Breastfeeding – Mother’s Benefits, Diet, Safety & Cancer Prevention

By DocOnline | Posted on August 7, 2018

With August 1st-7th being the World Breastfeeding Week, its importance regarding dawning awareness cannot be undermined. That breast milk is the best for the baby goes without saying. However, it is not just the baby that benefits, so does the mother in umpteen ways.

So, what are the benefits for the mother? To start with, breastfeeding is an important aspect that fosters emotional bonding with the child. In addition to the emotional dimension, the physical benefit helps the mother lose weight and prevents excessive blood loss postpartum. Moreover, breastfeeding helps in the restoration and reduction of the uterus postpartum, known as uterine involution. Breastfeeding also assumes a natural form of family planning. How? During the phase of breastfeeding, the production of ovum, the female sex cells, is reduced. As a result, the chances of conceiving are reduced, and the process acts as a natural contraceptive. One of the greatest advantages for the mother, derived from breastfeeding, is that their chances of contracting breast and ovarian cancers are reduced.

Every mother wants to provide the very best for her infant. Breast milk being natural and the foremost primary source of nutrients for the infant, the mother also needs to ensure a healthy intake of mineral-rich diet for herself to supplement the production of breast milk. So, mothers need to be on a healthy balanced diet. There's no single count of how many calories a new mother should consume. However, generally most breastfeeding mothers need about 500 calories more than moms who aren't. Now, that amounts to a total of 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day. A simple way to track the calorie intake is that new mothers should follow their hunger instinct to understand how much they should eat. This will facilitate the production of milk accordingly.

So, what constitutes is a healthy diet? Eating a mix of protein, carbohydrates and fat at meals keeps the breastfeeding mothers feeling full longer and this supplies the nutrients that their bodies’ need. Besides, a regular intake of fresh fruits and vegetables along with complex carbs and whole grains provide longer-lasting energy and more nutrition than processed sugars and starches. By choosing a mix from all the food groups, furnishes the required vitamins for the mother and her baby over time. So, a mix of the food groups stands the breastfeeding mother in good stead! To know more about the perfect diet, speak to a doctor online.

While it is important to know what food breastfeeding mothers should take, they should also know what foods they should avoid. Fish, herbs, caffeine, alcohol, citrus or sour foods along with eggs, spices, pickles, gastric foods, soy and chocolates should be avoided at all costs.

Breastfeeding is hard, complex and a skill. To ensure that the baby is properly breastfed, mothers need to maintain proper hygiene and safety measures for both themselves and their little ones. Getting the baby to latch on to the nipple to initiate the suckling process may not seem instant. The mother needs to try and position her baby correctly to ensure that baby can comfortable have the milk. That’s Mama’s secret latch on! Besides, it goes without saying, that hygiene standards should be very high to prevent the infant from contracting any kind of infection. Hence, there are some Dos and Don’ts of Breastfeeding that every breastfeeding mother should know!

Breastfeeding has another important impact on the health of the mother. Breastfeeding lowers the risk of her having breast or ovarian cancer. It has been observed from a research conducted by American Institute for Cancer Research that breastfeeding mothers have lower risks of pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer. Moreover, breastfeeding longer than the recommended six months can offer additional protection.

Thus, as simple as breastfeeding may look, but Mother Nature has her own ways of not only nurturing and nourishing the little ones but also providing the very best for the mother and infant alike!

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