a foot of a new born baby

Your breastfeeding questions answered, part 2: How will it affect my body?

As our key area of focus is the health and wellbeing of women and children, we want all parents to be fully educated on the health benefits that breastfeeding has for both mother and child. For this reason, we’re continuing our breastfeeding campaign throughout the month of August in hopes of dispelling some of the most common myths about the negative effects of breastfeeding and promoting its importance for raising healthy babies.

 

Question: How will breastfeeding affect my weight?

Answer: Breastfeeding actually helps mothers lose weight and return to their pre-pregnancy size sooner as milk production burns up to 500 calories a day. It is for this reason that women are often counselled to maintain the same caloric intake they had while pregnant.

 

Question: Will breastfeeding cause my breasts to “sag”?

Answer: Breasts naturally change with pregnancy and breastfeeding but generally return to their pre-pregnancy shape and size once the baby has weaned. Breasts can “sag” due to the ageing process and losing or putting on weight but this is not hugely impacted by whether or not you breastfeed.

 

Question: Will breastfeeding lead to calcium deficiency?

Answer: This should not be the case. Vitamin or mineral deficiencies shouldn’t be present in breastfeeding mothers provided they are eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet.

Additionally, breastfeeding not only benefits babies, but also has positive effects on a mother’s health. Breastfeeding is associated with decreased maternal postpartum blood loss, lowers a mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer and can also help build a strong bond between mother and baby. There are, however, some instances in which a new mother simply can’t breastfeed and bottle-feeding or supplemental formula is a healthy alternative.

For more information on breastfeeding, check out the World Breastfeeding Week website

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