Breastfeeding comes with a lot of sitting. And, let’s face it, a lot of mindless social media scrolling.
For me, a day goes from 6am to 4pm in a blink when I’m trapped under an infant and frankly it makes me a little crazy. I breastfed my first to 21 months and only stopped when I got pregnant with number two and he’s now been nursing for three and a half. I’ve spent over three years breastfeeding and being pregnant.
Even when I know it’s a time for rest and bonding, I can only stare into that precious face for so long before I begin to feel like a permanent fixture on the couch.
I’ve found that the more I can maximize my down time the less stressed I feel about all the things I didn’t get to (laundry, dishes, showering, etc.).
My 20oz Starbucks cup never leaves my side. We all know we need to drink more water (half your weight in ounces a day at least) and it’s even more important when you’re nursing. So commit to drinking at least a glass every time you sit down with your little one.
It helps with milk production, weight loss, digestion… I don’t need to school you in this. We ALL know how important water is.
I have spent plenty of long newborn days on social media and in front of the TV. And then feel brain dead by dinner time.
I know I’m physically doing a great thing for me and my baby. But I feel mentally flatlined sometimes.
Give your brain something to do.
I am a massive devourer of podcasts. I also love audiobooks. I find holding a physical book to be a little tough but not impossible. And you could always download an ebook to your phone if you’re not a huge fan of audio.
Hello? It’s right there in your hand already you know it is.
The point is, we moms can tend to fill our brains with tasks, toddler television, and to-do lists and let whole days pass without exploring anything we’re passionate about or expanding our areas of interest and that’s draining!
I write the first draft of these blog posts in my notes app with a boob hanging out. How’s that for a visual?
I also plan my social media, create memes on my Canva app, and edit photos in mobile Lightroom.
Whether you’re a writer/creator doesn’t really matter. You could write your grocery list or use Pinterest to meal plan or keep a journal of what it’s like to be a mom. It’s the physical act of doing something productive that feels good.
Ok this isn’t the real name for these but it’s what I call them. I have diastis recti but this is a good exercise for any mom postpartum.
While you’re sitting contract your abs as if you were sucking it in to try to button those pre-baby jeans. (Sidenote: Lady there is no shame in throwing those away and buying a size up.) Hold it for ten seconds and release. If you can also Kegel while you do this, it’s even better according to my husband’s CrossFit coach. It can help heal diastis recti and strengthen your core and pelvic floor.
I started doing this and have seen a noticeable difference.
I know your baby just seems like a pile of milk-covered mush right now, but they are capable of so much.
Nursing can feel like a very clinical task at times. You will feel like a cow at some point. And your baby can feel like a chore in these moments.
So we dive head first into Instagram and disappear for 30 minutes. And that’s ok sometimes. But don’t forget to look up. Meet his or her gaze. Sing a song. Tell a story. Talk. Bond. Fall in love. Breastfeeding is hard! It takes as much from you as it gives to them. So it’s ok to zone out or use some of that time for yourself, but don’t forget to connect with that little human in your arms.
You’ll both feel better as a result.