7 Self Care Tips for Breastfeeding Moms
Are Self Care Tips for Breastfeeding moms worth the try? As a mom, it's easy to forget that you need to care for yourselves and your baby. There's so much that needs to be thought about. When was the baby last fed? Is the baby's latch & position correct? You are changing diapers as well as making sure that the baby is sleeping in a safe position. These can be reasons why it's often easy to overlook our health.
Breastfeeding has many health benefits for both mom and baby. Taking care of yourselves and focusing on your well-being is also essential. As Meredith Fein Lichtenberg says, "Breastfeeding is work, and you have to care for your own body while you're doing it."
Did you know that when you're nursing, calcium is taken from our bones so that our breast milk contains enough of it?
Moms can lose 5–10% of bone mass in the first 6 months of breastfeeding. In addition to the physical side effects of nursing, moms may also experience mental stressors.
Thus, breastfeeding takes a toll on your body!
Pumping breast milk into bottles for hours a day or breastfeeding your baby every hour or two can take away your sense of body autonomy. As a mom, you are bound to your baby's feeding schedule. And while there's no more incredible beauty than sustaining life, it does not mean it's wrong to have challenging emotions rise. The judgment, loss of sleep, and uneven distribution of parental responsibilities with breastfeeding can also be stressful to a new mom.
Self Care Tips: How to take care of yourself while breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is integral to motherhood, but it doesn't mean you should neglect yourself. Taking good care of yourself means being able to provide the best nutrition for your baby. However, if you aren't taking care of your own body's needs, you can quickly get depleted and fatigued.
Here's a list of helpful Self Care Tips for Breastfeeding Moms:
1. Eat a healthy and balanced diet
Even though you can eat almost anything, it doesn't mean you should. Remember, if your body isn't getting the nutrients it needs from what you're eating, it will get them from elsewhere. It's essential to replenish your body with the nutrients required to ensure your body and baby are happy and healthy
2. Drink plenty of hydrating fluids
Staying hydrated can help keep your body healthy and strong. Your body needs even more fluids during breastfeeding to produce breast milk. Aim to consume enough required water daily for health and then drink beyond that throughout the day. A small amount of high-quality mineral salts in filtered water for added electrolytes is a great addition to your body, brain, and baby. Stay away from sugary drinks or diuretics. A favorite hack for energy boosts is a 30-second cold shower which is as effective as coffee.
3. Build a support system and ask for help
Whether it's a partner or sibling, parent or friend, find someone ready and willing to help with the baby. This will come in handy when you need to sleep, take a break, or have time for self-care.
If you feel discouraged and ashamed about breastfeeding, you can ask for help from your support system or professional help. If you're having trouble breastfeeding, set aside the shame and ask for some help. It will not only give you confidence, but it will ensure you and your baby are on the right track.
4. Rest whenever you can
You've all heard that when the baby's sleeping, you should be sleeping. Ignore the dishes, put down your phone, look past the chaos of the living room and get some sleep. A good rest will refresh you and give you the energy to take on your responsibilities. Remember that support system; ask them to come over and take care of things for a little while, so you can shower and catch up on some much-needed rest.
5. Talk about your feelings.
Sometimes you may be resentful because your nipples are achy, and you can't take naps. It's normal, but you don't need to be ashamed. Talk about your feelings to someone you trust, a family member, friend, or health professional. Either way, it's important to communicate how you feel. Having space to move the challenging emotions can open more feelings of gratitude and presence.
6. Take time for yourself.
Even if you're only taking a few minutes of your day, a 5-minute walk or 10 minutes of exercise, go out and take time for yourself. Make your daily 'space for self' ritual simple and easy to follow through on. A minute a day can help you get perspective and stay on track, then try to take a slightly longer break once a week. Make this a habit throughout your life to avoid burnout and return to the baby with replenished energy.
7. Practice gratitude
Too often, you glaze over what needs to be moved to summon up genuine gratitude, but the practice of gratitude is simply appreciating the small things. Saying what you're grateful for when you wake up or before you go to sleep at night can help heighten the emotion, allowing you to fully express it throughout the day. Gratitude is a practice that can help you open up to a more present state of mind, help you get more out of life, and helps to navigate difficult emotions.
Make sure your needs as a mama are prioritized, which will benefit your baby & family.
It can feel like a lot to ask a new mom to take time for her. However, it's too much to ask a mom to take care of the baby without having her take care of herself. When you're tired, you won't be able to do everything you need to do.
How much do you know about nursing your baby?