Breastfeeding is a beautiful way to feed your child. It’s also super hard, and breastfeeding moms are rarely given credit for what they go through to keep breastfeeding going. Many people who breastfeed successfully often have to put in hours and hours of sometimes painful work to make it work. It’s a challenge, and moms deserve props.
They also deserve to indulge in self-care. In the spirit of helping moms stay healthy and happy while breastfeeding, Professional Mom has gathered some self-care tips to help out. Here are some ideas to inspire you to thank yourself for your hard work:
Focus on Comfort
In a perfect world, breastfeeding would never be painful. However, sometimes latching issues, tongue ties, and dry or sensitive skin can make it a shockingly uncomfortable process, especially early on. You should always bring up such issues with a lactation consultant who can help you get things back in order. However, you should also take steps to control comfort wherever you can in the meantime.
For example, focus on comfortable nursing wear. Stock up on tops and bras with removable cups or straps so you can breastfeed without getting undressed. You should also invest in comfy pajamas and loungewear. Prioritize options with loose and comfortable elastic waistbands. You won’t want anything pressing into your tummy for a while after birth, especially if you’ve had a C-section.
You should also remember to have good posture when you breastfeed. Many moms fall into a bad habit of breastfeeding hunched over. This is bound to cause back problems. Instead, prop yourself (and baby) up on pillows so that your little one is comfortably at breast level. Keep your shoulders up and avoid leaning over to check their latch as much as possible. This is hardest early on, but once you get the hang of breastfeeding you’ll have an easier time feeling the difference between a good and bad latch.
Carve Out Downtime
Often, one of the most challenging parts of parenthood is discovering that you’ve taken on a whole new identity. Being a parent is beautiful and fulfilling, but it’s also hard and exhausting. It can start to feel like you’re losing yourself in the task of motherhood. Not only does this cause stress and anxiety, it can start to make you feel resentful about the role you’ve taken on. This is normal, but it’s still challenging and – most importantly – manageable.
This is why downtime is so incredibly important for new parents, especially breastfeeding moms. Carve out a specific time that you get for yourself. For example, you could make a deal with your partner that they handle bath time so you have a chance to unwind.