If you are breastfeeding through the holidays, you may have special concerns and questions.
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How do you do it privately? Should you even try to nurse privately? How do you deal with family members who don’t support your decision? What if your babe wants to nurse during the famous ‘pass the baby’? How do you stay comfortable? What if you… leak??
As this special time of year approaches, here are some helpful tips to make breastfeeding through the holidays easier.
1) Use a nursing Cover
This may make any mother with a babe over 6 months old laugh, but for those with younger babies, a nursing cover can make things more comfortably for you. This is an option – but honestly, not one I am very fond of. I used one when my eldest was a newborn, but it quickly went away as my nursing talents grew and her hands found ways to rip that cover off. By the time my second came around, I didn’t even bother with a cover, though I was gifted one at my ‘sprinkle’. I learned to nurse in public without showing my breasts to the world. Now, caveat here… much of that was due to my size. I am NOT overly endowed, and that facet made the whole process easier on me. For those blessed, or cursed depending on your view, with larger breasts, a cover may be the best option to ensure your privacy – if you want it. This comes down to personal preference and what YOU are most comfortable with.
If you are looking for a cover, Etsy has great, unique options. Amazon also has quite a few in stock, many with Prime shipping. Here are two of my favorites:
2) Don’t use a nursing Cover.
There is nothing that says a woman MUST use a cover when nursing her child, especially not amongst friends and family. If you are comfortable nursing without a cover, then by all means – DO IT! Your baby has a right to eat, period.
3) Feed previously expressed breastmilk
The holidays are a time of high action and distraction – and a time when babies can easily become overwhelmed. Sometimes, finding a quiet moment to nurse is hard, or even impossible. In these instances, being prepared with a stash of pumped breastmilk may be a lifesaver. Using previously expressed milk can also help with ‘pass the baby’ or even ‘feed the baby’ all family seem to like to indulge in when there is a newborn around. I mean, who can blame them? They are just so cute!
4) Wear Nursing Friendly Clothing
Some clothes are designed with nursing in mind, allowing easy access to the breasts for your hungry babe. Options can range from nursing tanks to dresses, T-Shirts to covers – and everything in between! Luckily, finding affordable nursing clothes is fairly easy these days, with sections in the maternity sections of many mainstream mass market stores, like Target, Walmart, Sears, and Kohl’s.
Aside from nursing specific clothes, layering is a must! I lived in a cami and a shirt when nursing both my girls. You can pull the shirt up and the cami down, allowing access while still remaining covered. This video, by plus1please on YouTube shows how the trick is performed, and shows other breastfeeding friendly outfit examples.
5) Be prepared for leaks
When I was nursing my girls, I would start leaking they started crying. Over the holidays, the constant passing and over stimulation caused by loud noises and multiple hands can make even the calmest baby cry – which can cause you to leak. Be prepared.
You can use disposable pads that soak up the leaks, like these:
Please note, these are Amazon affiliate links
Or reusable Pads like these popular ones:
Or, if you want to save every precious drop, then these Milkies Milk Savers are a great option:
All of the above great options – so is a tissue or a small towel. I placed the links above for your convenience only – but in a pinch, none are truly necessary.
6) Prepare a few ‘My Choice’ arguments before hand
While Breastfeeding is natural, some people still view it askance. If you are breastfeeding through the holidays, you may face uncomfortable questions or even outright disapproval, either in your choice to nurse or in the WAY you choose to nurse. Having a few rehearsed and well thought out responses prepared can help you navigate through those awkward moments.
- Talk about bonding and the health benefits for you and your baby
- Your baby, your choice
- Laugh it off (harder than it sounds, but humor can be disarming)
- Change the subject (Surprisingly affective)
- Address their specific concern with facts and research
- Or…. walk away. (I’ve done this when I really didn’t know WHAT to say)
Breastfeeding through the holidays can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember, how you feed your baby and when is up to YOU, no one else. Use a cover is you like, don’t if you don’t wish too, find a quiet spot to nurse if you wish, layer if that is more comfortable, feed pre-pumped milk…. the options are endless and only you can decide what is best for you and your baby.
Congratulations on your baby and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!