Breastfeeding can be exhausting and time consuming. New mothers often forget to take care of themselves when nursing their infants. It is hard to find time to relax and rejuvenate amidst all the demands motherhood can place on us as women. However, we women are amazing multi-taskers and if done right, breastfeeding time can also be a time for a mother to unwind and reset during busy and stressful days. Breastfeeding forces you to sit or lie down which is the first step in getting some relaxation. Here are some additional things you can do to pamper yourself while breastfeeding.
- Soak your feet – Give your feet a luxurious bath reminiscent of a day at a spa. Fill an appropriate size container (disposable roasting pans or the pink plastic tubs from the hospital work well) with warm water. Add a tablespoon of olive or sweet almond oil and several drops of your favorite essential oil. You can also add sprigs of fresh herbs. Rosemary is a good choice to revive tired feet. Place a towel next to the container. Soak your feet while breastfeeding. When baby is finished and hopefully asleep, dry your feet and discard the water and herbs. If you are up for it, give yourself a quick pedicure which will be easy on your freshly soaked feet.
- Read – Curling up with a good novel or magazine is very relaxing. There is no reason why you can’t read and nurse at the same time once nursing comes easily. If holding the baby and book together is too difficult, listen to an audiobook. When you are relaxed your milk flows better and baby gets what she needs.
- Aromatherapy – Add your favorite essential oil to a diffuser and take in the healing fragrance while you nurse. Lemon or sweet orange will help rejuvenate your senses if you are feeling tired and lavender will help relax you if you are anxious.
- Meditate/Pray – Finding time to reflect and pray can be difficult while caught up in the intensity of 24/7 infant care. Breastfeeding forces you to sit down and do nothing else but provide nourishment for your baby. Taking this time to meditate and pray is perfect way to relax your mind. You will find yourself mentally refreshed if you do this each day.
- Sleep – The most important thing a new mother can do for herself is get extra sleep. Breastfeeding provides the perfect opportunity to get a 20-30 minute nap while baby happily nurses to sleep.
These are just a few ideas a few ideas of how a mom can relax and pamper herself while she breastfeeds her baby several times a day. If you have any ideas, please post them!