Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Breastfeeding during the Holidays

The busy season is upon us with the hustle and bustle of a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  It is a joyful time but it also can bring some stress.  When you add nursing your new baby to your to do list, it can bring some challenges especially if it’s your first Christmas with your nursing baby.  Here are some suggestions to keep a great breastfeeding relationship while celebrating with family and friends.
  • Agree beforehand with friends and family members to limit gift giving.  This helps with shopping and saves money, too!
  • If you decorate your house, ask friends to help instead of doing it all yourself.  You can direct operations from your rocking chair.
  • If possible take your baby to the party. Hosts are usually referring to older children who can get into trouble underfoot when they say “Adults only.”  Wearing you baby in a sling or wrap makes it easy to nurse discreetly.
  • Baby-wearing is also useful when you have guests.  It enables you to keep your baby from being passed from one person to the next and becoming over stimulated.  If you keep a running list of chores on the refrigerator, you can point to it whenever someone offers to help.
  • Ask guests to bring food contributions instead of making all the meals yourself.  Telling Aunt Marge that you have been looking forward to her special spinach dish all year should do the trick!
  • Work around nap times and other times when baby is sleeping.
  • Avoid long car and plane trips if possible.  If it’s unavoidable, make sure to take plenty of time for nursing breaks.
  • Shop for gifts online or from catalogues.  Keep “real life shopping” trips short or take plenty of breaks to breastfeed.  If you are still feeling shy about nursing in public, feed your baby just before you leave home, in the car or dressing room.
  • Eat well!  Those holiday treats may look yummy but be sure that you eat a meal first!  We don’t have to follow a strict diet when breastfeeding but good food provides energy.  Also, be sure that you are drinking plenty of fluids. 
  • Rest….  Make sure that you are getting sleep!  Take naps if you can with your napping baby.
  • Watch your baby’s cues.  If he becomes fussy, sneak away to a quiet room for some mommy-time. 

LLL of Sioux Falls is meeting this Thursday at 6:30 at Elegant Mommy.  We’d love to see you there!!

I hope you all enjoy a wonderful holiday season!  

~ Sarah Alberts, La Leche League Leader

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