Self-Care Tips to Prep Future Moms for Breastfeeding
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As you count down the days until your baby arrives, you’ve likely started preparing for every aspect of caring for your child. Between setting up the nursery to learning about feedings, sleeping routines, and the like, your focus has solely been on your little one. While this is certainly wonderful and necessary, many moms-to-be forget about caring for themselves. Birth, breastfeeding, and everything else that goes into being a parent is rigorous work. That’s why it is so essential to start a robust self-care routine to help you through the joyous (but challenging) months ahead.
Baby’s Best Start shares top holistic ways to care for yourself before giving birth and breastfeeding.
Take classes to make the birthing and breastfeeding experience as positive as possible
First-time moms — and those who already have children — can benefit from taking holistically-focused classes to help them through the birthing process. If you are planning on natural birth, this is especially important. Being able to release the fear and doubts surrounding this completely natural process is key in establishing a positive mindset.
For example, our five-week HypnoBirthing Zoom class uses The Mongan Method to put moms at ease. In addition to doing core work around the birthing process, we also discuss breastfeeding during the fifth session. The techniques learned in just over a month can help you relax and feel far more empowered to take on motherhood — naturally.
Pack comforting items for your hospital delivery
If you’ve decided to deliver your baby in a hospital, be sure to pack self-care items in your hospital bag. Bring whatever is needed to help you feel relaxed and grounded. This can include everything from essential oils to an all-natural skincare item that you enjoy. Balance both baby’s needs and your own.
Also, consider the purchase of a labor and delivery gown. Rather than using the sometimes uncomfortable gowns provided by hospitals, you can bring a cozy yet practical option. Wearing something soft and comfortable while in labor will make you feel far more at ease.
Prep your home beforehand
Whether you decide to have your baby at home or in the hospital, the last thing you’re going to want to do is try and care for an infant while also struggling with a messy home. So well before the birth, do what you can to get your house in order. Clean the floors, remove clutter, and reduce allergens as much as possible.
Schedule one (or more) prenatal massages
Moms-to-be deserve as much pampering as they can get. Creating a life for nine months is no task. The American Pregnancy Association suggests easing the aches and pains that accompany the later stages of pregnancy with a soothing prenatal massage. Instead of using medication or conventional treatments, a massage can address the root cause of your discomfort. A skilled massage therapist who specializes in prenatal massage will loosen up key muscle groups, which provides all-natural relief. Read reviews of local massage therapists to find one who will best suit your needs.
Once you’ve found a prenatal massage therapist, schedule as many appointments as your time and budget permit. You deserve to be cared for on an ongoing basis — not just as a one-time event.
Learn about ways to care for your body during breastfeeding
When the baby arrives and the breastfeeding starts, having a plan for self-care is necessary for both you and your little one. The more you care for yourself, the longer you’ll be able to breastfeed. If you’re returning to work, this is part of having a healthy work-life balance, a necessary element for reducing stress as you breastfeed. Prioritizing this balance involves doing things like learning how to delegate work-related tasks, how and when to properly say no, and getting more efficient at certain parts of your job.
When breastfeeding, Babylist says to find a calming, all-natural balm to soothe the pain that can accompany breastfeeding. There are several excellent vegan nipple butters on the market that are highly recommended. Also, staying hydrated is another practice that you’ll want to start. If you find it challenging to drink water throughout the day, purchase a water bottle that visually shows you how much water you should be drinking each hour.
During pregnancy and postpartum, make your self-care a priority. Doing so will make it easier for you to invest energy into the well-being of your new arrival.