5 Reasons Why More Black Women Should Breastfeed

Research says that African-American women are the least likely to breastfeed their children compared to other groups of women, likely due to barriers in breastfeeding education. “In the African-American community, because our rates are so low, we don’t see breastfeeding,” says Dalvery Blackwell, the co-founder of the African American Breastfeeding Network of Milwaukee.

It’s time to change that. Here are five benefits of breastfeeding.

1. Promotes bonding between the mother and child.

You’ve probably heard other mothers say that breastfeeding helps you feel more connected to your child, but did you know there’s actually science behind that? The hormone oxytocin gets released into your body while breastfeeding. Oxytocin promotes bonding between you and your baby.

2. Breast milk is more nutritious.

The nutrients that are in breast milk can’t be found in store-bought formula. Like Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye once sang, “Ain’t nothing like the real thing” and boy, were they right. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, breastfed children were less likely to develop certain diseases, including heart disease and multiple sclerosis before the age of 15.

3. Breastfeeding is linked to a baby’s higher IQ.

According to a somewhat-recent study published in the journal Lancet Global Health, the longer children were breastfed, the higher they scored on IQ tests as adults. Pretty impressive, right? 

4. Breastfeeding helps you lose weight faster.

It’s believed that breastfeeding can burn anywhere from 300 to 500 calories a day, which can help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight a lot faster. Breastfeed and exercise and you’ll fit into your old jeans in no time! And what new mom doesn’t want that? Still not convinced? Breast milk is free; the formula is not.

5. Not breastfeeding increases your risk of postpartum depression. 

It’s estimated that 9-16 percent of new mothers will experience postpartum depression at some point, according to the American Psychological Association. The good news is that mothers who breastfed were less likely to develop postpartum depression four months, after giving birth according to a 2012 study.


Read more from the original post found on blackdoctor.org, written by the author, Daunte Henderson.

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