Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December Carnival of Breastfeeding: Advice for the Holidays

Welcome, Carnival of Breastfeeding readers! This month’s theme is taking care of yourself during the holidays. Please scroll down to the end of this post to read the posts from the other participants.

My son was born two years ago on the first night of Hanukkah. He was the best Hanukkah present I’ve ever received (especially since he was due November 17, a full two weeks before he made his debut!) Hanukkah was pretty much a bust that year. There were no latkes, no candles, no nothing. Just me trying to recover and enjoy my new baby and figure out this whole mothering thing.

My baby was only three weeks old on Christmas Day, so not much was expected of me. We kept it super low key and spent the day with my mother-in-law, who cooked dinner. I didn’t buy anyone a present, didn’t step foot into the kitchen and didn’t feel a bit guilty. It was totally my ideal holiday.

I'd like all of the new mothers to take a page out of my book and take a backseat this holiday season. My best advice to all of the breastfeeding moms who are celebrating their first Christmas or Hanukkah with a newborn is obviously to take it easy and get as much rest as possible. A lot of people will tell new moms to give themselves permission to hand off the baby to relatives, but for me just the opposite was true. I had to give myself permission to be “rude” and “hog the baby.” He was so tiny and new and I was so in love, I didn’t want anyone else to get near him. People would say, “Oh, I’ll hold him so you can sit and eat” or “He’s sleeping, let me put him down in the bassinet.” But I really just wanted to snuggle him the entire time! So if you feel that way, just know that’s normal, too!

As a breastfeeding mom, you’ll probably also get loads of advice from your family about breastfeeding (get used to it!) Even if you know what they’re saying is incorrect, don’t allow them to get under your skin and ruin your holiday. Just smile sweetly and nod your head. And if anyone tells you that you’re spoiling the baby or feeding him too often or that he looks hungry and wouldn’t he rather have a bottle?, you can always use the tried and true, “Oh, this is what my pediatrician told me to do!” Perfect this sweet, ditzy smile. It will serve you well for months (and possibly years) to come. If your company is particularly ornery, you can always offer them some bean dip.

Happy Holidays to everyone and to the new moms, enjoy your gift!

Also check out....

Mama Knows Breast: Breastfeeding Holiday Poem

Chronicles of a Breastfeeding Mother: Don't Forget the Pump!

Blisstree.com's Breastfeeding 1-2-3: Breastfeeding and Dehydration

Cave Mother: A Mother's Christmas
Accidental Pharmacist: Motherhood Statement
Hobo Mama: Breastfeeding & the Holidays: How to take care of yourself
Mommy News & Views: The Holidays & Being A Breastfeeding Mom
The Adventures of Lactating Girl: Breastfeeding and Holidays
Happy Bambino: How to Take Care of Ourselves During the Holidays
Breastfeeding Mums: Looking After Yourself During the Holidays: 7 Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers
Motherwear Blog: Taking Care of Yourself & Your Baby During the Holidays
Breastfeeding Moms Unite: Caring For A High Needs Baby During the Holidays

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