Breastfeeding for Mom’s Emotional Well-Being
The benefits of breastfeeding are numerous, both for baby and mom. But did you know that breastfeeding can actually make you happier? Yes, our bodies are quite amazing. There are three hormones that can evoke happiness from breastfeeding. Here’s how it works:
The hormone that produces milk in your body is called prolactin and it relieves stress and promotes relaxation. The hormone that stimulates the release of milk, or let-down, is called oxytocin; this causes calmness plus feelings of love and nurture. For that reason it is often called the “bonding hormone.” And finally, breastfeeding releases endorphins, the body’s natural analgesia and feelings of well-being.
Not only can we feel great about providing our babies the healthiest nutrition possible from our breast milk, we can also feel this “natural high” from the hormones breastfeeding produces. Many researchers believe that nursing moms experience less postpartum depression and are less exhausted in the early months due to the hormone rush from breastfeeding. And because new moms are more relaxed about their new role in life, they are often more responsive to their babies and find it easier to bond.