Is this your baby’s first or second Christmas? You may be stressing a little about the logistics of toting around a little one — and all her stuff — this holiday season. The good news is that if you’re breastfeeding, you’ll have one less thing to worry about, and you both can reap hidden benefits as well.
Your diaper bag for a simple trip to the store may be pretty immense — after all, you will want to have several diapers, baby wipes, a change of clothes (she may spit up or poop everywhere), a pacifier, a favorite toy, her blankie. Now, picture your bag if you’re going to be gone for an entire day — it will likely grow leaps and bounds. So, unless you are planning to feed your baby expressed breast milk from a bottle, you won’t have to use some of that precious cargo space with bottles or formula.
Some older babies are too interested in their surroundings to get down to the business of nursing, which can result in popping off at the worst moment so your milk sprays everywhere — not so much fun. You may find that going to a nearby quiet room helps not only improve her nursing but will be a peaceful place of rest for you. Hearing the sounds of holiday cheer from a room or two away can have a beneficial effect on your mood as well.
If you’re able to nurse around younger family members, it will help children understand that breastfeeding is a normal part of taking care of a baby. Some children are really curious and may even follow you if you leave the room to breastfeed. They are inquisitive and genuinely honest, so you should feel free to let them know what the baby is doing.
Resting is important not only when your baby is new and you’re recovering from childbirth, but also when you are busy during the holiday season. Even though you may not be ready to sit down, the act itself of nursing will help calm you down — oxytocin, a hormone which is released into your bloodstream while you’re breastfeeding, can lower your blood pressure and elevate your mood.
If you’re on the move, you won’t have to worry about finding a place to prepare a bottle — you can sit down wherever you are when your baby becomes hungry. No mixing, no warming — just pop him on and feed away.
In the case of a baby who is overtired, stressed out or frightened of big groups of people, breastfeeding is an excellent way to instantly calm him down. Breastfeeding not only fills the tummy but comforts in a way that only Mom can provide.
Breastfeeding during the holidays is convenient for you and your baby in more ways than one, as you will probably find out this Christmas season.
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