Thanksgiving this year may mean a smaller gathering but its still bound to be a day that’s out of your routine which could create chaos for you and your baby when it comes to breastfeeding. Here are some tips to help you enjoy the day while balancing the work of breastfeeding.
1. Plan ahead:
Especially if you’re the cook and the host. Write up a timeline for the day that includes your breastfeeding plan in addition to the key milestones to prepare for the big meal. When will you sit down to breastfeed or pump? Set aside this time, otherwise the day will get away from you.
2. Prepare for storage:
Whether you’re leaving your home or hosting at your place – every refrigerator in America is experiencing some heavy lifting on Thanksgiving. Extra crowding and frequent openings can find your milk in a vulnerable position of being spilled or lowering its temperature to unsafe levels. Find a storage container that you can put your milk bags into during this time to prevent them from getting squished or punctured. Make sure the container is placed near the back of the fridge so that its temperature can stay consistently cold as the day goes on.
3. Know your rights:
Should you be flying, make sure you know your rights for traveling with your necessary breastfeeding essentials – including transporting breastmilk. You’ll want to be familiar with both the guidelines from the TSA and your airline of choice. Some moms have even found it helpful to have a printed copy of these guidelines to easily reference with TSA Agents and airline associates.
4. Assess the attitudes:
Don’t be caught off guard by Aunt Sally’s questioning or your brother’s look of disgust when you are breastfeeding. Prior to Thanksgiving, take a moment to consider what the reactions from your family may be and consider which response from you would make you most proud. By thinking ahead, you’ll be on the offensive rather than defensive.
5. Prioritize your self:
As a matriarch, it’s easy to find yourself generously giving to your loved ones during Thanksgiving. While this is a lovely way to celebrate your familial love, it’s also a sneaky way to leave you mentally and physically drained by the end of the day. Such depletion can put your milk supply at risk. Take time to enjoy the nutritious meal, to take some deep breaths to keep stress at bay, and to fill up your cup. (And don't forget your Momful supplements!)
6. Stay connected to baby:
Thanksgiving can be a holiday in which your baby is meeting family members for the first time. It’s a wonderful thing! Everyone wants to dote on and play with baby. Be careful to watch baby for their feeding cues or even the need to be back with mom – where they feel safest and find the most comfort.
Make it a great Thanksgiving
by enjoying time with your family, eating a delicious meal, and prioritizing your goals for breastfeeding during this time. These first holidays with your baby are truly some of the most precious and exciting even during your commitment to breastfeed.
We’re wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving.