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Top 10 Benefits of Breastfeeding - written by an Australian Midwife


breastfeeding yushop 

{pictured in Charlotte dark denim dress}

As a Midwife who specialises in postnatal care, most of my work is spent supporting women with breastfeeding. If you ask any woman who has had a baby, the hardest part would be feeding her baby. So if breastfeeding can be tricky and we have access to abundance of formula, what's the point?

There is a push for Midwives like me to promote breastfeeding in hospitals. This is because Australia can see the long term health benefits to breastfeeding. I personally know of 55 reasons, but lets have a look at the main benefits.

1. Increases bonding between you and your baby.

2. Allows baby to increase their immunity by the contents of the breast milk and by skin to skin with mum during the breastfeed.

3. Breast milk can adapt to your baby. For example, if your baby has a cold or if your baby is underweight your body will produce milk to help your individual baby. This is done by your baby's saliva going through your nipple into your body, telling your brain to adapt the type of milk you are producing.

4. Weight loss. Oh ye baby. You read that right. You burn up to 300 calories per breastfeed, getting your pre pregnant body back in no time!

5. Decreases the risk of postnatal depression. This is really common with women who have had babies. If we take a few benefits to breastfeeding, together they combine to overall reduce your risk of developing postnatal depression. However, don't get this confused with your 'day 3' blues. This happens when your hormones change as your milk comes in and your supply increases. This can last up to 2 weeks and is normal. If you are not feeling like yourself after 2 weeks please see your GP.

6. Decreases the risk of both you and your baby developing diabetes.

7. Decreases the risk of both you and your baby developing heart problems.

8.Decreases the risk of obesity.

9. Helps your uterus contract back to normal size faster. This decreases the length of time you bleed for, allowing your body to keep more of its vital nutrients. So basically to have more blood in your body means more energy and health to care for your new baby.

10. Its free! Even if you don't feed your baby directly from your breast you don't need to sterilise any of your bottles or anything that touches your breast milk. 

We wish you the best of luck. Breastfeeding is hard and this is no secret. Keep at it. There are so many support services such as your Midwife, both public and private lactation consultants and your early childhood centre.

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