By Doyin Ojosipe
Sheila Kippley, Author of ‘The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding’, defines Ecological breastfeeding as “the form of nursing in which the mother fulfills her baby’s needs for frequent suckling and her full-time presence and in which the child’s frequent suckling postpones the return of the mother’s fertility.”
Although Ecological breast feeding is not the easiest of feeding a baby, experts have enumerated quite a number of benefits it brings to the nursing mother and why she needs to be determined to breast feed her baby except on health basis. The benefits are as follows:
- Less risk of breast cancer. According to a research conducted at the US, women who breast feed for longer time had less risk of breast cancer than those who do not, in fact, it was reported that the longer the lactation period the lesser the risk,
- Less risk of uterine and ovarian cancer. It has been noted that women who breast feed for long are protected from cervical, ovarian endometrial cancer and uterine cancer, as the action reduces the production of estrogen in the body and also decreases the lining of the Uterine.
- Helps in child spacing. It is not only common but natural that breast feeding mothers do not menstruate during their lactation period; According to experts, Mothers who breast feed for long are able to practice the natural child spacing, especially when they practice the ecological breast feeding method. It was also noted that the longer the breast feeding period, the longer her infertility period as well.
- Postpartum weight is weight gained during conception; here, the expectant mother stores more fats to support breast feeding. Gynecologists have noted that long period if breast feeding could promote postpartum weight loss as it is natural to burn calories during lactation.
Another benefit of breast feeding, mostly, those on exclusive will as a result save money, which mothers doing the formula feeding cannot save.
- Less risk of osteoporosis; a condition where the bone thins out and becomes more fragile, so that the density of the bone is reduced, making it too easy for bone fractures at the wrist, hip and spinal vertebrae.
Meanwhile, there have been controversies about breast feeding mothers being more prone to osteoporosis due to the loss of calcium while lactating; however, present studies have recorded that women who are breast feeding have their bones return to pre-pregnancy, or even stronger, after weaning their babies. The study also revealed that non breast feeding women are at more risk at menopause than women who have breast feed.