The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mothers

Caitlyn Begosa

| 2 min read

Caitlyn Begosa is a corporate communications intern at Blue Cross...

Breastfeeding has many benefits for the baby as well as the mother. For nursing mothers and women still deciding whether to breastfeed or not, it’s important to know the positive effects of breastfeeding for you.

Improves mental health

Breastfeeding reduces stress. When breastfeeding, your body releases a hormone called oxytocin, which promotes nurturing, relaxing and peaceful emotions. When oxytocin is increased, it causes a decrease in yourblood pressure anda decrease in levels of cortisol,the hormone responsible for stress.
Breastfeeding also creates a physical and emotional bond between you and your child. This connection can help a mother’s mental health during the postpartum period.

Helps with healing

During pregnancy, the size of the uterus increases drastically. After birth, the uterus goes through the process of involution to return to its normal size. The body needs oxytocin to help this process along.
Since breastfeeding increases the production of oxytocin, involution happens faster as the added hormones stimulate the uterus to contract to its original size. In addition, this also reduces the blood loss a mother experiences after birth.

Prevention for diseases

For nursing mothers, breastfeeding can prevent the risk of the following conditions:
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Osteoporosis
When breastfeeding, women experience hormone changes. These changes can result in a reduced exposure to estrogen, a hormone connected to ovarian and breast cancer. Additionally, breastfeeding helps to decrease inflammation, which is linked to high blood pressure and diabetes.

Weight loss

Breastfeeding causes the body to burn extra calories, as producing milk is a high-energy endeavor. Burning these extra calories may help women lose weight, although it may not happen the same way for every individual.

Saves money

Recently, baby formula prices are at an all-time high due to supply chain and contamination issues. Disregarding costs for breast pumps and any other needed supplies, breastfeeding is free.
Breastmilk is always the perfect temperature for the baby and ready to go.
However, breastfeeding can be difficult for some moms and their babies. Help is available to troubleshoot issues. Ultimately, fed is best for babies – and formula is a safe way to feed newborns and infants if breastfeeding is not an option.
Learn more about resources and help available for breastfeeding individuals here on
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association