastfeeding is that estrogen levels are lower during lactation. It is thought that the less estrogen available to stimulate the lining of the uterus and perhaps breast tissue also, the less the risk of these tissues becoming cancerous. Lessens osteoporosis. Non-breastfeeding women have a four times greater chance of developing osteoporosis than breastfeeding women and are more likely to suffer from hip fractures in the post-menopausal years. Benefits child spacing. Since breastfeeding delays ovulation, the longer a mother breastfeeds the more she is able to practice natural childspacing, if she desires. How long a woman remains infertile depends on her baby's nursing pattern and her own individual baby. Promotes emotional health. Not only is breastfeeding good for mother's body, it's good for her mind. Studies show that breastfeeding mothers show less postpartum anxiety and depression than do formula-feeding mothers. Promotes postpartum weight loss. Breastfeeding mothers showed significantly larger reductions in hip circumference and more fat loss by one month postpartum when compared with formula-feeding moms. Breastfeeding mothers tend to have an earlier return to their pre-pregnant weight. Costs less to breastfeed. It costs around US$1,200 a year to formula-feed your baby. Even taking into consideration the slight increase in food costs to a breastfeeding mother, the American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that a breastfeeding mother will save around US$400 during the first year of breastfeeding.
Although labor and delivery were horrible (horribly painful I mean), Aiden was born without any complications or health problems and was a really healthy birth weight.
Since giving birth, Aiden has taken to breastfeeding like a pro (so I have been and will keep exclusively breastfeeding) and continued to gain weight at a consistent rate. He is also hitting all the developmental milestones right on target.
When I hear of the trouble other mothers have with the above things, I do think I have been a VERY lucky girl. So imagine how I felt when I came across this article. Apparently, breastfeeding is not only the BEST thing for babies (everyone knew that, right?), but there are some benefits for mums too (doctors should really push these points more, because I had never heard of most of them)...