The holiday season is here and can cause an interruption to your regularly scheduled routine—time off from work, winter break for children, day care closures, holiday festivities, and the list goes on. These temporary changes can also interrupt your breast / chestfeeding routine. Science tells us that breastmilk production is supply and demand—essentially the more milk you remove the more your body will produce (source). Let’s explore ways to keep your breast / chestfeeding routine on track in the midst of a temporary interruption to your routine.
Please, please plan ahead. It is imperative that you do not skip feedings or pumping sessions as you do not want to endure clogged ducts or worst-case, mastitis (source). Definitely nurse or pump prior to leaving. If you know that you’ll be away for an extended period of time (meaning that you’ll miss an opportunity to nurse or pump) consider taking an electric or manual pump with you so that you can express milk. Traveling with your pump can be the one factor that allows you to remove milk during your usual time interval while on the go. Hand expression is another option that is helpful for expressing milk. Check out the technique here. Bottom line, you have options!!!
- Expressed milk allows another individual to feed your little one while you are away temporarily or resting.
- Consider where you are going and get a layout of the land. Are there private spaces where you can nurse or pump? Is there a space to store your expressed milk or will you need to supply an ice pack or cooler?
- Wear easy access clothing that is conducive to nursing or pumping so that you do not have to get fully undressed if you are in a public space.
- Do not forget to pack a scarf or nursing cover-up if you are uncomfortable nursing / pumping in public spaces.
- Remember to carry hand sanitizer in the event that you do not have access to soap and water while out and about.
- It is very easy to lose track of time when your routine is different. Consider setting an alarm to remind yourself to nurse / pump so that you remain on schedule!
- For safety purposes, be fully aware of your surroundings if you choose to nurse/pump in your vehicle.
The above suggestions can apply to the holiday or any other temporary deviation from your standard routine. Interruptions can take place for a variety of reasons and planning ahead is your best friend. Present yourself with the gift of self-compassion as you plan ahead. Doing so is imperative for two reasons—you deserve it and you cannot predict the outcome of every situation. Challenge yourself to extend the same compassion toward others as this time of the year is not a festive occasion for some. Lastly, the pandemic is still present and continues to impact every aspect of our lives. Be sure to read our 2020 holiday post where we outlined its impact along with tangible methods of creating new memories within a new normal. Be well and be safe as we usher in a new year!
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love & Breastmilk™
The Maziwa Tribe blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from Maziwa Tribe’s blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this blog is intended for general consumer understanding. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your family doctor or other medical professional to obtain medical advice.