Parenthood opens up a brand-new chapter that might be what you’ve been looking for all this time. After all, watching your children grow over time is a thrilling experience. And there’s nothing like the satisfaction you’d get from raising them to be excellent adults someday.
But as much as you love your kids, it’s naïve to think that it can only go up from there. Because even before birth, entering parenthood has subjected couples to overcome countless hurdles before welcoming their children into the world. And once they’re infants, only more challenges await you, especially for mothers.
Since children rely on their parents, they most often count on their mothers to provide their essentials, such as food. With how much growing they must do, they’ll need all the nutrients they can get. Fortunately, most of those nutrients are found in breast milk, even though breastfeeding kids for so long will push new mothers to exhaustion.
Mothers often forget to care for themselves as they focus on their children. Fortunately, Serenity Kids and other maternity experts share legitimate tips for helping mothers throughout their kids’ breastfeeding phase.
That said, here are some reasons breastfeeding mothers must consider having a self-care routine:
Opens Up Emotional Availability
Even if some parents don’t want to view it that way, being a mother is a demanding job. Although their partners are there to support them, children still turn to their mothers more often. Experienced mothers and experts say it’s because of their bond throughout the pregnancy. Others claim it’s the parent’s instinct to put everything aside to care for their kids. Either way, it’s undeniable how challenging it is to put children before yourself.
But despite their exhaustion, most moms still persevere in caring for their kids. And considering how physically demanding breastfeeding is, it’s only a matter of time before the mother gets dehydrated. Since physical well-being is connected to one’s state of mind, having that happen repeatedly could burn anyone out until the mother’s left emotionally numb.
Caring for oneself could help ground burned-out mothers into the present. Even doing something as simple as indoor gardening might be enough of a respite for their worn-out selves. Because aside from breast milk, children—especially infants—are hungry for parental love. Being burned out renders the mother incapable of providing that to their children.
Prevents Negativity From Accumulating
Most people believe that sacrifice goes hand-in-hand with parenting. After all, good parents must have the best interests of their children in mind for every decision they make. Otherwise, their future might be affected in one way or another.
As noble as that is, no one can sacrifice their comfort for the rest of their lives. If admirable parents did accomplish that, it doesn’t come without consequences. Often, the more you sacrifice, the better for resentment to build up inside you. Granted, not everyone shares the same beliefs. But considering how parents are unique from one another, it’s still likely to happen.
Mothers are also expected to be at their kids’ beck and call until they become independent. Considering how long that’ll take, countless sacrifices must be made. Having a moment to relax or indulge is viewed as a luxury. Everything they used to take for granted when they were younger might leave them embittered due to how restricting their current lives are.
This line of thinking likely makes mothers resent their children over time. That’s why it’s essential to schedule a period where you can relax and take care of yourselves. Given how relaxation is subjective, use this opportunity to do whatever you enjoy. Go catch up with your friends over drinks or light reading with your favorite music playing in the background. Find room for yourself as you care for your kids.
Stabilizes Body Weight
With the number of nutrients babies need and postpartum put in the equation, it’s unsurprising for new mothers to lose weight. Although some mothers might consider this a plus, losing too much weight would reduce milk production significantly. Busy moms with enough time to heat preserved meals won’t get enough nutrients. And aside from lower milk production, quality will drop soon after since what the mother eats influences the milk they produce.
Allot some time in your schedule to look up recipes and have home-cooked meals. Or better yet, discuss with your partner and involve them when breastfeeding. Let them take the reins while you nourish yourself with proper food and fluids.
Cares For Breasts
Given you’re breastfeeding your child, your breasts are your most valuable assets. Although there’s nothing special you can do to take care of your breasts during this period, be mindful of how you care for them regularly. After all, it’s easy to neglect hygiene when you’re too occupied with your child.
Breastfeeding mothers often experience milk leaking out at random intervals, especially if it’s not feeding time yet. Because of this, your top will get damp. Since milk has sugar, leaving your wet shirt too long can cause bacteria or yeast growth. It irritates the skin and causes breast problems that might interfere with breastfeeding.
So, it’s best to take showers daily. Take daily baths to ensure your breasts remain clean as part of your self-care routine. When showering, it’s best to use clear water only on your nipples. Using soap will wash off the natural lubricant produced by the glands around your nipples. As a result, it can crack and dry your nipples.
Being a mother has its ups and downs. Every moment with your kids is always precious, especially for those who are breastfeeding them. After all, this period is when the bond between mother and child is strongest. But as heartfelt as this period is, there’s no denying how challenging it is, both physically and emotionally. That’s why focusing on yourself and putting your needs first once in a while is essential. Otherwise, you might end up burning yourself out.