I love the holidays! Fabulous food, warm drinks, cheerful music, crazy shoppers and lots of time with family and friends. In-laws, extended family, travelling, busy schedules and unsolicited advice can make these joyful occasions quite stressful for a breastfeeding mother.
Here are a few tips to keep confident and comfortable this holiday season:
1. Delegate! Make sure you enlist your family to help, help, help. Cooking food, cleaning, keeping older children busy, running errands, etc are all things that can easily be done by someone other than you. Your priority is feeding baby and taking advantage of the extra pairs of hands
2. Keep hydrated. Breastfeeding can be a lot of work for your body. It is easy to forget the simple task of drinking water when catching up with relatives and partaking in festivities.
3. Prioiritize feeding the baby. Use nursing as a welcome reason to take a break and sit down. The baby needs it and you deserve it
4. Then prioritize you! If your baby is little, this may be one of the first opportunities you’ve had for some ‘me-time’. Do it! Escape to the cafe with your sister or grab that nap while your great aunt cuddles with baby.
5. Smile and nod. Disapproval or judgement, disguised as advice, often comes from a well-meaning family member that might have raised their children differently to you. You do you! Breastfeeding is normal!
6. Don’t miss out on all the fun because you have to hide away in the back to breastfeed. Feel confident in your choices and rights and feed your baby where you want! Uncle Bud can avert his eyes if he must.
7. However, hiding away in the back can be a great way to give your overstimulated little one some much needed down time and allow for you to bring calm and quiet moments to your busy day. Holiday weaning is a real thing! Be careful. Breastfeeding is a supply and demand relationship. It is important to keep up your supply.
8. Read the latest research about breastfeeding and alcohol. Then decide what you are comfortable with and proceed sans guilt! We have so many things to worry about as mothers, having a glass of wine at Christmas need not be one of them.
9. Take photos! Nursing photos are treasured possessions to the no-longer-breastfeeding mothers out there and we never take enough. Take the opportunity to put on your jazziest outfit, pop a santa hat on baby and capture the moment.
10. Most importantly, enjoy! Celebrate, play, laugh and just be with your friends and family.