Alone time to missed periods
There are plenty of breastfeeding benefits that many of us are familiar with. It’s the ideal food for babies, for example, is easily digested and makes easy-to-clean baby poop.
The benefits don’t stop there, and these moms shared some of the cooler, lesser-known benefits that they enjoyed.
Weight loss? Check. Shrinking uterus? Check. Healthy baby? Check. Reduction in potential for allergies? Check. These benefits are well known, but there are plenty more that you haven't heard much about. These moms spill their breastfeeding secrets.
Many moms we spoke with explained that the alone time they spend nursing their baby is priceless. “I didn't expect the time I spend breastfeeding to be my favorite time with my daughter,” said Jenn, mom of one. “When it's just her and I on the rocking chair, there's no worry or stress, just love.”
A case of the feel-goods
Breastfeeding releases a hormone called oxytocin that enhances a mother’s feelings of trust, love and affection. Heather, mother of two, discovered how wonderful these built-in benefits really are. “I was very surprised by the feel-good effect it gave me,” she shared. “Nothing settles your nerves when Baby is cranky more than popping your boob in their mouth, seeing those eyelids drop and feeling their body relax as yours does the same.”
Boost in self-esteem
Growing a baby during pregnancy is an awesome feeling, and feeding her with milk that you create can be a huge self-esteem boost, especially as you watch your baby grow healthy from your milk. “I thoroughly enjoyed watching my sweet newborns round out with plump baby rolls, and it felt good that it was something that I was able to do on my own,” said Amanda, mom of four.
Less need for equipment
Breastfeeding mamas also relished the fact that they don’t have to tote around extra equipment, bottles and formula when they’re out and about. “Having less to lug around in a diaper bag is pretty great!” explained Jackee, mom of one. “I love the saying, ‘Less junk in my trunk, more room in my diaper bag.’”
Lack of a period
Your monthly period went on vacation before your pregnancy test even turned positive, and many breastfeeding moms report that it stays away for a long time while breastfeeding — some moms even stay period-free until weaning. Not everyone experiences it, but most moms who breastfeed do take at least a few months to start back up on the (seemingly) never-ending cycle.
Lack of formula smells
Breast milk is odorless, and even the poop that comes with it can be more on the pleasant side — many moms describe it as “buttery popcorn,” which sounds hilarious until you realize that’s exactly what it smells like. The same, however, can’t be said about formula. “After experiencing two formula [fed] babies via my sister, I was very grateful my home didn't smell like formula and all of the secondary formula smells,” said Tara, mom of one.
Another fun benefit that you might not expect is that you might just be able to sleep in — something you didn’t dare dream about for the next several years. “Basically, if I bring them [the babies] in bed and nurse them in the morning I can get one to two hours of extra sleep,” shared Rebecca. As soon as you master side-lying nursing, breastfeeding in bed while you snooze is a rare and beautiful treat.