Summary: It is important to take care of yourself when breastfeeding, so here are five strategies to help you prioritize self-care while nursing.
Are you a new breastfeeding mom? If you want to have the best experience possible, it’s important to take care of yourself in order to keep your energy up even when you’re operating on very little sleep. Here, we’re sharing five strategies to help you prioritize self-care while nursing:
Breastfeeding a newborn can sometimes be challenging for new moms. Latch issues, mastitis, and back and neck pain can turn what should be a blissful bonding moment between mother and child into a physical and emotional rollercoaster. To ease some of that stress, find a comfortable space in your house where you can focus on feeding your little one. Eliminate all the visual clutter in the room and get rid of any bad energy beforehand so you can fully relax and be present in the moment. Set up a comfy glider or rocking chair and use a cozy blanket or pillow to rest your elbow on and relax your neck. Experiment and find the position that is most comfortable for you and your baby while nursing.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Breast milk contains essential nutrients for your baby’s development, and it’s supposed to have everything your baby needs for the first few months of his life. But if you don’t eat a varied and healthy diet, you may be depriving your baby of some of the vitamins and nutrients he needs. The benefits of a healthy diet extend to the breastfeeding mother as well: eating nutrient-dense food, healthy proteins, whole grains, and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables will keep your energy levels up and can help fight off stress, anxiety, and postpartum depression.
It’s best to abstain from consuming alcohol and limit your daily amount of caffeine while you’re breastfeeding. It’s also a good idea to increase your liquid intake as you may get dehydrated more easily. So make sure you have a glass of water close by when you’re nursing your baby, and make a conscious effort to drink more throughout the day. Other good options for upping your liquid consumption are milk, fruit juice, vegetable juice, and infused water. And if you’re in the mood for a hot cup of herbal tea, consult with your doctor first as some herbs are known to decrease milk supply.
Caring for a newborn can be trying and stressful. Flowers are one of the simplest and most effective ways to boost your mood. Flowers can have an immediate impact on happiness, with the effects lasting for days. In addition, flowers can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and they can even promote feelings of romance and love. If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, ordering flowers for yourself is a great way to treat yourself. Not only will you get to enjoy the beauty of the flowers, but you’ll also reap the benefits of their positive effects on your mental health. You can either order from a florist or online service—here are more options.
Stick to a Routine
Sleep deprivation is very common when you have a newborn. And getting some much-needed rest is even harder when you have older kids at home too. Establishing a clear routine for naps and bedtime may be the best way to get the restorative sleep you and your little ones need. Enlist your older children to help while you put the baby down for a nap or for the night by having them read a story or sing lullabies to their youngest sibling. If your kids are old enough, they can even help with your baby’s bathtime and other duties. Letting your children help will make them feel special, and you’ll get to spend more time together. Additionally, maintaining a sleep schedule for your school-aged children has benefits for them too: it will help them be more alert during the daytime and retain what they learn while boosting their immune system and keeping them healthy.
Breast milk has many health benefits both for mother and child. And new moms who choose to breastfeed are deserving of everyone’s support and encouragement. So make sure you take time for self-care in order to get the best start for you and your baby’s new life together. Eat nutritiously, stick to your routine, drink plenty of water, and give yourself a mood boost by ordering some flowers.
Motivator and coach Autumn Asphodel can help you overcome your challenges and get on a path to healing. Learn more!