Tips to survive the holiday with a breastfeeding baby:
-Let someone else be in charge of the holiday! You have a new baby, let other people host and cook, it is your year (or years) to sit back and enjoy.
-If you don’t want to “pass the baby”, don’t. Tell people that you are good with holding the baby or the baby is due to eat or poop soon. Or that you are still afraid of germs. This is your baby, you can share or not.
-Try babywearing. It is much easier to keep holding your baby if you are wearing them.
-If you feel comfortable breastfeeding in public, go for it. If you aren’t, or you need an excuse to get away, find a place where you and the baby can have a quiet moment. And if that moment extends for an hour, it is nobody’s business how long the baby actually takes to eat.
-Set your alarm for about the normal interval that your baby eats so you don’t miss feedings. It is easy to get distracted and not realize the passage of time when you are away from your normal routine. Babies also will sleep longer with more noise or different people holding them, so setting a reminder will help avoid skipping meals.
-It is okay to have a drink. Alcohol metabolizes out of breastmilk and your bloodstream at the same rate. If you are cautious, feed the baby, then have a drink; you should be ready to feed again in a few hours. In general, if you can drive, you can feed.
-Some holiday foods, like sage and peppermint, can affect supply if eaten in LARGE quantities. Your supply is more likely to be affected by decreased frequency of feeding than what you eat. Do things to support your supply, like frequent, effective emptying, and staying rested and hydrated.
-Feel the love: the oxytocin boost you get from being around people who love and care for you is great for you, your baby, and your milk supply!
-Relax and enjoy the season, take the time you need away from the people and celebrations, & as always, call for help if something is off with breastfeeding.