Holistically Handling the 12 Side Effects of Breastfeeding

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Black mom breastfeed

Although the Pandemic appears to be less stressing, the mothers of 2021 and 2022 are still anxious to know how breastfeeding impacts maternal and infant immune health. With the everhere are dozens of articles and studies to back up breastmilk superiority to artificial forms of infant feeding.

But what about the health benefits for mom? Better yet what about the disadvantages that can negatively effect moms self esteem and mental health? There are just about dozen ways breastfeeding impact mom and it has the good, the bad, and the “what the heck?”

Impacting Maternal Health

May Decrease risk metabolic diseases

Determind by multiple lifestyle factors, metabolism disorders are common amongst populations of mothers. Studies has shown the biological function of breastfeeding and how the practice has the ability to decrease and neutralize chronic illnesses in mothers.

Metabolism stimulation is induced through the practice of breastfeeding by improving insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism in mothers with Type I & II diabetes while ultimately lowering the risk of stroke.

Affecting Weight Loss & Gain

Weight fluctuations is an experience unique to post partum mothers based on age, diet, ethnicity, physical activity, pre-existing conditions, and other lifestyle factors. Breastfeeding can be added on top of that. Some mother’s return to their pre pregnancy weight, gain weight, or lose weight.

The benefits tend to outweigh the negative aspects in healthy women as it can positively impact a mother’s self image and confidence.

Weight loss

  • Burns calories; between 500-700.
  • Metabolize food faster,
  • Fat cells stored in the body from pregnancy

Weight gain

  • Prolactin hormone stimulate hunger
  • Food & snack choices
  • Cortisol levels
  • Slow metabolism

Shrinks The Uterus

Breastfeeding stimulates the release of oxytocin from your brain. Oxytocin allows your baby to get breast milk from your breasts, and it causes your uterus to shrink down after the birth of your baby.

  • Increases oxytocin
  • Causes muscles to retract
  • Abdominal cramps

Reduce Cancers

The risk of breast and ovarian cancers are significantly reduced by 40% depending on the duration of breastfeeding and maternal age. The younger the mother is, the lower the risk.

The aggressiveness of cancers are insanely high in women of color. Breastfeeding is a preventative approach in decreasing the risks considering the treatments that are invasive to women bodies.

Absorb Nutrients Easily

One of the benefits of breastfeeding is the ability to absorb nutrients effectively. Lactating mothers has the ability to absorb calcium more easier.

Induce Sleep

Prolactin is a sleep hormone that is relessed onto the mothers bloodstream while breastfeeding to promote sleep between the baby and mom. Another benefit is the soothing qualities prolactin has which allows the mother to remain at ease.

Affects Hunger & Thirst

The need to ravish food is quite normal! Most moms are advised to eat an extra 500 calories per day. However through intentional plating, mothers need much more to self sustain and satisfy hunger. Due to recent studies, breastfeeding mothers need around an additional 650 to 850 kcals per day on top of standard nutrition.

Hormone Regulation

Many mothers may not know, but studies shows breastfeeding may regulate hormones in moms thus reducing endometriosis, fibroids, and other painful menstrual diseases.

Nipple Sensitivity

Nipple sensitivity is awfully increased during exclusively breastfeeding journeys. Nipple soreness is a common side effect in the beginning however overtime the discomfort comes and goes that is managaeable.

Trigger Intense Emotions

Adjusting to breastfeeding takes an emotional toll in positive and negative ways in mothers. While the act of breastfeeding causes hormones improve anxiety to stress.

Vaginal Dryness

Although it is not a permanent condition, due to hormone changes can cause vaginal itchiness, dryness, and discomfort.

About the author 

Sol Divyne

Sol Divyne is a multi-cultural mother who practices intuitive, traditional, and ancestral living in modern day life. Using the knowledge of her Geechee grandma and aunt, she focuses on raising her daughter with old and modern traditions. She figured with her discoveries and passions she could help other families with and without her community on spreading awareness of low tox and cultural living by documenting her findings on GeecheeGreenHouse

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