Monday, November 12, 2012

Breastfeeding During the Holiday Season

 It is that wonderful time of year again! I love the chill in the air, bundling up and getting cozy next to the fire. You cannot beat the delicious food that surrounds you. Watching holiday movies and getting to see the extended family all together. It is all just so cozy and fun.

 When it comes to breastfeeding, however, the holidays can present some challenges. The number of parties and larger groups of people hanging around can make it more difficult to breastfeed in peace. Additionally, sometimes being in a group setting can bring forth larger amounts of unsolicited advice at one time. Even the smaller details, like colder weather, can make it more difficult to breastfeed - more layers means it can be more difficult to be accessible for a nursing child.

 For me, I was always fairly self-conscious about my body; including my boobs. I didn't really want any one (related or not) to see me nurse Nathan. I had a nursing cover that I used each time, but Nathan hated to be covered up - even at 2 months old. So I would go hide out in a back room each time Nathan was hungry. Since I also was one of few in my family to breastfeed exclusively, I felt a little awkward doing something different. So I would go out of site. This worked out well for me because I could relax instead of constantly battling Nathan with the nursing cover. Since I was relaxed, Nathan wasn't so distracted and we could get down to business and be back out socializing in no time!

 Even if you are comfortable whipping out your boob and nursing in front of whomever, depending on the age of the baby they might get distracted from nursing in a social setting. I had this problem even at home, with my husband or kitty. Distractable baby couldn't nurse with any light or noise for at least a month around 4 months of age. Yikes. If your baby is like this, that's another point for hiding out in a quiet room!

 This year, Nathan will be 15 months old at Christmas. Since he is an older baby, I do not know my extended family's opinion about extended breastfeeding. It doesn't directly affect how I will care for my child, but I would like to avoid any type of drama with those I only get to see a couple times a year. The saving grace in this area is that most of his nutrition is coming from food these days anyway, so it may not even come up.

What are some challenges around the holidays that you have faced?

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