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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Holiday Weaning

What is holiday weaning? Holiday weaning is when a baby weans due to the distraction and celebration of a holiday or other special event. There may be visitors from out of town or maybe you and your family are on vacation. Either way, there’s plenty of people, attention, and distraction to keep mother and baby apart. Next thing you know, baby hasn’t breastfed all day or maybe even all weekend.

Does holiday weaning have to happen during a holiday? No. Holiday weaning can happen on vacation, around birthdays or other special events, and even when you’re moving. If a mother travels for business or grandma visits, baby’s routine may get disturbed, and weaning may happen. Any time baby and mother are busy and distracted, holiday weaning may occur.

How do we avoid holiday weaning? Planned realistically, holiday weaning need not occur. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Let friends and family members know that you cherish your breastfeeding relationship. Don’t present it as a problem. For example, when aunts or grandmothers want to help, give them a task—not the baby.
  • When family members ask to feed the baby, tell them, “Thank you, but I’m breastfeeding,” and smile.
  • Use a sling or other carrier to keep baby close to nurse.
  • Work around nap times and other times when baby is sleeping.
  • Avoid long car and plane trips if possible. If it’s unavoidable, make sure to take plenty of time for nursing breaks.
  • Choose clothing that provides easy access to the breast for the little nursling.
  • Shop for gifts online or from catalogues. Keep “real life” shopping trips short or take plenty of breaks to breastfeed.

Sometimes mothers plan to pump and give a bottle for these events. Remember to pump as often as baby feeds to maintain your milk supply. Keep in mind that the extra work of bottle feeding—pumping, processing, storing, and dish washing—may be just too much when you consider all of the other activities you're doing. Why not breastfeed instead?

Happy holidays & check out these related links...

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