Mothers who are breastfeeding deserve to take good care of themselves, too! Staying healthy and happy can be achieved with the following self-care tips.
The breastfeeding mother often forgets that she needs to look after herself as well as her baby. It’s so easy to put your own well-being at risk when you are worried about having the baby’s last feeding in mind, checking the baby’s positioning and latch, and counting dirty diapers.
In addition to your child’s needs, it’s important to take care of your own.
Read Also: Breastfeeding Basics
When you are taking care of a baby, how do you maintain your own well-being?
There is a lot of work involved in breastfeeding! It takes a lot of work to be a mother. It becomes a bit overwhelming when you combine the two. Here’s the thing: we need to teach ourselves to prioritize self-care for moms. All things and everyone fall apart if we fall apart.
My daughter quickly took over my life, and I was left to take care of her and neglect myself. The only thing that mattered to me was being a mother. The situation was made even more challenging by the fact that I was nursing and she constantly required me to feed her.
Mommy mode isn’t sustainable all the time
Since I had to pump her milk before feeding her, I had to work even harder when I switched to exclusively pumping. Naturally, I realized that I couldn’t constantly function in mommy mode. To be the best mother for my daughter, I had to take care of myself.
It’s been 14 months since I last took care of myself, and I’m still learning. To balance being a mom, a professional, and myself, I created a list of self-care reminders for breastfeeding moms.
7 Tips for Self-Care for the Breastfeeding Mother
The importance of taking care of yourself as a breastfeeding mother cannot be overstated. Feeling your best can be achieved by following these 7 self-care tips.
1. When feeding or pumping, take advantage of downtime
It took me a lot of time to feed and eventually pump for my daughter when she was a newborn. The time I spend doing small daily self-care tasks is crucial for me.
During feeding or pumping, it isn’t always possible to think about yourself, but early mornings and evenings are good times for self-care.
I can sometimes relax just by sitting in silence or scrolling through social media without thinking about my to-do list. Self-care journeys can be influenced by feeding times.
2. Watch or read books to prepare ahead
When I was pregnant, I called dumb time my favorite way to unwind. During this time, I watched a good show and ate good food without distraction.
The problem is that you cannot accomplish this with an active toddler running around. After she’s asleep, I’m exhausted and my television watches me instead. It was not uncommon for me to spend two hours or more a day hooked up to my pump at the height of my pumping journey. To motivate myself to pump, I identified shows and books I enjoyed.
There is no such thing as too much me time for moms!
Since I could only access books or shows during nursing sessions, I looked forward to them. In this way, I was able to provide for my daughter while also having “me time”. It became my only me time some days when I was pumping.
3. Mindfulness is important
Active, open attention to the present is what mindfulness is, according to Psychology Today. Being present, paying attention to your feelings and senses, and not dwelling on the past is what it means to live in the moment.
Meditation or guided imagery exercises can be used to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness has been shown to promote mental and physical health. You can feel much more in control of your endless to-do list by taking a few minutes a day to practice mindfulness.
4. Schedule self-care
Consider scheduling time for self-care as you plan your schedule. Go to the grocery store alone, get your hair done, or go to the salon. It’s important to remember that you can’t be the best mother if you aren’t at your best.
Feedings, diaper changes, and housework can get lost in the schedule when breastfeeding. Self-care can help you feel better and reduce your stress as soon as you incorporate it into your daily routine.
5. Make use of your support system
Giving up control was one of the hardest things for me as a new mother. It was important to me that I knew every detail about the care of my baby. I would be emotionally drained if things didn’t go according to plan.
The sooner I let go, the more my support system supported me! There was no way for me to stop Daddy from doing things the way he wanted. My daughter’s happiness and health were more important to me than his way of doing things. Get out of the “mommy fog” by stepping away from your baby.
Taking the time to clear your mind requires the help of your support system. There is nothing wrong with taking time out from being a mom, whether it is for a shower, a walk on the block, or a date night.
Consider building a support system online or by looking into free parenting resources in your area if you don’t have many natural supports.
6. Schedule your time accordingly
Accepting the mess is okay. Scheduling time for yourself was discussed earlier in the article. I’m going to say that there is no need to stick to your schedule! There is always tomorrow if you don’t succeed with your schedule.
Take advantage of the time you have with your child
It does not matter how dirty the laundry is, how messy the floor is, or how dirty the dishes are, you still qualify as a mother. On some days, you’ll be feeding your baby clusters, sleeping little, and dealing with a fussy baby. Adding additional and unnecessary stress by fretting over what you didn’t accomplish is counterproductive.
This chapter of motherhood goes by quickly, so try to enjoy it while you can. Your baby’s memories will last a lifetime; whether or not you do your to-do list won’t matter.
7. It is enough to be you
Numbers don’t have to stress you out. It’s common to see posts about the amount of milk a mother should produce and/or how much milk a breastfed baby should eat in my newsfeed.
It lead me to supplement with formula when I probably didn’t need to when I stressed about this exact topic. Also, I felt overly stressed as a result.
You are enough as long as your baby produces adequate wet and dirty diapers!
You can actually reduce your milk production if you are stressed about your output. You’ll also receive all kinds of opinions from friends/family members who haven’t breastfed or who have breastfed for short periods of time about what your baby should be doing and how you’re doing it wrong.
My production numbers became an obsession for me, making me feel like an inadequate mother. Take small steps every day to help alleviate your stressors and believe in yourself!
The best mother is one who practices good self-care habits from a young age. It may not be easy, but breastfeeding is possible. Breastfeeding goals can be achieved by practicing good self-care.
Self-care is important for new breastfeeding moms, right? How do you spend your time?
When breastfeeding, how should I take care of my body?
Listed below are a few tips:
- Fruits and vegetables should make up half of your plate.
- Whole grains should make up at least half of your diet.
- Reduce your fat intake by switching to low-fat and fat-free milk, yogurt, and cheese.
- Proteins should be varied.
- Breastfeeding requires you to drink more fluids. Keep your thirst quenched by drinking plenty of water.
Breast milk is increased by what foods?
Breast milk and foods
Ensure your diet is balanced by including plenty of vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and fat. In some studies, garlic, onions, and mint have been shown to make breast milk taste better, resulting in more suckles for your baby.
A busy and exhausted new mom might forget to take care of herself. You don’t have to be selfish to care for your emotional and physical health each day. You may actually be doing your family the greatest good by doing this.
It can help you feel healthier and happier if you feed yourself well, get some rest, shower, and spend time with a friend. It will make you better able to care for your baby and family when you’re feeling well.