Even with the joys of the holiday season, there are also times of uncertainty, exhaustion, and changes in routines. This can be especially challenging for those who are pregnant or nursing. Read below for some great tips on self-care for this busy season.
Whether you are pregnant or nursing, keeping yourself feeling peaceful and grounded is up to you.
- Reduce expectations for yourself and your family. Set your own limits. You do not have to participate in every holiday activity or event, even if it is a family tradition
- Find moments to spend with those you love as well as taking time for yourself
- Take time to slow down and rest
- Nurture yourself with yummy food and drinks
- Eat when you need/want to eat, not on the family schedule
- Enlist the help of friends and family to spend time with your older kiddos
- Have family members help with pet chores, or chores of any kind
Remember that producing milk takes a lot of work! Staying hydrated and well-nourished can be more challenging during this particularly busy time of the year when you are nursing.
- Ask family and friends cook some meals for your freezer for before they leave if they are in town visiting
- Have them prepare healthy snacks for you to eat while they are visiting and before they leave
- Stay hydrated. Try drinking a glass of water or a cup of tea each time you sit down to nurse
- Have family and friends hold baby when they can so that you can rest
- Keep to your kiddos’ schedule, even if it means setting boundaries and saying no to certain activities
- Advocate for your needs. A shower is a basic need not a luxury or self-care
- Invest in a few nice nursing shirts or cozy wrap so you can stay with the whole family or use the excuse to nurse in another room if you need a minute for you and baby
Growing a baby takes a lot of energy! Pay attention to your body and what you need if you are pregnant.
- If you have family or friends you trust with your older kiddos, use it as time to get away, run little errands, meet a friend for coffee, go to a prenatal yoga class, get your nails done, have alone time, read a book, or finish up the nursery
- Ask visiting family help prepare meals for when baby gets here
- If you have older kiddos, have family take them on small outings so you have time to bond with your baby during your pregnancy or enjoy some time with your partner
- Take naps
- Go for little walks as a way to take a break if family time starts to feel overwhelming
Remember, no one knows how you are feeling or what you need. You are the best person to advocate for yourself. Most of the time, family wants to be helpful, they are just unsure of what exactly to do. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want or need!