As we approach the Holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle-bustle and find ourselves overscheduled. As new parent, we find ourselves with a long list of people who want to spend time with our little new additions, and that can switch up our routine quite a bit. One challenge this time of year is what we as Lactation Consultants refer to as “unintentional weaning,” or “Holiday weaning.”
Perhaps you and your little one are used to spending multiple times a day sitting down together for a snuggle and a snack, but as our holiday schedule fills up with neighborhood gatherings, marathon cookie baking, holiday shopping, visiting the in-laws, school parties for older siblings and so on, we find ourselves missing feedings. And, as the next few busy months roll on, a missed feeding here and there, a bottle given without pumping to replace, or even a busy afternoon that condenses 3 feedings into 1 can really take a toll on your milk supply.
So, here are 3 things you can do to help keep you and your sweet babe on track for the breastfeeding timeline you want.
- Schedule time in your day to breastfeed and make the space to breastfeed on demand. Maybe this means shorter shopping trips or visiting places throughout your day where you will be comfortable breastfeeding. For some of us, that may mean latching our little one as we brow1se the aisles. And, for others, we prefer a quieter place where we can sit down with few distractions. Know your breastfeeding style and schedule your day to support that.
- Get a travel battery pack or car charger for your breast pump. Perhaps some amazing relative is offering to watch your little one while you play Santa’s helper, and you will be missing a feeding. If you have a way to pump in your car, then you have a cozy private spot to pump and protect your milk supply. Sounds like a great time to sip on a pumpkin latte in peace!
- Be an advocate for your and your baby’s breastfeeding time. If you are going to be away from home, scope out a good place for breastfeeding when you arrive, and let your host know what you need.