There are so many wonderful benefits to breastfeeding; it still amazes me when I stop and think about the things our bodies are capable of.
Aside from the laundry list of benefits for our baby’s health and well-being, there are some downright AWESOME (underrated) benefits of breastfeeding!
To me, these are some of my favorite little bonuses that tend to get overlooked.
Breastfeeding can be difficult, but we push through the challenges to provide our babies with our coveted liquid gold.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite UNDERRATED benefits of breastfeeding:
The SURGE of OXYTOCIN
Breastfeeding triggers a release of Oxytocin into our system, which if you don’t know already, is the feel good hormone.
It’s a powerful antidepressant and one of the many ways a mother falls so deeply in love with her baby.
Once baby latches and starts suckling, the nerve cells in your breast send a signal to your brain to release Oxytocin.
This triggers your milk to let down and start flowing.
Oxytocin is also responsible for relaxation, lower blood pressure, feelings of comfort and happiness, and reducing stress and anxiety.
Once I start breastfeeding, I almost immediately feel a huge SURGE of happiness running through my body.
Sometimes I literally giggle uncontrollably, have a huge smile on my face, and a warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach as if I was about to burst with joy.
It seems weird, but it actually happens. I’m sure everyone responds differently to the Oxytocin surge, but for me it was INTENSE in all the best ways.
If there is one thing us mamas need after giving birth, it’s a little assistance getting rid of that pesky baby weight!
It can take time to heal and have the energy and mental capacity to start exercising again.
Breastfeeding can help some moms shed those calories early on! Breastfeeding can burn about 500 calories a day.
Assuming you’re making healthy food choices, this can be a huge help to shed some of those pesky pounds before you get back in the gym!
CONNECTION WITH YOUR BABY
Expanding on the release of Oxytocin, breastfeeding really does help you connect with your baby.
The time you spend together feeding is so special and unique.
No one else can provide this level of comfort and satisfaction to your baby, and it results in a lasting bond that is indescribable.
Not only does breastfeeding nourish your baby, but it can also calm them down, build trust, and form a connection unlike any other.
I cherish the moments of my little one looking up at me while feeding.
I swear there are times that I imagine actual hearts floating out of their eyes into mine. Watching them fall into deep relaxation and look so happy and content puts me on cloud nine.
Babies are expensive!
I want to save money anywhere I can.
Of course, if my baby needed formula (or anything for that matter) I would never hesitate to spend whatever I needed to ensure they were healthy and happy.
However, if able to breastfeed, it sure helps save money on formula!
Formula is EXPENSIVE!
Especially in the early stages when it is recommended to use premixed formula and not powder. Also, early on they are feeding so often the cost really adds up quickly.
Breastfeeding for the win!
It wasn’t until my baby was hungry IMMEDIATELY after I finished a really strong cup of coffee, forcing me to make a bottle, that I realized breastfeeding was SO much more simple!
When you have a screaming hungry baby, every minute seems like an eternity.
So when I had to make a bottle, throw it in the bottle warmer and wait close to 5 MINUTES for it to be ready, it seemed like actual torture. Thank goodness the milk was already defrosted!
My husband actually had the guts to say, “See what I have to go through every time I feed him?! I don’t get to just whip out my boob at a moments notice!”
(I really had to hold back unleashing my arsenal of comebacks, but eh, I’ll save that for another time.)
It really is a lot more simple to be able to feed at the drop of a hat though.
Breastfeeding is such a special opportunity to provide your baby with the best nutrition, a boost to their immune system, an unparalleled bond, and so much more.
It comes with its challenges though, so I’m happy to take a step back and recognize some of the underrated benefits of breastfeeding along with everything else.
Sometimes we need to focus more on the fun and lighthearted aspects of motherhood rather than the cold hard facts and controversial talking points.