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Breastfeeding over the festive period

So the festive season is approaching fast and preparations are under way and of course stress levels are rising. It goes without saying that as women and mothers, we want everything to be perfect. We feel we should be organised, we want to please everyone and make sure everyone is happy and enjoys the festivities..... STOP right there. This year needs to be different as there is a little one that needs feeding and it’s time to readjust expectations. It's time to find new ways of doing things and find the best way to enjoy the festivities. Here are some scenarios and suggestions of how to enjoy the time.

Shopping with your baby:

1. Before beginning to shop, look for a café or breastfeeding room so that when your little one wakes, you can go straight there. The breastfeeding organisation of Switzerland, provides an excellent guide - mamamap

2. Make sure you put extra time on your parking meter – you do not want to be in the middle of a feed and realise you need to run to top-up the parking.

3. Take some water and a snack for yourself.

4. If your little one needs a feed – enjoy the ‘time out’. Sit, relax and refresh yourself as your little one does the same.


1. The house does not have to be perfect – no one will expect a clean, immaculate house when you have a new baby and if they do then they should maybe stay at home!

2. Delegate - give your visitors jobs to do. Ask them to bring a dish or do a little ironing or change your bed. Many visitors would be delighted to help out but are afraid to ask in case you get offended. Think how you would react if visiting a friend/family member with a new baby

3. Breastfeeding – feeding in front of your visitors may not suit everyone. So make sure your breastfeeding pillows and all you need are in a separate room so that you can just retire to your ‘safe feeding space’ and take some time-out with your little one.

4. Passing baby around - This can really unsettle your baby, even if they are sleeping. I know that everyone wants to hold the new arrival, but then, when they go home you are left with an unsettled baby. Also with the COVID-19 situation, it is best to limit who holds and cuddles him.


1. Eating – Eat whatever you wish (preferably in moderation). There are certain strong tasting foods such as onion, garlic and spices, which can flavour your breastmilk and your little one may realise this. Highly citric foods or foods that may give you tummy ache, can also do the same to your baby through your milk – it will pass easily, so do not panic if a day after a heavy meal your baby is a little unsettled.

2. Alcohol – This is the age-old moral maze that many medical professionals struggle to agree on. Despite the abundance of conflicting advice out there, ultimately you know yourself and your baby better than anyone. Some healthcare advice recommends not to drink any alcohol at all until your baby is three months old whilst nursing as newborns have immature livers. If you’d like a glass of wine with your festive meal, bear in mind that the alcohol will remain in your body for 2-3 hours, so if possible, feed your baby just before having a drink. If you are already using a pump, then expressing some milk to have in the fridge/freezer takes the pressure off and means someone else can take over.

3. Babysitters – if this is the first time you are leaving your little one, you may feel quite anxious. I will cover this in another blog, but a few tips: organise well in advance and have at least an hour on a separate occasion to introduce your baby to the babysitter and explain any routines etc. Inform the carer where you are going and write all numbers down (leave a notice with the numbers in the kitchen as well). When you are out, try to avoid calling, you need to trust and you must enjoy your evening too.

I wish you all a fabulous festive season and may 2024 bring you health, happiness and a wonderful new life with your little one. I look forward to sharing more with you in the New Year.

Janet X


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