- In This Feature
- Benefits of Breastfeeding
- Breast Milk: The Perfect Food
- Protects Against Disease
- Health Benefits for Baby
- Improves Women's Health
- Quicker Weight Loss
- Reduces Obesity in Children and Teens
- Promotes Mother/Infant Bonding and Emotional Well-Being
- More Convenient/Less Expensive
- Expands Your Social Circle
- Encourages Infant/Father Bonding
Quicker Weight Loss
Breastfeeding comes as close to the claim, "Lose weight while you sleep!" as anyone can get. Maintaining a milk supply for your baby is a metabolic process that automatically burns an estimated two hundred to five hundred calories a day.
"I tell my patients that's the equivalent of swimming thirty laps," says Dr. Dermer.
This caloric expenditure is particularly important to new moms with diabetes. Breastfeeding women tend to have lower blood sugar levels than those who bottle-feed and need less insulin. Breastfeeding may keep women with gestational diabetes from developing Type 2 diabetes and reduce a Type 1 diabetic's need for insulin. Elevated levels of HDL ("good" cholesterol) in breastfeeding women are an added bonus for diabetics as well as the millions of American women at risk for developing heart disease.