Breastfeeding can be one of the highlights of new motherhood. It’s a great feeling to feed and bond with your baby in a special way. But it’s not always warm and fuzzy. Breastfeeding can be challenging, painful, and extremely taxing. You run the risk of feeling touched out, and you're usually zapped of any energy, freedom, and sense of bodily autonomy. And, of course, you have to plan ahead if you’ll be away from your baby for more than a couple of hours. That’s why it’s so important to do something special for yourself while breastfeeding. Forgetting about yourself comes almost naturally to most moms, and even more so when you’re still using your entire body to nourish your child.
It was difficult for me to breastfeed my son for so many different, but equally frustrating, reasons. But while I struggled to produce an adequate amount of breast milk, I kept at it for a few months because I enjoyed nursing my son so much. I knew that even if it was challenging, I was only going to be breastfeeding for a limited amount of time, so I tried to keep myself in a positive mindset throughout the entire experience.
I’d say the best thing I did for myself while breastfeeding was to feed my baby while in a special rocking chair my parents brought me from Nicaragua, their home country. It was and is ridiculously comfortable, and sitting in that beautiful chair made me feel supported by my family while I embarked on this new journey called motherhood. I spoke with other nursing moms on what they felt was the best thing (or things) they did for themselves while breastfeeding their little ones, and here’s what they shared:
“Actual nursing bras, and I got this really great super soft sleeping tank from Soma. It's super stretchy around the boob area and flowed around the tummy. It still fits great and my boobs are two sizes smaller than when I bought it. So amazing. It made everything so much easier and it is just so comfortable, since I don't have to wear a bra or anything with it. “
“I made sure to take pictures of me nursing. It may sound strange, but its such a beautiful moment and we, as moms, tend to get caught up in all the day-to-day stuff. I had to remind myself that breastfeeding was a privilege and an honor, and I wanted the memory.”
“I baked myself lactation cookies on the regular, and never felt guilty about eating them.”
“This might not be quite what you're looking for, but I've fully given up on covering up while breastfeeding, unless I'm wanting baby to sleep. It's been freeing to not care about what others think!”
“I got in a lot of massages and pilates classes to help with the neck and shoulder pain that comes from all those hours of being somewhat hunched over a tiny baby.”
“I had/have a lot of supply issues. I started drinking the ‘milk tea’ and it helped a lot! Also, lots and lots of water. And lanolin.”
“With my first I didn’t buy cute bras and hated the way I looked for the entire year of nursing. For my second, I bought cute and pretty bras as soon as I could and then I didn’t hate getting dressed each day.”
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