Accidental Holiday Weaning
What is accidental holiday weaning? It is unintentional weaning that occurs because our usual feeding routine gets interrupted by things like traveling, hosting festivities, distracted babies, unsolicited comments from others, etc.
What can we do to avoid unintentional weaning, protect the breastfeeding relationship and milk production, and be ready to deal with remarks from others?
- Babywearing keeps baby close and minimizes the chance for overstimulation. Some parents can also breastfeed while babywearing which is an efficient way to multi-task.
- Identify a good spot for breastfeeding ahead of time. Some people are extremely comfortable nursing or pumping in front of visitors, and some are not. Some babies can feed effectively and efficiently around distractions and some cannot. Make sure the spot you choose fits your needs, whether it's in the hub of activity or away from everyone.
- Enlist the help of others to complete holiday tasks when you have to feed the baby. Speak to someone ahead of time who will be at your celebration and ask them to take over whatever task needs completion.
- If you are anxious about nursing in front of others, practice in front of a mirror beforehand, so you can see exactly how your vantage point differs from everyone else’s.
It is OK to be your baby’s voice and advocate for their needs. You can be firm but kind in your insistence of feeding times and promise whoever is hesitant to give up the baby that they can have them right back after their meal. If anyone wants to help with baby care, offer diaper or burping duty, or holding the baby for you while you get to eat!
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