Holiday Stress and Breastfeeding

December 26, 2012

The holidays bring joy and heart-warming memories for any family, but no holiday passes without it’s fair share of stress. On top of that, your breastfeeding decisions may be under more scrutiny from visiting family members. As many moms know, stress and breastfeeding don’t mix. In fact, stress is one of the most common reasons for a decrease in your supply. So, we’ll walk you through some holiday breastfeeding tips to make sure you’re focusing on all the joy this season can bring.

Try not to skip feedings
It’s easy for time to slip away from you over the holidays, between traveling, baking and spending time with family and friends. So, it’s no surprise that staying on a good breastfeeding schedule is a challenge too. Make an effort to stay on the same feeding schedule you have regularly, and think about where you can pump or feed at relatives’ homes. Many moms find the convenience of a double electric pump and cooler pack very helpful during these times.

Take time for you
We know you’re probably busy finishing up shopping and frosting your holiday cookies, but be sure you make some time just for you too. Try taking a warm bath before you head off to bed, or take a break from wrapping presents to have a cup of hot chocolate and curl up with a new book. Also, be sure to keep a bottle of water near you throughout the day. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. We know – How can you relax when you still have so many things on your holiday to-do list? But, trust us. Give it a try. Taking some time to relax can help maintain your supply during the stress of the holiday season.

Don’t let breastfeeding criticism upset you
The holidays are also a time for well-meaning family members to give you all the breastfeeding and parenting advice you could have ever asked for, and then some. Unfortunately, sometimes that advice comes in the form of criticism. If you feel your family disagrees with your breastfeeding decisions, try not to let it upset you. You are the only one that understands the needs of your family, so never feel guilty about the decisions you make to support them. If you’d like, feel free to educate your family about the benefits of breastfeeding.

Focus on the joy of the season
If you feel holiday stress creeping up on you, stop and take a moment to enjoy this magical time of year with your baby. It can be so beautiful to share your first holiday season with your new baby. We totally support lying down under the tree with your baby and looking up at the shiny lights. Your baby will love all the colors and sparkles and you’ll have a few moments to breathe and cherish this holiday cuddle time and the joy your little one brings you.

How do you manage breastfeeding during the holiday season? Share your tips in the comments below.

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