Caring for a new baby during the holidays is often a challenge, and this year it probably feels even more daunting, especially if you’re breastfeeding or pumping. Navigating the logistics of celebrating the holidays, connecting with family and friends, taking care of your little one, pumping or breastfeeding often enough, and staying safe from the Coronavirus is certainly no small feat. Here are some ideas to help you celebrate safely and sanely:
Prioritize feeding and pumping. Good advice for pumping and breastfeeding mothers any year, this holiday season it’s especially important to prioritize your schedule and needs around feeding your baby. If you don’t feel you can comfortably and safely feed or pump outside of your home—or if a friend or family member proposes a gathering at a time when you need to feed or pump—give yourself permission to say no, skip a get-together, or propose an alternative. Your breasts, and your baby, will thank you!
Take advantage of your Zoom or video call settings. Zoom burnout is real and for many of us, that’s the only safe way to connect and celebrate with friends and relatives right now. If you are attending any virtual holiday gatherings, get familiar with the settings. If your baby is fussing, you can turn off your microphone. If you need to feed or pump and want a little privacy, turn off your video. Especially if you wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable breastfeeding or pumping in the middle of an in-person gathering, this ability to control what others see and hear—all without leaving the party—might be a perk to remote holiday celebrations.
Make a list...and check it twice. For your breastfeeding and pumping supplies that is. If you are going to in-person celebrations or visiting family or friends, it’s more important than ever to come prepared. In addition to any breastfeeding tools and pump parts, consider bringing extra hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes so that you can easily keep up your hand hygiene before breastfeeding and pumping. Our Ellerby and Chertsey bags can help you keep up with your pump and accessories in style—ensuring you have all that you need to pump easily and safely even during the unprecedented 2020 holiday season.
Know your (lactation) stuff. As mentioned above, it’s important to prioritize your needs and schedule when breastfeeding and pumping during the holidays. It can be tempting to skip a pump or feed because it conflicts with an event, but removing milk consistently is important for both your supply and breast health. Also make sure you know the safety guidelines for storing, thawing, and feeding human milk before you head to grandma’s house or pump on the go.
Breastfeeding and pumping are often challenging in and of themselves. Add in holiday celebrations and a global pandemic and these activities are made even more difficult. By planning ahead and prioritizing yourself (and your baby!) as you feed and pump this holiday season, you can make the festivities as enjoyable as possible for you and your family. If you’re looking for more ideas to celebrate Christmas with a new baby, see Christmas with Baby—Covid Edition.