Thanks to all who came to our meeting on holiday weaning syndrome today. I hope that you found it useful 🙂
I said I would collect together the ideas we came up with for ways to avoid seasonal booby traps so here it is … (please feel free to add more ideas in the comments below))
- Agree beforehand with friends and family members to limit gift giving. This helps cut down time spent shopping and saves money too!
- Use the internet to shop (which can be done while feeding) rather than trekking around the high street.
- If you decorate your house ask friends to help instead of doing it all yourself. You can direct operations from your chair (NB. doesn’t work as well with family members if you are feeding a toddler unfortunately 😀 ).
- Take shorter shopping trips and bring along your baby.
- Feeling nervous about nursing in public is very common in the early weeks. To avoid this you could feed your baby just before you leave home, in the car, or in feeding rooms. Places we have tried and found good are John Lewis, St. David’s parent and child restrooms – or the cosy bench area outside, and Mothercare (Newport Road the best) in Cardiff. Most cafes/ restaurants have suitable areas too. In Newport, Barefoot Ceramics, which is run by a breastfeeding counsellor, is happy for mums to stop by and use the facility for feeding. Ikea and Caerphilly Leisure Centre are also breastfeeding friendly . *in 2013 Full Circle will be running a breastfeeding welcome campaign to get more local businesses to be openly supportive of breastfeeding mums by displaying signs and stickers. Watch this space!!
- To avoid booby traps due to works dos and parties ask if you can take your baby along. Hosts are usually referring to older children who can get into trouble underfoot when they say “Adults only.” To make things easier while at a party, wearing your baby in a sling or wrap makes it easy to nurse discreetly. (For more on slings and to try/ hire you can use our local NCT sling library)
- Baby-wearing in a sling/ carrier is also useful when you have guests as it means you can more easily limit the “pass-the-baby” effect.
- To ease the problem of people offering to “help” you by feeding the baby, keep a running list of jobs somewhere, you can point to it whenever somebody offers to help and stops you feeling like you are asking for too much.
- If you are hosting a get-together ask guests to bring food contributions instead of making all the meals yourself.
- Think about the clothing you choose when shopping or socialising, if you have clothes you feel you can feed in discreetly you will probably feel more comfortable and confident about nursing. There’s no need to buy special clothes, many items can work for breastfeeding. Milk Chic is a good site for ideas.
- It’s important to protect your milk supply by feeding and/or expressing often in the early weeks and all of the above are basically just practical suggestions to ensure you don’t have too large gaps between nursing sessions (which is the common issue which leads to holiday weaning). A great suggestion we had at group today is to set an alarm on your phone at appropriate intervals to remind you to feed your baby. If you do have to miss a feed this could serve as a reminder to express too.
There are more great resources in our group library and on the web here…
Happy holiday breastfeeding!!