This short time, the immediate postpartum, is a season of your life and won’t last forever. It’s really important, for the sake of your physical and mental health, to give yourself permission to not do All The Things right now. This is especially true during the holidays. Here are some tips and reminders to help yourself and your baby make it through the holidays with minimal upheaval.
Spouses, partners, parents, and friends of breastfeeding women often have a hard time supporting her in the way that she needs. Not due to a lack of desire to help, but due to a lack of knowing how. She might not even know what she needs, in fact! After breastfeeding 4 kids and supporting dozens of breastfeeding women as a doula, I've come up with some ideas to get you started on the path to being Helpful instead of hapless:
I like to do things. I have learned through nursing 4 babies that, for the first 3 months, I need to lower my expectations of "doing" to zero. Why? Let me explain. You know how everyone remotely knowledgeable about breastfeeding promotes feeding-on-demand at least 8-12 times per day? Now, double that, and you would start to approach the amount of times per day all of my children have "demanded" to be fed. It was close to every 45 minutes. All day. I would get slightly longer at night. Considering a newborn can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to feed...you do the math.
FUN FACT: Did you know mammary glands are really just modified sweat glands?
Yes, it's true. Every time you breastfeed, you lose electrolytes because it's almost like you are sweating profusely. If you are only drinking water and don't get enough minerals from your diet, you may be missing out on some important stuff!