How to Protect Your Milk Supply Over the Holidays
From Busy Schedules to Tempting Treats, Here’s How not to Derail Your Milk Supply this Holiday Season
The holiday season is a busy time of year. You’ve got halls to deck, trees to trim, presents to buy, oh, and milk to pump! Missing pumps or feedings here and there is bound to happen. But that doesn’t mean your supply has to completely tank. In this blog post we’ve pulled together tips and advice to help you protect your milk supply over the holidays.
Yes! With the helpful information in this post, you can relax and enjoy the holidays as a breastfeeding mom. Even if you have family coming into town this year, it is possible! We’ve even pulled together some of our favorite products for breastfeeding moms so you can skip making a list for Santa.
As we get busy, drinking enough water can be hard. It’s one of the first things that we forget when we’re running around. But Mamas, we need to take care of ourselves if we want to be able to nourish our babies. They say water is life. When it comes to making breast milk for our babies to thrive, water is essential. Your body cannot produce breast milk if you are not properly hydrated.
Pro Tip: If you have trouble drinking plain water, try a fun new water bottle like this one from BeauGen, adding a hydration supplement, or both!
Pro Tip 2: You can try herbal teas or a bit of bone broth for a bit of something extra. Sipping something warm, even just warm water can be soothing during the cold weather.
Nutrition is tricky. We’re told to watch what we eat, and take vitamins when we’re pregnant but many moms stop receiving nutrition advice once the baby is born. Creating breast milk takes calories, but your nutrition directly impacts the nutritional quality of your milk. Think about it, your body can only work with what you give it.
Balancing Treats and Nutritional Foods
Even if we are taking a vitamin, or supplements, over the holidays our nutrition can get a bit derailed. It’s no wonder why when sweets and treats abound. Try to remember to balance out your sweets with healthy foods.
We’ve put together a great resource on seasonal fruits and veggies that are packed with nutrition which you can find here!
Manage Your Stress
Did you know that stress can have a direct impact on your breast milk supply, and also your ability to breastfeed or pump? It’s true! It can be a challenge but taking steps to minimize your stress can help to protect your breast milk supply.
Yes there is so much more to do during than the holidays, but that doesn’t mean you are the only one who can check these tasks off of the list. Make a list of what needs to be done, assign dates where you can, and put it on the fridge or somewhere your family can see it. When grandparents, other relatives, and friends come over, they can help check tasks off of your list so that you can spend time feeding your baby, pumping, and generally managing your milk supply!
Take Some Time for Yourself and Your Baby
Early in your breastfeeding journey sometimes you’ll be instructed to take a “nursing vacation” where you spend a few days snuggled with your baby doing skin to skin. This bonding experience can help your milk supply to come in, to get into a rhythm with your baby, and to practice nursing without distractions. Although, skin to skin can be beneficial at any point in your breastfeeding and pumping journey.
This holiday season, get your snuggles in! Whether you curl up with your baby in bed, climb into the tub together, or spend some time on the couch together, snuggling your baby can have a direct impact on your milk supply.
Make Sure You Are Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep as a new parent is a challenge, but it is important. If you are up all night feeding your baby, it’s going to take a toll on your body. To get enough sleep you might need to get a bit creative and tag your partner to watch the baby so that you can get a nap during the day.
If you are pumping you could wake your partner up to bottle feed your baby while you pump so that you can maintain your milk supply but also get back to sleep faster. For more MOTN tips click here.
Cozy Comfy Clothing
Dressing up for the holidays can be fun, but bras with underwires and tight clothing can have an impact on your breast milk supply. Balance out the fun and festive outfits with down time in loose comfortable clothing. This will help prevent problems like clogged ducts.
Try some Tea
Not only is tea a lovely option on a chilly evening, there are teas that can help protect or boost your breast milk production. Fenugreek, fennel seed, raspberry leaf, these all can help stimulate breast milk production. You can get all of these and more in this tea from Earth Mama.