Managing Holidays and Breastfeeding
The holidays bring fun events and family togetherness – and can cause a disruption to your everyday breastfeeding schedule! For a breastfeeding mom, navigating nursing or pumping in the midst of holiday activities can be challenging. Use the tips below to stay on track with your breastfeeding or pumping routines and help manage whatever may come your way.
If you know the time of special holiday gatherings or events, plan to nurse or pump right before you leave and when you return. It’s important you don’t skip feedings so you can avoid interrupting your holiday time with complications like mastitis or plugged ducts. If you’re planning an outing without your little one and will be gone for an extended amount of time during the day, you can use a mobile or manual breast pump while you’re out and about to pump during your baby’s usual feeding times. And if you have previously expressed breast milk on hand, a family member can feed your little one – giving you some down time.
Do what works for you
As far as where you pump or nurse, do what makes you comfortable. There’s no reason why you should hide to breastfeed when you’re around family members, but if you feel more comfortable covering up when nursing, have a nursing cover or scarf on hand. Or designate a quiet room or out of the way space if you’d rather pump in private.
Take time for yourself
In the midst of baking, running errands, attending events – and caring for and breastfeeding your little one – remember to take care of you! Try to find time to have a quiet bath or read a book. If you plan to enjoy any festive alcoholic drinks, make an informed decision about how much and how often you’ll drink. Keep your intoxication level in mind when handling baby and pass on baby care duties to your spouse or a family member if needed.
Focus on the good things
The holidays are a wonderful time to focus on friends and family members you don’t often get to see. You’ll probably find they embrace your breastfeeding journey and want to do all they can to help. If you encounter someone giving you unwanted or unsolicited breastfeeding advice or criticism, just explain your desire to give your baby the best – and then trust that you are doing exactly that.
Rest assured, the busy time of the holiday season doesn’t have to completely turn your breastfeeding schedule upside down. With a little planning you’ll be able enjoy family time, make special memories with your family and friends, and still continue to give your best to your little one. And that’s worth celebrating!