Breastfeeding is associated with many health benefits for both mother and baby. In this week’s episode of Sisters Without Shame, lactation specialist Emma Numanoglu, unpacks the emotional and psychological benefits of breastfeeding.
Not only is breast best for the baby’s health, but it does wonders for your mental health too, says Numanoglu.
“The psychological benefits, very often, are a feeling of calmness. Hormones like oxytocin, the love hormone and prolactin are great and help women to feel less anxious,” she says. “Very often, those hormones and a combination of the breast being successfully accepted and seeing your baby grow well can be very empowering and very positive for motherhood and the journey.”
Numanoglu is a registered nurse and midwife with specialised interests in lactation.
Not always smooth sailing
Parenthood is filled with a rollercoaster of emotions. From hormonal changes to sleep deprivation to feeding choices for your baby, your life and emotions may seem to be all over the place all the time.
As much as breastfeeding is a positive experience, it can have a negative impact on your mental health too.
“In the same breath, I think when breastfeeding is not going so well, it can be incredibly disheartening and very tough for the mother,” she says.
Factors that may have a negative impact in the breastfeeding experience includes poor self-esteem and body dysmorphia.
To breast or not to breast, no judgement
Remember, your feeding choices don’t make you a bad or good parent. You’ll be able to bond with your child, no matter how you choose to feed them.
“There are so many factors that would go into a decision to breastfeed and that’s one of the reasons why we have to make sure we are as non-judgemental and supportive as possible to all moms because we don’t know what that history is.”
On this episode Numangolu also unpacks:
- Tips for bonding for moms who struggle to breastfeed.
- Foods that promote lactation.
Listen to the full interview on Sisters Without Shame
Apple Podcasts: Click here to listen on any Apple device.
Google Podcasts: Click here to listen on Google Podcast.
Want to connect with Sisters Without shame?
To send an SOS to Sisters Without Shame, email hello@healthformzansi. Alternatively, send a WhatsApp to 076 132 0454.