Simple Tips to Reduce Stress as a Breastfeeding New Mother
Written by: Emily Graham of mightymoms.net
Adding a new baby to your family is exciting, but it is a life-changing event whether it is your first child or not. You must learn different ways to navigate motherhood if you are expecting a new baby, and you should anticipate a few additional challenges if you plan to breastfeed. Having a plan in place is important for minimizing stress. Use these five tips from Simply Gillian to reduce stress as a breastfeeding new mother.
Pack Your Hospital Bag in Advance
You may not feel the urge to pack your hospital bag for your third baby as early as you did with your first, but it’s always a good idea to be prepared in case the baby comes earlier than expected. You won’t need as much as you thought you need with your first baby, but your bag should include:
- Nursing bras
- A delivery gown that is both comfortable and functional
- Phone charger
- Photo ID and paperwork
Create a Plan To Prioritize Other Kids
Your new baby will need plenty of love, care, and attention, but it’s important to make sure that your other kids don’t feel left out. Make a plan ahead of time to prioritize your older kids. This can be as simple as asking your older children to spend quality time with you while you do small chores such as cleaning up the kitchen or folding laundry. You can also ask your significant other to take the baby for an hour each evening while you do the bath and bedtime routines with your older kids. Make sure you plan some fun activities and experiences with your older children so they still feel connected to you.
Navigating life with a new baby is challenging, especially if you have other kids. Trying to cook, clean, keep up with laundry and spend quality time with all of your kids will leave you exhausted. It’s okay to accept help from friends and family members. Whether someone offers to take your older kids to the park so you can sleep while the baby naps or friends bring you meals for a few weeks, the help can make it easier to adjust to your new routine.
Going along with that, if you’re the boss at work, don’t forget to designate an agent to act on your behalf if and when you’re away. That way, work can go smoothly and you can focus on what matters most. You have enough on your plate without having to deal with business calls and questions every few minutes!
Set a Routine and Stay Fit
It’s easier to thrive with a new baby in the family once you get into a routine. Try to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day to regulate your body’s internal clock. You should also prioritize tasks so you can accomplish the most important chores each day. Break down your cleaning list over the week so that you aren’t overwhelmed with keeping a spotless house. Do one load of laundry a day to keep it from piling up. Find whatever works for you and make it into a routine so you can minimize stress.
Also, never underestimate the power of exercise. In addition to physical benefits, it can help you deal with stress and stay mentally healthy, as well. If time is of the essence, try to fit some exercise into the rest of your routine. For instance, if you live close to the store, leave the car at home and run your errands on foot (or pushing a stroller) for some added exercise and fresh air.
Make Recovery a Priority
It takes time to recover mentally and physically from having a new baby. Nourish yourself with healthy, delicious foods, and make time to get a relaxing shower at night. Don’t feel bad about asking your partner to watch the kids for an hour on the weekends so that you can take a nap. There are many ways to practice self-care while you recover from giving birth.
Reducing stress is important if you want to breastfeed successfully. From getting help at work to getting some exercise when you can, use these tips to adjust to your new normal as a new mother and find a routine that works for you and your family.