Vital Self-Care Tips for Breastfeeding Moms by *Leslie Campos
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.
Periodically most mommies get overwhelmed. I say most because you may be one of those special people who are so organized, have perfect children, have a nannie, or just don’t let things bother you. But if you do get overwhelmed from time to time, you are not alone.
I have a bit of experience in the area. I have 6 children. They are all in the 40’s now so I can positively say that we survived, however, there were a few times in their upbringing that I lost it. These days with the added elements of electronics and now with the current pandemic, to be a mom you really have to put your armor on every single day.
When I say put your armor on, I mean to be able to take the slings and arrows that hit moms every day. But, even with said armor, you can still get overwhelmed.
So, lets define overwhelmed. This state may be different for different moms and situations. After, of course, the normal stresses of having twins, my first children, it didn’t take long for my house to get into a yearlong mess. I am not naturally a meticulous housekeeper and have even tagged myself as lazy, however, with the care and feeding of these two very demanding children, I admit that I got overwhelmed on several occasions. Overwhelmed for me at that time was the anxiety of a messy house.
What Are You Afraid Of?
It seems that we are all afraid of something. I will share some of my fears and I would like you, as you read this, to contemplate yours. Fears take on different aspects, they could be inward or outward, but this is not about the fears themselves, but what we do with them.
I’ll start with one of the fears I have identified in myself. That is, fear of success. By that I mean, some of the opportunities I have been faced with over my life, may have produced good results, however, I got in my head and declined to proceed or went a little way and then gave up. One way these fears have manifested is my confidence in writing. Although I have had a blog for twenty years now, and have even self-published a children’s book, “The Gospel Parade,” I have failed to put 100% into the process, some because of limited funds, but also because I have a habit of saying to myself, “Who would read this? Would ‘they’ be interested? Who really cares what I have to say?”
I am currently working on a book, “Why Do You Want to Go to Hell?” and have gone through most of the negative head-speak through the process. Except for prayer and patience through writer’s block, I would have given up on this, now, yearlong project. But in an effort to press on, I am still working on it and should have it ready by years end.
The Conundrum of WHY
By Patti McDonald, Professional Mom
We are human, that’s a fact. We ask WHY. Another fact. Have you ever wondered why something happened, or why it happened in the way it did? I have.
For example, why did the log pop out of the ocean, just as the little boy was walking on the beach. And kill him! Why did the car swerve just in time to miss the oncoming traffic? Why did it hit?
Some of the WHY questions for all of us are: Why am I sick? Why did my husband die? Why did I miscarry? Why did my child die? Why did I wreck my car? Why did my house burn down? Why did the flood come here? There are as many WHYs as there are people. Why did my wife get cancer? Why did the tornado hit my house and not my neighbor’s? Or vice versa.
These and many, many more WHY questions are sent to a Holy, loving God every single second. So, how does he answer our WHY?
Sometimes the WHY is far off. Sometimes it is immediate. There is only one answer. The answer is to trust God. We don’t see with “God eyes.” His power and omnipotence are not in our realm, these qualities are higher and more intense than human hearts can understand. In our weakest moments, He is strong.
Still, there is sadness, mourning, anger, and grief in our suffering, whatever the reason. I have gone through seasons of WHY. If yours includes the finality of death, to me, it is much harder to understand the WHY and for some and some situations, we will not understand fully until we see Jesus, however, there is a glimmer of understanding in God’s Word.
Genesis 18:12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, after I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
So, what shall we take from this “physiologically incomprehensible” forecast from the angel visitors? Abraham had been promised to be the Father of Many Nations by God. Here we have the inside view of Sarah as she overheard the conversation of her husband and his heavenly messengers, one of which, I believe was Jesus, but that’s for another day. She laughed within herself, scripture says. As a woman, I can see where she was coming from. Her husband was 99 years old and she was not too far behind, probably 90 or 91, according to historic accounts. The problem here is Sarah’s unwillingness to believe God, hence, the laugh.
LACIE LET ME SHARE HER STORY:
BUSY BUSY BUSY
Life gets busy y’all. I’m not kidding. I blinked my eyes and I am in my 60’s. How did that happen? I am grateful for my life, don’t get me wrong. God has blessed me with countless blessings. Unfortunately, one of those blessings was to eat anything I wanted, any time I wanted. Now, this was great during my years when I had hormones and metabolism, now, not so much.
Since my late 30’s, when I absolutely discovered the scale for the first time in my life, other than doctor visits when having the 6 children I already had at that time, it became my constant companion. And for many years, decades really, I have weighed myself consistently, as if as a daily devotional task.
Up and down, up and down, never really down as far as I wished, and many dollars and hours of wasted effort later, I kind of gave up. I say kind of, in that, I vowed (a teeny tiny vow that was to nobody in particular) to never spend another dollar on weight-loss products. The piece de resistance of my plight was the word OBESE on my doctor well visit reports that I kept getting for the last few years. Just knock me down why don’t ya?
When you talk about emotional rollercoasters, you need only look at me. Although my highs were higher than my lows were low, I still bought a Spanks something every time I shopped. I had up and down confidence issues about my weight both in my job and at home. I had read years ago that when you look good to you, that doesn’t mean you look the same to others. This caused me to second guess every outfit. My closet looked like a war zone and I ended up wearing the same thing for every occasion. Black was my favorite color. My prayer became, “Lord, I’ve tried everything, now it’s up to you…”
BE A SHEEP WITH ATTITUDE
Professional Mom, Patti McDonald here to bring encouragement and inspiration to moms and caregivers.
My topic today is the 23rd Psalm from the Bible. This usually comes up at funerals and that’s not a bad thing, however, have you ever stopped to meditate on the serene comfort of this passage? “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” This is only the first verse, of course, but think about it. The very God of the Universe is our Shepherd.
You must know a little bit about sheep to understand this passage fully. Back in the day, (even in modern times in some countries,) the shepherd looked after his sheep as full guardian of their being. He rested in the exact place that the “enemies” could enter to protect them, and this also kept the flock from wandering. According to Max Lucado, “Safe in the Shepherd’s Arms,” the flock can’t even sleep without the preparation and help of the Shepherd. Even for them to have green pastures, the shepherd had to find and prepare the best fields, removing rocks and briars that would hurt them. Sheep must be fed, and all manner of their needs met for them to rest. We need our Shepherd for this as well.
When the Psalmist speaks of green pastures, still waters and a robust table set “in the presence of my enemies,” he is telling the great care that God has for us. When we are disturbed, hungry or sick, our Shepherd moves in to woo us to himself. He is our comfort. He is our all.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” John 10: 27.
I choose to be a Sheep with Attitude because I choose to follow my Shepherd, Jesus. The world will have you follow the crowd to the trucks headed to the slaughter. Sheep have a way of following the leader, much to their detriment, sometimes. I am choosing Who to follow. I choose the Shepherd who died in my place. He will take care of me, no matter what!
Come with me and follow Jesus, you will know the care of THE GOOD SHEPHERD FOREVER. “I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD, AND KNOW MY SHEEP, AND AM KNOWN OF MINE” John 10:14
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures,
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul; he leadeth
Me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s
Sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of
The shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou
Art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the
Presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head
With oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all
The days of my life; and I will dwell in the house
Of the Lord forever.
*ARTWORK COPY BY SARAH MCDONALD PRICE
While everyone is getting on the advice bandwagon, wouldn’t Professional Mom have to get out there and provide some insight and opinion? Of course!
My inspiration for you today is to Trust God. Trusting God every day is a great mind-set. Through good times and bad, God has been there for us. History tells stories of terrible hardships that we as a people have weathered and by the mercy of God, people pull through. Perhaps things will change, perhaps our schedules will be modified in some way that will never be restored, however, when there is nothing else you can do, Trust God.
The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3: 5 & 6
Ironically, but purposely, the next verses speak of your health, wellbeing and substance (wealth,) being impacted positively when we trust God.
You may say, I’m trusting God and my family is being negatively impacted by the current situation with the Coronavirus. If you are familiar with the Bible, you may have read the book of Job. Yes, he was the most horrid example of a person trusting the Living God and being negatively impacted. He never stopped trusting the One True God and was restored graciously in the end.
So, let me ask you something. Have you given all you have to God; all you have or ever will have? This is no easy question to answer. This is a test, the test that will show your faith in Jesus Christ. The current events are “out of our control.” God knows. God knows.
If you don’t know God through Jesus Christ and His great sacrifice for our sin, it would be a good time to trust Him. It’s very simple but takes a deliberate act of your will. Trust God.
If you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, I say to you now, Trust God. Should we be complacent and do nothing, well no. However, first, we must pray, get our priorities straight. I know I’m used to getting my own way, I’m confessing that as I write this. It’s God’s way, as I pray, I am asking God what I should do to help with this national dilemma.
Although it pains me for all the “shutdowns,” especially the churches and schools, I am so proud of the efforts of our pastors, leaders and teachers for jumping in with alternatives to gathering. We must continue to “gather together and pray corporately (virtually if necessary).”
I don’t think it’s an accident for God’s Word to say to us, “If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Pray with your children, pray with your friends on Social Media and by phone, lift up those who are ill or in need and pray for our national leaders to have wisdom in this extraordinary time.
We are on the cusp of a revival. If we pray, God will hear. I cannot stress this enough. Trust God today and he will heal our nation.
Professional Mom (Patti McDonald)
Jesus And Santa; A Christian Dilemma
When Joe and I married, I didn’t ask him if he believed in Santa Claus or if he would want to teach our future children about him. But I did ask him if he believed in Jesus.
At the time, I was not as close to my Savior as I should have been, however, within a year of marriage, I began to miss going to church and that started a whole realization that Jesus is Lord of ALL. I had even said (didn’t tell Joe) that I didn’t want to have children, but this “opening all the closets of my heart” started a whole new direction in my life. I gave my whole heart to Jesus and asked Him what HE wanted for my life.
The trajectory of my life changed immediately as all my goals and deepest wants were about being pleasing to God. Within a few months, I was impressed by the Holy Spirit to quit my job with a local endodontist, get off birth control pills and in what I now call, getting ready for God’s plan, began to get more involved in Bible Studies, church events, and used my home time to listen to radio programs with awesome Bible scholars like J. Vernon McGee, and others who prepared me for the road ahead.
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"The Gospel Parade!" Second printing!
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Memorial Day 2023
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