Breastfeeding Benefits for Mother's Health: What is the Psychological Impact?
- Breastfeeding and maternal mental health are closely interlinked
- Breastfeeding helps build an emotional bond between mom and baby
- One of breastfeeding benefits for mother’s health is reduced stress
Breastfeeding is a beautiful process that creates an intimate relationship between the mother and baby. There are many benefits of breastfeeding for both the mother and baby. One of the most important advantages is that the baby develops a strong immune system and is prone to minimal gastrointestinal ailments. This results in reduced hospital visits.
The main reason for all these benefits is that breastmilk is abundant in nutritional components, enzymes, antibodies, and antioxidants derived from the mother. While it is beneficial for the baby, it is the same for the mother.
Some of the breastfeeding benefits for a mother’s health can be summed up as follows,
- Faster loss of body weight post-delivery
- Minimal chances for postpartum depression
- Faster contraction of uterus to its normal size
- Reduced chances of urinary infections
- Minimal postpartum bleeding
Apart from these, there are many psychological effects of breastfeeding for a mother. Read on to learn how breastfeeding and mother’s mental health are connected.
Reduces stress levels and lifts mood
This is one of the major factors linking breastfeeding and mental health. Inflammation happens when your body is stressed after delivery. Inflammation is how your body responds to stress, and if left unnoticed, may lead to depression. Breastfeeding helps in lowering your inflammation thereby reducing the risk of heart diseases and diabetes. Low stress levels help in creating a positive mood by reducing anxiety in new mothers. However, in women experiencing depression, breastfeeding may prove to be an ideal alternative to combat depression. However, do talk to your physician in such cases, as you may be advised not to use anti-depressants. These can interfere with your milk supply. [1,2,3]
Improves hormone levels in the body
The body produces two hormones known as prolactin and oxytocin when you breastfeed. Oxytocin creates a soothing effect and helps develop an emotional bond with your baby. As the baby suckles, Oxytocin releases creating positive vibes for the mother. This nurturing feeling helps you to forget everything else and focus solely on your baby. You feel a strong sense of closeness and attachment with your child because of breastfeeding. [1,3,4]Additional read: 5 Hormone Tests for Females to Know and Understand
Promotes better sleep
Sleep is essential for new moms. Amongst all breastfeeding benefits for mother’s health, promoting healthy sleep in moms is the most crucial one. The presence of both oxytocin and prolactin hormones helps promote healthy sleeping patterns in both moms and babies. [1,5]
Increases the physical and emotional bond between mother and baby
Taking into account different psychological benefits of breastfeeding for mother<span data-contrast="auto">s, the bond created between you and your baby is incomparable. While you breastfeed, you hold your baby close to the bosom, which helps increase the skin-to-skin contact. As per science, the way you stroke and hold your baby during the process enhances the affinity between you and the baby. Such affectionate bonding helps in minimizing behavioral and social problems in kids as they grow up. Another advantage is that you tend to understand your baby’s cues well, which in turn helps in shaping your baby’s early behavioral patterns. 
Helps in boosting overall serenity and health
When mothers breastfeed their babies, it helps them sleep peacefully because of the presence of prolactin hormone present in breast milk. As a result, the emotional and physical wellness of the baby gets better. In such instances, your baby feels happy and cries less thereby minimizing the chances of any illness. 
There are many benefits of breastfeeding and it avoids diseases like breast cancer. But one of the important ones is how it affects the mother’s mental health. Breastfeeding and maternal mental health are interlinked and doing so give the mother a feeling of satisfaction that her baby is healthy and happy. To ensure you do not face any hurdles during breastfeeding, book an appointment with a specialist on Bajaj Finserv Health. This way you can receive the necessary guidance to start your breastfeeding journey hassle-free.
Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.
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