How to Survive the Holidays While Breastfeeding
The holidays can be full of joy: making memories with loved ones, first meetings between baby and family members, and the joy in being surrounded by family. Oftentimes those joyful moments can be overshadowed by the stress of travel, planning, parties, and family. Here are a few tips on how to survive the next few months as a breastfeeding mother.
1. Breastfeed the Baby
This seems like a given, but there can often be well meaning relatives that insist on feeding the baby. If you don't want to let your great aunt feed the baby, remember that you don't have to do it. There are plenty of other ways for family members to bond with baby that don't have to do with feeding. If you are okay with others giving the baby a bottle, use paced bottle feeding to help transition between breast and bottle. Remember that you do not have to hide out in a separate room to breastfeed your baby - nurse wherever and however you and baby are most comfortable.
2. Smile and Nod
Family members may pass judgement in your feeding decisions as "advice," sometimes it is just best to nod and say thanks. They may comment on how frequently baby is eating, what you're eating, or baby's sleep habits. Feel confident in your decision to breastfeed and in your parenting decisions as well. Sometimes it is best to just smile and nod as you let the "advice" go in one ear and out the other.
3. Take Care of You
With travel schedules, guests, and parties to attend, it can be easy for us mamas to forget about ourselves. Be sure to eat regularly and stay hydrated - you may notice a drop in milk supply if you skip one too many meals. This can also mean using a fussy baby as an excuse to escape to a quieter part of the house for a feed or snuggle. On the other hand, taking care of yourself can mean leaving the baby with people you trust while you enjoy time alone or with your partner. Whatever "taking care of yourself" means to you, give yourself permission to do it.
The holidays are a special time for many families, particularly those with small children. One of my most favorite things about motherhood is seeing things all over again through my children's eyes. There's something just so magical about a lights show, a Thanksgiving day parade, and even Santa Claus. It's okay to indulge in that white chocolate latte or glass of champagne. Remember to take lots of photos for you to enjoy for years to come. Brelfie in front of the Christmas tree, anyone?
Do you have any sure fire tips on making it through the holidays? Share them in the comments!
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