Deciding to breastfeed your baby is a personal choice; some have hated the experience while other mothers have enjoyed the process. Whichever the case, we can’t deny the list of benefits breastfeeding offers your precious angel and also you as the mother. Breastfeeding is not for everyone, but whatever route you go to get your baby’s tummy filled is a personal choice. But if you are wondering whether or not you should breastfeed, read on, and find out the different ways of how breastfeeding affects your body.
Many weird things tend to happen when you breastfeed. Your body might not feel like yours as it is a factory focused in producing milk for your baby, you might wake up with engorged breasts if your baby gives you that one night to sleep in, or your boobs might start leaking at random times when guests have just arrived to see your precious angel and bam the waterworks start.
Once you start the breastfeeding process, you will come to notice how amazing our bodies can be. Your body can provide nutrition that is already adjusted to your babies needs and keep them healthy. If that is not amazing, I don’t know what is. Below are some pointers on how breastfeeding affects our body.
How breastfeeding affects your body
As you will notice, the breastfeeding journey will affect your body in numerous ways, and every situation varies from one mother to the next. Below we have discussed some side effects of breastfeeding.
1. You will feel the letdown
When your baby is hungry, and it is time to breastfeed, mastering the latching technique is very important as it will make both you and your baby enjoy the breastfeeding session. Once your baby has latched, a signal is immediately sent to your brain to let down the milk for your baby. This tends to take a few minutes, which can feel like a small tingle in your breasts. The first milk let down is foremilk, it will immediately quench her thirst, if you pump, you will notice it is much thinner than the hind milk, which comes in second. Hind milk is much thicker and creamier and filled with all the calories and nutrition your baby needs.
2. Your body can produce healthy milk, so you don’t have to get on a strict diet.
The nutrients stored in your body are prioritized for your baby, when she is satisfied, it goes back to you. When breastfeeding, it is recommended you eat healthy to maintain your health and keep up your energy levels needed to take care of a small human.
3. Your uterus slowly shrinks to its original size.
When you breastfeed, it helps shrink your uterus to its original size. While breastfeeding, your brain releases some oxytocin hormones; there might be some light cramping on your lower abdomen when this is happening. It might feel a little uncomfortable, but it is a sign your uterus is shrinking.
4. You might fall in love
Thanks to the oxytocin hormone, you feel a sense of falling in love with your little angel, you feel like you are bonding and getting closer with your baby.
5. There might be some weight changes
When breastfeeding, there are several ways in which your body gets affected; some women have noticed they cannot keep their weight while for others, they are not able to keep the weight down. When you breastfeed, you burn an additional 300 to 500 calories on a given day, and for some women, that has helped in losing the extra pregnancy weight. However, this is not a magic fix for most women because of the breastfeeding hunger, making you eat more than you did when you were pregnant. But whichever spectrum you fall under, try and keep healthy sacks near you, the likes of nuts, fruits, and a bottle of water.
Have you just started the breastfeeding journey? Then it would help if you read this.
These are the three common hurdles that you could experience as a beginner.
– Your cups are fuller than ever.
They become incredibly full the first two to three days after birth; your boobs will feel soar and immense like boulders bursting out of your bra. Just try and hold on; yes, it is very uncomfortable and painful at times, but once your body calibrates your newborn needs, all will be well in a few weeks. In the meantime, ensure you nurse on demand and probably apply an anti-inflammatory compress.
– Breath in, breath out – she is about to latch on.
Experiencing some nipple pain in the first few days is very common than you can imagine, but this is not part of the breastfeeding package. Expect to feel some tagging as she is trying to get some milk, but consider getting some help when experiencing some agony. Additionally, if your nipples are looking scabby, red, or misshapen, a lactation consultant can help, especially with your latching position.
– There might be some lumpiness
If you have not breastfed your baby for an extended period, the buildup of milk could create some bumps that are marble-like; when you witness this, you could be having some plugged milk duct. Something that is common in the first few weeks of your breastfeeding journey. It is because your baby is not yet able to empty your breast, or she is not breastfeeding as much. To release this blocked duct, keep nursing, and massaging your breast; it should help get your milk flowing.
Some frequently asked questions on how breastfeeding affects your body
What does breastfeeding do to your body?
When you breastfeed, your body releases a hormone called oxytocin; this hormone helps your uterus shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size. But this is not all as it might also reduce uterine bleeding after you give birth. Additionally, when you breastfeed, it reduces the risk of getting ovarian and breast cancer and may lower the risk of osteoporosis.
Some of the disadvantages of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding your baby can bring about various benefits, but there are two sides to this coin. If there are positive effects, then for sure there are also some negative effects that you should be aware of. Some of the uncomfortable situations you might need to deal with are things like mastitis, your milk ducts getting clogged, breast engorgement, and some sore nipples.
Does breastfeeding make your body ache?
When breastfeeding, we tend to spend several hours bent over, holding on to our small human to get them sufficient milk. This leads to body aches, and you might experience back pains if you are not comfortably seated while breastfeeding. The common cause of body aches is having poor posture, tension, and stress of a new baby at home.
Can breastfeeding make you tired?
You might be thinking the fatigue you feel as a new mother is all in your head, but the answer to this question is no, it is not all in your head. For your body to produce healthy nutritious milk to keep your baby adequately feed, it takes 25 percent of your energy; thus, this could be the reason you are feeling exhausted when breastfeeding.