baby in santa hat with dog wearing antlers

Navigate the festivities and bring sanity to the season

The holidays can be hectic—especially with a new little one in tow. But we have a secret weapon to help you get through the chaotic holiday season with less stress: breastfeeding!

Here’s how to use your milk-making superpowers to escape the holiday hustle and bustle and sneak in some much-needed “me” time during the holidays:

Scale Back Your Commitments

With a new addition to the family, you have a lot on your plate. Be selective about which events you want to attend and the traditions you want to keep. An overtired, overstimulated baby—not to mention a couple of stressed-out parents—is no way to celebrate the season. Family and friends will understand if you skip on hosting your annual holiday bash or send fewer cards than usual.

Leave Early

You made it to the holiday party—a major accomplishment when sweats are calling your name —but now you’re exhausted. If you’ve reached your limit, excuse yourself from the festivities.

Whether your little one is in tow or your boobs are telling you it’s time to nurse, breastfeeding can help you get out of the door and back to the comfort of your home.

Take a Break

Whether you need a break from the holiday music or unsolicited advice from well-meaning family members, whisk your little one into a quiet room to nurse and escape the chaos. If you’re unsure of where to go, ask your host for a private spot, ideally with a lock on the door. Just 15 or 20 minutes away from the noise and the questions (not to mention the germs!) will give you both a chance to sneak in some well-deserved R and R. The holiday season can feel like a marathon, so be sure to take some time for yourself through it all.

Ask for Help

Remember: You don’t have to do it all. In years past, you may have been in charge of cooking a huge holiday feast, decorating your family home from top to bottom and baking 10 types of cookies. But things are different this year, and if you’re not feeling up to it, it’s OK to let yourself off the hook. If you want to host a party, have a potluck dinner or cookie swap instead. Remember, your holidays don’t have to be Pinterest-perfect to be fun and memorable. Make the celebration about the people you love, not all the time-consuming details.

Manage Visitors

If this is the first holiday season for your little one, expect that friends and family members will want to stop by to spread some holiday cheer. If you fear that they may overstay their welcome, be honest with them. You can say something like, “We’re keeping visits to an hour or less since I’m on a frequent breastfeeding schedule.”

If a friend or family member usually occupies your guest room during their visits over the holiday season, it’s OK to ask them to stay elsewhere this year. Whether you tell them you’ve turned the guest room into or a pumping room, or warn them about all those around-the-clock feedings that may disturb their holiday rest, make your reasoning about their comfort! And of course, nail down a time when you can get together to catch up and celebrate while they are in town.

Your health and your sanity are way more important than making it to three holiday parties in a day, mailing out 150 cards, and buying gifts for every person you know. While all the traditions and festivities are so special, the most important thing to your baby is YOU and the time you share. The team at Ashland Women’s Health is here to help you through the holiday season. Since we’re run by moms for moms, we’ve been there before and are happy to help answer any questions and offer up any advice we’ve learned over the years. Contact us today.