You have probably heard that breastfeeding provides a wide range of amazing health benefits for babies, but you may not realize that the act of breastfeeding can also substantially improve a mothers well being. Read on to discover the five most fascinating and surprising ways in which choosing to breastfeed can boost your health and extend your life.

1) It makes you less likely to develop a range of different cancers:

A large number of independent research projects have shown that women who breastfeed are reducing their chances of suffering from cancer. For example, those women who breastfeed for more than three months slightly reduce their risk of developing endometrial, ovarian cancers, and they are more than 10% less likely to develop breast cancer at some point in their lifetimes.

2) It makes you less likely to develop postnatal depression:

If you choose to breastfeed your baby, you may be protecting your mental health. For example, a study in 2003 by Australian scientists showed that mothers who did not breastfeed (or who breastfed for less than three months) were more likely to develop postnatal depression.

3) It helps to preserve your cardiovascular health:

Data from the ongoing Women’s Health Study has shown that breastfeeding provides several benefits for your heart. You are 11% less likely to suffer from high blood pressure, 10% less likely to be at risk of developing heart disease, and 19% less likely to have high levels of fat in your blood.

4) It makes you less likely to develop arthritis:

A number of lengthy studies on women’s health have revealed that if you breastfeed for a cumulative period of longer than a year over the course of your life, then you are approximately 20% less likely to develop some form of rheumatoid arthritis. If you breastfeed for two years over the course of your life, you are a staggering 50% less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.

5) It helps you to get back in shape:

After having a baby, you may struggle to lose weight and improve your physical fitness. However, there are a number of reasons why breastfeeding can help you in your quest to shed excess pounds. For example, women who breastfeed will burn 500 more calories per day than those who do not breastfeed. To burn this large amount of calories, you would normally have to cycle or run for at least half an hour. Most importantly, when your body produces milk to feed your baby, your uterus shrinks more quickly. This shrinking allows you to look slimmer sooner after giving birth.

 Although it is common knowledge that breastfeeding is good for babies, you may not be aware that it is also wonderful for a woman's health. It can influence everything from your body shape to how likely you are to develop certain dangerous conditions. These are the five ways in which breastfeeding can improve a mother's health.

 

WomensHealth.gov (2013, September 24). Why breastfeeding is important | womenshealth.gov. Retrieved February 2, 2014, from http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/why-breastfeeding-is-important/index.html

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