Quick tips for Breastfeeding During the Holidays
With holidays around the corner breastfeeding while visiting family, or hosting may seem a bit daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be, here are a few tips that moms find to be helpful.
Tips for self-care during the holidays:
- Rest! (nap with baby naps)
- Eat well (pack healthy snacks/meal prep and water if needed when on the go)
- Get a massage or maybe do some yoga (anything to get your zen on)
- Avoid skipping feedings because baby is being passed around or too busy, this will avoid the discomfort of breast fullness or lead to plugged ducts.
- Take the opportunity to step away or relax for a minute when nursing baby
- Cook ahead of time if able of recruit helpers!
Help baby navigate through the holidays with breastfeeding:
- Help avoid baby getting overstimulated by being passed around to each family member, consider wearing baby during holiday events.
- Baby wearing also allows mom to notice early hunger cues, and helps calm baby.
- Shop on-line to avoid large crowds
Breastfeeding in public:
- Dress in layers for easy access
- Tops with prints help hide leakage
- Use a breastfeeding cover, or a cute festive scarf, or have your partner prepared with a swaddle blanket to drape over you
- Attempt to find non-stop flights or flights that don’t require a change in planes
- Under the age of 2 not occupying a seat/adult
- Birth certificate required
- Medical release required if baby is under 14 days of life
- To help equalize pressure in baby’s ears, nurse during take-off and landing
- A breast pump is considered a personal item
- Breastmilk is considered a liquid medication: separate it from other liquids and let security know. If agents must swab it, be sure they change their gloves
- Airplane water has coliform bacteria. Purchase bottled water to clean pump parts or use pump cleaning wipes
- 1 stroller & 1 car seat either checked or carry on
- Plan ahead for frequent stops to nurse baby every 2-3 hours
- Do not breastfeed in a moving vehicle
- Pack a car adapter or manual breast pump
- Take entertainment for baby (Pinterest has great mommy ideas)
- Frozen breast milk, must be kept frozen, using dry ice, once thawed it must be used within 24 hours
- Fresh breast milk is good in a cooler with ice packs for 24hours. Breast milk can then be transferred to a refrigerator for a week
- Request a hotel refrigerator ahead of time
Power statements to support your breastfeeding goals when in public: While most family and friends support breastfeeding, some may be unaware of how to best accommodate a breastfeeding mother or may lack awareness of the current research regarding breastfeeding.
- Smile- “Thank you for the advice” and change the subject
- Respond with humor- “I think I’ll breastfeed until he goes to college”
- Quote latest research- “WHO/AAP recommends breastfeeding until..”
- Ignore comments- Simple smile, ignore all negative comments and continue to breastfeed baby
If attending a party, letting the host know ahead of time that you will be nursing baby frequently or need to pump, and asking for a quiet room to use is always helpful.