Breastfeeding Holiday Trouble

We know that breast is best and why but this doesn’t always make the hard times any easier. One of those hard times for breastfeeding mothers can be the holidays. There are three main things a breastfeeding mother needs to be mindful and prepared for just in case issues come up. Don’t issues tend to come up at the worst of times? The time to plan is now.

   Beware the peppermint!

For some women peppermint can have an effect on breast milk supply, this has always been the case for me and as someone who already suffered supply issues because of a medical condition, this made it all the harder. I would forget that my favorite teas and treats had peppermint in them, or rather I would forget the effect peppermint could have. Really it is the whole mint family that can cause issues and we find them in toothpaste, Altoids  cough drops, ect. If supply is at all a concern, I would stay clear of all mint!

   Holiday Stress

There is such a thing as holiday early weaning, and sadly it is simply the effects of a mother too stressed that she misses feedings, or others “help” with too many bottles. With Mom rushing around trying to get so much done taking the time to breastfeed fully might seem impossible. It is really important to relax and take a few days to focus on nursing baby after the crazy days to build supply back up. I know we all have busy days and sometimes they can not be avoided and sometimes baby gets so busy and doesn’t even seem interesting in nursing so you let time tick on and suddenly your supply is dropping and after a crazy month, your supply might be so low you need real help getting it back to good again so baby doesn’t end up having to wean early. Please be sure if you need help, that you get it! There are so many lactation consultants and LLL leaders that are amazing and can help turn things around. If you ever need help finding one, let me know!

      Holiday Shame

The scene unfolds year after year in living rooms around the country, it is a lovely family holiday, gifts are shared, meals enjoyed, and crazy cousins sent to the ER for doing crazy things. Baby starts to fuss, pulling at your shirt with one hand and mouthing on her other little fist. You know you need to nurse, you try to find a nice little quite corner in a comfortable chair and discreetly get baby latched. You relax and look up enjoying the day and there he is, grumpy old uncle Buck. He watches you and you can feel the scorn, you adjust yourself in hopes you didn’t accidentally flash him, and you make sure your not showing anything. Still he watches. Now you know if you get up to get a breastfeeding cover or blanket it will bring all the more attention to what you’re doing, and baby tends to hate them making breastfeeding near impossible and almost making certain you flash a lot of people trying. All you can do is hope that dear uncle tight undies doesn’t say anything. You might get lucky, the evil eye is all you might have to deal with, or he might very loudly announce how in his day women knew to do “that” in the bathroom. Maybe he keeps quiet though at first and later tells other family members about what you dared do, and maybe gossip swirls around the family till you end up being “talked to” about how uncomfortable you are making certain people. What do you do?

You remind yourself that your job is to feed baby, and that other people having issues with it are their issues. It can be hard to do this and sadly many women feel forced to bottle feed or nurse in bathrooms because of it. I hope you do not end up being one of them. Of course you could have a family that is fully supportive of breastfeeding and have a healthy view of the human body so public breastfeeding is not an issue. If so, I envy you that. For the rest of us, we have to hold steady to our belief that breastfeeding is not a shameful act to hide, that the breast doing what it was created to do is not something gross and is not something sexual. We need to stand up for ourselves and other women so that maybe next time Uncle tight undies sees a nursing mother he will have the manners to leave her be in peace.

We can’t really predict all the situations we might find ourselves in ahead of time, so take some time now and think about how you will handle those who might have issues with nursing and plan how you want to deal with it. Please, please, what ever you do, do not hide in a bathroom. What you do matters and you’re not doing anything wrong. Breast is best.

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  1. Dorothy Boucher says:

    well i breast fed my children and my children went on to breast fed theres, and now my daughter felecia is going to do the same for her little one.. i think its one of the best gifts a mother can do for her child.. Thanks for sharing @tisonlyme143