World breastfeeding week is celebrated every year to create awareness about the importance of breastfeeding and how it is necessary for a baby's development. This week is observed from 1 to 7 August every year. 

It throws light on the need to improve the health of babies all over the globe. Mother's milk is a boon for a baby's health. 

It is the ultimate source of nutrients for the babies during the initial years. Mother's milk can protect the baby from infections and several diseases.

A mother breastfeeding her child

Breast Milk Promotes a healthy weight

Breastfeeding promotes healthy weight gain and helps prevent childhood obesity.

For the first 3 months after delivery, breastfeeding mothers may lose less weight than women who don't breastfeed, and they may even gain weight.

It is also important to note that a healthy diet and exercise are the key factors determining how much weight you will lose, whether lactating or not.

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Breastfeeding helps the uterus contract

The uterus grows immensely as the pregnancy grows, expanding from the size of a pear to filling almost the entire space of your abdomen.

After delivery, your uterus goes through a process called involution, which helps it return to its previous size. Oxytocin, a hormone that increases throughout pregnancy, helps drive this process.

Your body secretes high amounts of oxytocin during labour to help deliver the baby and reduce bleeding.

Oxytocin also increases during breastfeeding. It encourages uterine contractions and reduces bleeding, helping the uterus return to its previous size.

UNICEF exclusive breastfeeding project (Illustration)

Breastfeeding may prevent menstruation

Continued breastfeeding also pauses ovulation and menstruation.

The suspension of menstrual cycles may be nature's way of ensuring there is some time between pregnancies.

Some women have even used this phenomenon as birth control for the first few months after delivery.

However, note that this may not be a completely effective method of birth control.

Nutritionist wants more awareness on benefits of breast-feeding

Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of depression

Postpartum depression is real and many new mothers suffer from it shortly after delivery. Women who breastfeed seem less likely to develop postpartum depression, compared to mothers who wean early or do not breastfeed