When you’re focused on newborn care, it’s common to push your needs to the back burner. Self-care, however, not only benefits you but also your baby. Breastfeeding mamas especially need to maintain their health as it can directly impact the quantity and quality of your milk supply. From More Natural Healing, here’s how you can manage self-care as a breastfeeding new mom.
Create a Positive Environment for Nursing Sessions
Breastfeeding should be a calming and pleasant experience. Designate a quiet space in your home for nursing and pumping sessions. Set up the area with comfort and accessibility in mind. Arrange a cushy chair next to a small table that can hold your necessary supplies — burp cloth, water bottle, book or tablet, pump (if using), etc.
Your comfort also extends to your clothing. If you’re searching for stylish and functional nursing clothes, check out this comfortable clip down nursing nightgown. It’s a wonderful gown both for pregnancy and nursing. You and baby will both feel relaxed and comfortable.
Nourish, Hydrate, and Care for Your Body
Eating well, drinking enough water, and staying active are all healthy habits that support your well-being, but they can be challenging to sustain for a busy and sleep-deprived mom. Try a form of habit-stacking where you institute a new habit by linking it to an existing one. For example, drink a glass of water (new habit) before and after you feed your baby (existing habit). With your baby eating consistently every three to four hours, you’ll easily reach the recommended amount of daily water intake.
Outsource Household Tasks
You spend so much time and energy caring for your little one that you may find it more difficult to keep up with household tasks. Consider hiring a cleaning service or signing up for precooked meal deliveries. If added expenses don’t fit your budget, reach out to your support system. Family, friends, and neighbors are often happy to lend a helping hand by folding laundry, picking up groceries, or providing a home cooked meal.
Focus on Stress Relief
Studies cited by Verywell Family found that low milk supply is a top reason why many mothers stop breastfeeding before their baby’s first birthday. Multiple factors can contribute to a reduced milk supply — stress among them. Practicing self-care effectively alleviates stress, giving you the best chance to build up an abundant milk supply.
Self-care strategies that can help manage stress include:
- Physical activity
- Scheduling “me” time
In addition, the atmosphere in your home can affect your stress levels. Pinpoint any problematic areas around your house such as cluttered rooms or disorganized cabinets. Create a relaxing and healthy environment by purging what you don’t need and arranging your space to be functional and visually appealing.
Walking can be an excellent way to destress. Consult a Walk Score map of your area to find the best places to walk. These places will be ideal for you and your baby to spend some time together outdoors.
Strive for Balance
Mothers who return to work outside the home face the added challenges of meeting work obligations and finding time and space to pump throughout the day. Hello Postpartum suggests avoiding placing unnecessary pressure on yourself by thinking you have to do everything perfectly all the time. Instead, focus on achieving a balance between work and personal responsibilities.
Laws exist that require employers to provide breastfeeding employees with adequate time and appropriate space to express milk. Organize your workday around your pumping schedule. Prioritize your tasks, completing the most urgent items first. Save routine activities like checking emails for your pumping sessions. Working smarter, not harder will reduce your stress and conserve your energy for your little one.
If you’re a small business owner, find ways to take responsibilities off of your plate. For example, if you’re serving as your company’s registered agent, consider hiring a business service firm to handle it for you. This can free up your time, as well as lower your stress levels.
Self-care is essential to your health. When you eat well, get exercise, and find opportunities to recharge, you are better equipped to care for your baby and maintain breastfeeding as long as you’d like.
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Our blog post is a collaborative effort by the founders of More Natural Healing in conjunction with Editors of Renewed Health Alliance, and our board of advisors including doctors, herbalists, and experts in using natural herbs and supplements to enhance our daily lives. We only provide information that has been researched, validated, and vetted for our posts and includes validation from experts in the herbal community. A person of interest on this post is the talented writing ofCourtney Rosenfeld. Courtney is a contributing writer and blogger for More Natural Healing & Renewed Health Alliance