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Self-Care Tips for New Breastfeeding Mothers

Welcoming a baby into your life is one of life’s most exciting milestones. It’s also a moment filled with a flurry of intense emotions. As a new mother, perhaps you feel awed that a new life has been created or grateful that your family is expanding. Or maybe you’re shocked by the immense love you feel for your new child.

However, the emotions that new mothers feel are not always positive. In fact, in some cases, new moms can experience negative feelings. The responsibility of caring for a new life can feel overwhelming, and maybe you question whether you’re up for the task.

If you’re trying to breastfeed, the feelings can be even more intense, especially if things don’t go as smoothly as planned. It’s common to wonder whether you’re doing something wrong or feel anxious that your milk supply won’t be enough. However, feeling guilty can be counterproductive. Instead, be gracious with yourself and make sure you are getting everything you need. Consider these self-care tips or new breastfeeding mothers to feel your best and increase your odds of success with breastfeeding.

Get Your Sleep

Many new parents suffer from sleep deprivation due to middle-of-the-night feedings and other new baby-related responsibilities. It can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done.

However, your well-being can directly impact your milk supply, so getting enough sleep should be a top priority. Make a point of napping whenever your baby sleeps rather than using the time to accomplish chores. Your baby won’t mind if the house is a little messier or if that last load of laundry doesn’t get folded. And if it’s a chore that absolutely must be done, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

new breastfeeding mothers
Image by sam moody from Pixabay

Drink Water

Nursing moms need extra water to compensate for what is used to produce milk. The easiest way to ensure you stay hydrated is to get a large reusable water bottle that you can keep with you throughout the day. Not only does this keep your beverage cold, but it also serves as a handy reminder to keep drinking.

Take Time To Meditate

Meditation is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. By focusing on your breath or an object, you can find your inner peace and enjoy the feeling of being mindful and present. As Dr. Jason Campbell of OHSU explains, “[M]indfulness allows you to focus on the present moment rather than letting your thoughts wander. This can help reduce feelings of worry or anxiety by bringing your attention back to what is happening now instead of being caught up in past events or worrying about what’s to come.”

Best of all, meditation is easy to integrate into your day. It doesn’t take much time, and there are plenty of free online meditations to guide your practice.

Get Additional Help

If you follow these strategies and still struggle, reach out for help. Ask your doctor for suggestions and check your local area for additional breastfeeding resources.
While welcoming a new baby into your life is a moment for celebration and joy, there are times when negative emotions get in the way. To feel your best and improve your odds of success with breastfeeding, take time for yourself and invest in strategies that can help you feel your best.

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