Have you been struggling with the idea of finding time for yourself as a breastfeeding mom? Any challenges of making yourself a priority while taking care of your little one? Have you been feeling exhausted because you feel like weaning the baby off but it’s just so hard!
You are not alone.
As Little M has grown and is now on his 18th month, I thought of telling myself that I failed. I failed with my own expectations because reality didn’t dive in.
As a first-time mom, I initially set my goal to end my breastfeeding journey by the time my son turns one. Did it happen? Of course not. I struggled. I tried and I failed. But did I?! I actually didn’t! It was 2 weeks ago that we did it and it was a success! Each one of us has different ways of coping and nothing’s wrong if you have taken it for so long since it’s not a race after all. Whatever works for you and the baby, that’s all that matters.
The question is: Did I provide my own Self-Care strategies as a breastfeeding mom? Did I make time to prioritize myself? Did I set aside a few minutes every day and practice Self-Care?
In today’s post, we have Jada, a Lactation Consultant who will share with us 5 Best Ways To Practice Self-Care As A Breastfeeding Mom.
Read the post here.
Research shows well-nourished mothers are better able to take care of their babies. That’s why practicing self-care as a breastfeeding mom is so important.
When you made the decision to breastfeed, you may not have realized how precious these times would be. Looking up into your baby’s eyes and taking in all their sweet cuddles and new baby smells. There are so many precious bonding moments and reasons to breastfeed. Of course, there are advantages for your baby and you health-wise, and beyond that, the advantages also include convenience and great cost savings.
With breastfeeding also comes limited times that you may be able to step away from your baby to be able to practice self-care as a new mom. Just like every mother, you deserve the time to relax and refresh so you can feel nourished and able to best take care of your baby and family.
1. INVOLVE YOUR PARTNER AND YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM
Having someone watch your baby for a few minutes will let you have little breathers.
Ask your partner to bathe the baby, do skin-to-skin after a feeding, and change diapers. This will allow you to step away for a couple of minutes to do something for yourself, and it may be as simple as going to the bathroom. You’ll feel like yourself again and rejuvenated even after just a few minutes to yourself.
Use your support system to watch your baby so you can take a hot shower. Especially the first few days after the birth of your baby, a hot shower will feel wonderful, allowing you to relax.
2. NOURISH AND HYDRATE
Nourish your body with nutrient-dense food and hydrate with lots of water.
Since you’re breastfeeding, you want to ensure you are eating lots of whole foods, with healthy fats, and vegetables, fruits, and good protein. This will help you feel more energized.
3. GO FOR A WALK OR SIT OUTSIDE
You’ll want to make sure you follow your doctor’s orders after birth, but getting some fresh air and sunshine will help your body recover. Even 15 minutes of sunshine a day will give you the Vitamin D your body needs for the best bodily functioning, and this includes milk production.
4. DATE NIGHT
Incorporate a date night into your routine. Whether you decide to go with your best girlfriend or your partner, spending a couple of hours away from your baby can help you feel like your old self again.
Being a mom is such a blessing. Sometimes we just need a little time away, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for that!
If you want tips for pumping and building up a stash, you can check out this post at Lactation Mamas.
5. FIND SUPPORT AND A TRIBE
I love the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
It really takes your support and tribe to help you raise a healthy and happy child. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you need lactation support, be sure you reach out early in your journey.
As soon as your baby is born, you can get a breastfeeding assessment to ensure your baby is getting enough milk and you are off to a healthy start.
If you need support, I offer online breastfeeding support. You can read more about my services here and download my Free Essential Guide to a Healthy Breastfeeding Start.
You may want to surround yourself with other mamas for postpartum peer support and to build a group of mama friends that have similar experiences as you. Giving birth to your baby is an amazing experience and one that takes a lot of energy and emotion.
Practicing self-care techniques can help alleviate feelings of depression in the postpartum and fourth trimester periods. Give yourself permission and grace to slow down and enjoy your time with your new infant. Healing after a baby takes time, and these self-care tips can help you.
If you want more tips for Healing Your Body After a Baby, check out this post.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jada Glover is a Certified Lactation Counselor and the founder of Lactation Mamas.
She specializes in online breastfeeding education and support and healthy lifestyle coaching for prenatal and postpartum mamas. She recognizes everyone’s situation is different and supports all mothers in their breastfeeding journey, from bottle feeding to exclusively nursing, or anywhere in between.
Jada is on a mission to empower mamas with confidence and knowledge so they too can have a happy and healthy breastfeeding journey!