Breastfeeding (English: Breastfeeding) is feeding the infant from the mother’s breast milk, and this milk is ideal for feeding the infant, and sufficient to support its growth and development; As the amino acids, sugars, and fats in it are balanced for the human body, and it contains a group of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are useful for digestion. It should be noted that children who are breastfed eat larger quantities compared to children who drink formula; This is because breast milk is digested faster, and therefore the American Academy of Pediatrics advises mothers to breastfeed their children exclusively for the first 6 months of their life, and to continue to breastfeed them until they are at least 12 months old.
Breastfeeding to lose weight
The process of milk production uses the fat that the mother’s body has stored during pregnancy, in addition to the calories she consumes from food, so breastfeeding can help to lose weight even if the mother eats 300-500 additional calories with her natural needs, and it should be noted that the mother usually loses about 6.8 kilograms immediately after birth, after which the weight loss becomes slower, and it occurs gradually; That is, an average of 0.45-0.9 kilograms per month, during the first six months after birth, after which the weight loss becomes more slow. There are some tips that the mother can follow to help her lose weight during the breastfeeding period, including the following:
- Avoid a diet to lose weight: mothers are advised not to eat less than 1,800 calories per day, and to eat healthy foods until they feel full, and they must diversify the sources of food, and eat healthy snacks; Like apples, carrots, and other healthy foods.
- Choosing nutritious foods: As the child needs the best possible nutrition, therefore, the nursing mother must choose foods that nourish the child; Such as milk and dairy rich in calcium, fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, lean meat, chicken, and legumes rich in protein.
- Drinking adequate amounts of water: as this protects the mother’s body from dehydration, and may speed up the metabolism in her body as well, and despite the common need for a person to drink 8 glasses of water a day, a person can know that he has His need for water when he needs to urinate once every three or four hours, and his urine at that time is almost clear.
- Practicing physical activities: Women are advised to do aerobic exercises (in English: aerobic exercises) and strength exercises (in English: strength training exercises), which help to lose weight, reduce depression, and help sleep.
- Get enough sleep: One study indicated that women who got 5 or less hours of sleep per day kept the weight they gained during pregnancy more than women who slept 7 hours per day; This is because fatigue leads to the secretion of stress hormones in the body such as cortisol, which promotes weight gain, and it may be difficult to get enough sleep after birth because of the child who keeps her awake all night, but she can sleep while he sleeps child in it.
Benefits of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding provides many health benefits for both the mother and her infant. Among these benefits are the following:
- Providing optimal nutrition for the infant: Mother’s milk contains all the nutrients that the infant needs for the first 6 months of his life, and in the quantities he needs exactly, and the composition and content of milk changes according to the change in the infant’s needs. In the first days after birth, the breast produces thick, yellowish milk. The color is called colostrum milk, and this milk is characterized by being rich in protein and a little sugary. that breast milk is low in vitamin D, unless the mother takes large amounts of it; Therefore, it is recommended to give infants vitamin D supplements in the form of drops at the age of two to four weeks.
- It contains important antibodies for infants: which help the infant to fight viruses and bacteria, especially colostrum, which contains high levels of immunoglobulin A (in English: Immunoglobulin A), which forms a protective layer in the infant’s nose, throat, and digestive system. It does not contain these antibodies, and many studies have indicated that children who are not breastfed are more likely to develop many diseases; such as diarrhea, infection, and pneumonia.
- Reducing the risk of the infant becoming infected with many diseases: especially if the infant is dependent on breastfeeding only; As this reduces the risk of contracting many diseases; Such as middle ear infections, respiratory infections, colds, gastrointestinal infections, intestinal tissue damage, allergic diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, diabetes, wheat allergy, and leukemia during childhood, in addition to Sudden infant death syndrome. .
- Enhance the intelligence of the child: Some studies indicate that there is a difference in brain development between infants who are fed breast milk and infants who are breastfed. Age.
- Helping the mother’s uterus contract after childbirth: During pregnancy, the uterus expands and expands, and its size increases, which makes it fill the entire abdominal area, and after childbirth it begins to return to its normal size; This is as a result of the secretion of a hormone called oxytocin, which increases during lactation, stimulating the uterus to return to its normal size.
- Reducing the risk of maternal depression: Women who breastfeed their children are less likely to suffer from postpartum depression compared to women who do not breastfeed their children; This may be due to changing levels of hormones in the body, and the bond between mother and child that becomes stronger when a mother breastfeeds her child. In addition, the hormone oxytocin that the mother’s body produces during breastfeeding is known to have anti-anxiety properties, which stimulates relaxation.
- ↑ “Medical Definition of Breastfeeding”, www.medicinenet.com, Retrieved 12-14-2108. Edited.
- ↑ Elizabeth LaFleur (06-10-2017), “Infant and toddler health”, www.mayoclinic.org, Retrieved 12-14-2018. Edited.
- ↑ Stephanie Watson, “8 Tips for Losing Weight After Pregnancy”, www.webmd.com, Retrieved 12-14-2018. Edited.
- ↑ Adda Bjarnadottir (06-01-2017), “11 Benefits of Breastfeeding for Both Mom and Baby”, www.healthline.com, Retrieved 12-14-2018. Edited.
Does breastfeeding reduce mother’s weight?