Hello Mama and Papa,
Congratulations on your bundle of joy!
Are you on this remarkable Journey??
Do you lament about lack of alone time? Or your spouse is feeling stressed and you see it visibly?
Breastfeeding journey is a marathon. It is something that creates bonding with the child. It is the precious gift that one could give for the child. The benefits of breastfeeding are numerous. But the journey or process as such is tiring. Though the journey is worth it, it takes a lot of patience, persistence and perseverance and it needs loads of self care rituals.
On hearing self care ritual do not think of a relaxed pedicure, manicure or a 1 hour hair spa. You are not entitled for a complete 2 hours free time from the baby! It is an utopian concept. Either the child needs you or you will be constantly checking on the baby! Because after being a mother there is no single thought that’s all about only thyself. Even if it comes you will feel guilty about being selfish. So, it is always about the baby first and ourselves next. You could even be the single child not sharing things but the child occupies a lot of space in the head and yes that could cause a lot of stress as you are not used to it!
So in the minimum luxurious alone time one can do the following to keep oneself sane.
7. Watching TV or Web Series
People do tell to have eye contact with the baby to have more bonding. Yes. It does give a beautiful bonding. But as a human being it could be difficult for you to look at the child 8-12 times a day for 20-30 minutes. So, there isn’t going to be anything wrong to watch tv after the baby has happily latched and closed his/her eyes! Subscribe to Amazon prime or Netflix (if you feel so), Hot star, Sun Next also is not a bad option. It may or may not bust your stress on all days but it could be really helpful when your baby is going through growth spurts and during cluster feeding! Do not hesitate to subscribe and watch your favourite shows.
6. Dress Up
Being a breastfeeding mother could put dressing up on the back seat. Not having time to comb your hair, say, not having energy to comb could be more precise. But just squeeze in time for your makeover. They are worth it! As you get dressed up and look presentable it would be refreshing for you and you will be confident about your looks after pregnancy. It will boost your overall mood. Believe me the next feeding would be more relaxed.
5. Learn Something New
If you are used to something like writing, painting or reading; try a different one. Take up cooking, gardening, calligraphy or you can also prepare yourself for rejoining to work after maternity leave. A new course or technology could be the best bet if you are someone who doesn’t stress yourself out while learning technologies. These could make you intriguing. And you will look forward to it and during feeding you can speak with your baby! That will also be a wonderful way to bond with the child and he/she will also respond with aah, coo sounds. In general sharing will make things great and you will feel it. In the new hobby you will be a learner reminding you that you are also new to motherhood and will learn things eventually.
4. Exercise and Sleep
If you have undergone c section or normal delivery it doesn’t change the time for body hormones to return to their original state! C section has an additional factor with respect to scar though. But in both cases walking is a great option. And with feeding for longer hours shoulders and neck could be under more stress! Do shoulder rolls, neck rotation and wrist work. They will help in flexibility of limbs. With breast feeding it could be difficult to get enough sleep. Make sure to sleep when your baby sleeps. Power naps will become your friend and you will just fall asleep as you count from 1-100. You will sleep just when it’s not even 30.
3. Vent Out – Journaling, Speaking with friends
Venting out could be the best therapy for most of the things! There could be N number of old and new issues that clog the mind! It could cloud your analysis. Most of the successful persons in the world attribute their success to Journaling! Journaling has its own healing effects. It gives a clear idea to yourself what is important and what is not as you are consistent with it! And keeping in touch with friends can always take you to your best days. Speak up with your trusted friend once in a while. Just share your pressing issues. They could definitely come up with a solution as they see things from outside! If you find it rational you can always go with that! Or if you find people are judgmental just stick to Journaling. You can even destroy it if you need relief. That has its own effect! Just figure out which form is comfortable for you.
Also stay in touch with other new mommies! This could definitely tell you that you are not alone in the process and it is not that only you have given birth in this world! There are other similar people who go through the same as you. That could be a strength for you and you will feel a lot better as you get to know about other children and mommies. In the process do not forget that your partner is your best friend! Keep sharing your thoughts and of course love with your spouse! He will give awesome ideas to combat stress!
2. Breathing and Prayer
Just breathe! Inhale and exhale! They are capable of doing wonders physically, psychologically, emotionally! It will remove the trapped toxins in no time and help to feel relaxed and refreshed in minutes! 21 times a day could be of greater benefit! Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth visualising that you are pushing all the negativity out! Believe me it’s a great exercise giving instant energy! Thanks to Relationship and Energy Healer Dr. Girish Kumar of Human Connect for this greatest lesson. It is useful anytime, not just during breastfeeding! Breathing helps to overcome any stressful situation. To get to know more about yourself and healing your relationships with others you can register for one free session with him to know where you stand. – https://human-connect.in/
Then sitting in front of your favourite lord could make your heart lighter. Pray with utmost calmness. No worries about time or time line or time zone. You have got all the time in this world and take one day at a time! Prayer could definitely make this beautiful journey wonderful! Just pray calmly!
1. Be Present
Experience the power of now in every act that you do. It could be having a face wash! Feel it all the way through the process. Opening the face wash bottle, feeling the liquid on your hand, rubbing gently on your face! Enjoy the form against your skin! Feel the cold water splashing on your face! It’s great to enjoy such little things! And they give you instant energy! Similarly while feeding the baby, feel it with the whole of the heart! Visualize you are feeding whole some nutrients, unconditional love, positivity, great health as the baby latches on to you! Doing this in two of your feeds does make things really great!
These could help you to keep yourself sane in the journey of exclusive breastfeeding! Share your experience and how you managed or manage stress during this marathon! If you are a papa tell us how you help your partner to combat stress!
Cheers and Love!
Rukmini P Kirthivasan