- 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
Promotes Mother/Infant Bonding and Emotional Well-Being
Try as you might, it is nearly impossible to send an e-mail, check an answering machine, or feed the dog while nursing. Breastfeeding is nature's way of getting us to slow down and focus on our babies. And while bottle-feeding mothers also form powerful bonds with their infants, breastfeeding moms experience hormonal changes that can intensify feelings of closeness and well being.
"Oxytocin and prolactin help mothers relax in different ways," notes Dr. Dermer. "Oxytocin tends to lower blood pressure and blunt the mother's response to stress while prolactin has a more calming, sedative effect."
Breastfeeding also offers working moms the chance to sit back, kick up their feet, and reconnect with their babies after a long day away.
Breastfeeding is equally relaxing to Baby. Turned length-wise against Mom's belly, breastfeeding babies experience maximum skin-to-skin contact, which has been proven to promote bonding. They can also feel the warmth of Mom's skin, take in her scent and hear her heart beating. This multi-sensory experience resembles what baby enjoyed in utero and can comfort newborns as they adjust to life outside the womb.