Breastfeeding Survival Guide for the Holidays

Mother nursing childby Susan Dennis, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

As the holidays approach, keep in mind that you are handling many roles. There is no need to be Superwoman. Your baby needs you to stay focused on your main role: providing your baby nutritional and emotional support.  This is the best present you can give to your baby.

 

Listen to your Baby

  • Feed your baby everytime hunger signs are present
  • Don’t delay feedings: an agitated baby is harder to latch on and soothe (feed on demand)
  • When your baby is irritable, look at the situation (Is there too much noise/stimulation?)
  • Take your baby to a quiet place so you can both enjoy the feeding and rest
  • Monitor feeding frequency and number of diapers to be sure baby is eating enough

Listen to your Body

  • Drink when you are thirsty. Your body must be well hydrated to make milk.
  • Eat when you are hungry. Keep snack foods handy (fruit, crackers, juice, yogurt, cheese)
  • Rest when you are tired. Too much running around can decrease your milk supply
  • Take a 30-minute power nap at least once a day to keep up your supply

Holiday Hints

  • Make a list of all you normally do and cut it in half  (what is really important to you?)
  • Let someone else play hostess this year, you can return the favor next year
  • Ask your best friend or mom to clean your house as your Christmas present this year
  • Avoid long shopping trips and crowded malls (‘tis the cold and flu season)
  • Give gift certificates or family pictures as gift this year
  • Shop online (everyone else does)

Maintaining Your Milk Supply

  • Don’t go longer than 4 hours between nursing sessions during the day
  • Drink and eat frequently to keep your body well fueled
  • Rest when the baby rests. Cuddle with the baby to enhance your milk flow
  • Pump your breasts for each missed feeding (if more than 4 hours since last feed)
  • If your supply decreases: feed more frequently, increase fluids, and rest
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol (these tend to dehydrate the body)

Call your Lactation Consultant for any difficulties with Breastfeeding (324-5730)

TMC is proud to be the only hospital in Southern Arizona to receive the prestigious global IBCLC Care Recognition Award for its outstanding Breastfeeding Support Program. 

You can find out more about Susan here.