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Breastfeeding is one of the most challenging parts of caring for a newborn. While incredibly rewarding, breastfeeding can also be uncomfortable and frustrating. Many moms feel stressed by the expectations placed on them, the pressure to make it work, and concerns about how much or how little their child is eating. The good news is that breastfeeding gets easier! Practicing self-care with these tips from Best-Baby Car Seats will help you support your body and relieve stress during the months ahead.
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Look for Postpartum and Lactation Support
Start by seeking postpartum support from a licensed midwife. A midwife can be there to answer any questions you have about breastfeeding or newborn care. And a lactation specialist can ensure you breastfeed with confidence. Receiving support during the tricky postpartum period is invaluable to new moms, especially those facing common breastfeeding challenges.
Turn Your Home into a Relaxing Oasis
According to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, feeling stressed or anxious is the number one cause of reduced breast milk supply. Unfortunately, the newborn period is full of potential stressors, sleeplessness, and fluctuating hormones, all of which contribute to new mom anxiety. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time at home in the weeks ahead, make sure you feel calm and content in your space. Tension and irritability can be a sign that clutter is getting in the way of your mental wellbeing, so consider cleaning and decluttering to improve the atmosphere in your home.
Make Time for Your Other Children
It’s normal for older children to feel a sense of jealousy over the arrival of a newborn. After all, your newborn requires a great deal of your attention! But it can be hard for parents to deal with the overwhelming emotions of their other children as they process this major family adjustment. This will only add to your stress and make the breastfeeding process more challenging.
Romper explains that it’s important to make your older children feel important by having them help with simple chores or childcare tasks. If possible, get someone to watch your newborn so you can have some alone time with your other kids, doing things that you enjoyed together before the baby was born. Even something as simple as reading with your kids in the evenings can help them feel special as they get used to sharing your attention with their new sibling.
Get Your Body Moving
Exercise is a powerful antidote to feelings of anxiety and depression. Moving your body can also help to relieve fatigue, clear your mind, speed healing, and improve your sleep quality. Talk to your doctor about exercising after giving birth, especially if you had a c-section or experienced a complication during labor. Once you get the all-clear, look for some gentle postpartum workouts to stretch and strengthen your body. Neck stretches are great for relieving stiffness caused by long breastfeeding sessions. Even a simple walk around the block can provide valuable mental and physical benefits to breastfeeding moms!
Master Nighttime Nursing
New moms frequently wake during the night to breastfeed. Of course, this can disrupt your sleep and create significant daytime fatigue. Learn tricks to nurse during the night that will help you fall asleep again as quickly as possible. For example, avoiding bright lights and electronics during night feedings can make it easier to go back to sleep. Instead of scrolling on your phone, read a book or listen to a podcast. If you’re struggling to fall asleep again after breastfeeding, try relaxation and breathing techniques or listening to guided meditations.
Also be sure that you have comfortable clothes for potential late nights. A couple of comfortable labor & delivery gowns can make a big difference during those early days. With a variety of sizes and styles available, you’re sure to find some that work for you.
Caring for a newborn is one of the hardest jobs in the world, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. Try to simply be mindful of the moments you spend breastfeeding your newborn. While this phase can be challenging at times, they’ll be all grown up before you know it!