23 December 2008

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Sixteen Benefits of Brestfeeding to Mothers

 Sixteen Benefits of Brestfeeding to Mothers 
Why is Breastfeeding so Important to Mothers?
1-Breastfeeding helps the uterus to shrink to its pre-pregnancy state and reduces the amount of blood lost after delivery. 
2-Breastfeeding mothers return to their prepregnant weight more rapidly than bottle-feeding mothers. 
3-Breastfeeding mothers usually resume their menstrual cycles 20 to 30 weeks later than bottle-feeding women. 
4-Breastfeeding can be an important factor in child spacing among women who do not use contraceptives. 
5-Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. 
6-Women who breastfeed their infants are less likely to develop multiple sclerosis. 
7-Breastfeeding reduces the risk of osteoporosis. 
8-During lactation, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels decline while the beneficial HDL level remains high. Carbohydrate metabolism is also improved. 
Breastfeeding promotes maternal confidence. 
9-The amount of iron a mother's body uses in milk production is much less than the amount she would lose from menstrual bleeding. The net effect is a decreased risk of iron-deficiency anemia in the breastfeeding mother as compared with her formula-feeding counterpart. The longer the mother nurses and keeps her periods at bay, the stronger this effect (Institute of Medicine
10-A number of studies have shown other potential health advantages that mothers can enjoy through breastfeeding. These include optimal metabolic profiles, reduced risk of various cancers, and psychological benefits.
11-Production of milk is an active metabolic process, requiring the use of 200 to 500 calories per day, on average. To use up this many calories, a bottlefeeding mother would have to swim at least 30 laps in a pool or bicycle uphill for an hour daily. Clearly, breastfeeding mothers have an edge on losing weight gained during pregnancy. Studies have confirmed that nonbreastfeeding mothers lose less weight and don't keep it off as well as breastfeeding mothers (Brewer 1989).
The above finding is particularly important for mothers who have had diabetes during their pregnancies. After birth, mothers with a history of gestational diabetes who breastfeed have lower blood sugars than nonbreastfeeding mothers (Kjos 1993). For these women who are already at increased risk of developing diabetes, the optimal weight loss from breastfeeding may translate into a decreased risk of diabetes in later life.
12-current studies show that after weaning their children, breastfeeding mothers' bone density returns to prepregnancy or even higher levels (Sowers 1995). In the longterm, lactation may actually result in stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis. In fact, recent studies have confirmed that women who did not breastfeed have a higher risk of hip fractures after menopause (Cummings 1993).
13-There is much more to breastfeeding than the provision of optimal nutrition and protection from disease through mother's milk. Breastfeeding provides a unique interaction between mother and child, an automatic, skin-to-skin closeness and nurturing that bottle-feeding mothers have to work to replicate. The child's suckling at the breast produces a special hormonal milieu for the mother. Prolactin, the milk-making hormone, appears to produce a special calmness in mothers. Breastfeeding mothers have been shown to have a less intense response to adrenaline (Altemus 1995).
14-Bonds Mother and Child. Breastfeeding provides physiological and psychological benefits for both mother and child. It creates emotional bonds, and has been known to reduce rates of infant abandonment.
15-Helps Birth Spacing. In developing countries, exclusive breastfeeding reduces total potential fertility as much as all other modern contraceptive methods combined.

16-Saves Money. Breastfeeding is among the most cost-effective of child survival interventions. Households save money; and institutions economize by reducing the need for bottles and formulas. By shortening mothers' hospital stay, nations save foreign exchange.