I think breastfeeding is nature’s way of slowing new moms down. After being on bedrest for so long during my pregnancy, I was ready to get up and go as soon as my baby was born, whether or not I was fully recovered yet. The only thing that slowed me down was a nursing baby who wanted to stop and cuddle while she ate every few hours.
With older kids wanting to go, go, go, I’ve done a lot of nursing on the go, but I’ve learned to appreciate those moments when I can lay down with my baby and enjoy our quiet time together while she eats.
Breastfeeding is a great chance to slow down but it’s also a great opportunity to do some of the more relaxing things you love guilt-free.
Read a Book
I’m an avid reader . . . or at least I used to be before I had kids. If you don’t count the weekend I raced through The Hunger Games trilogy and fed my kids cereal for every meal, it’s been a really long time since I’ve finished a book. I’m usually lucky if I get 5 minutes of quiet time before someone needs something.
Breastfeeding is a great opportunity to slow down and catch up on my reading. If I tell my older kids I’m feeding the baby, they are usually pretty good about giving me some space. They know their sister falls asleep while eating and that the consequences will be serious if they barge in and wake her up. Thanks to that downtime, I’ve been working my way through my to-read list for the first time in years.
Take a Nap
I’m a really bad napper. Like so bad at it that if I tell my kids I’m taking a nap they will laugh. They know I’ll probably end up cleaning the bathroom instead. But there are times that sleep deprivation gets the best of you and when you REALLY need a nap, there are few things that will get you to sleep faster than lying down and nursing a new baby.
There’s something so relaxing about listening to those sweet slurping noises and the smell of newborn skin. Sometimes that’s better than a sleeping pill.
Catch up on old TV Shows
Watching TV is usually a guilt-inducing activity for me. There always something else I should be doing . . . unless you are stuck in one spot nursing a baby. Then it’s a great time to catch up on some favorite shows without feeling like I’m wasting time that should be spent doing something else.
Netflix has been great for this. There are so many shows that I haven’t followed over the years that I always have plenty of new stuff to watch.
I’m not good at slowing down so meditation is not high up on my list of favorite things to do. Whether or not I’m good at it, though, I do believe our brains need a chance to slow down every once in a while. We’re bombarded by technology and noise every day.
Laying down with a nursing baby is a great chance to turn your brain off and just recharge. If you are having trouble relaxing, turn on some gentle music. Taking the time to unwind will improve your mood for the rest of the day.
Read to your Kids
I love to read to my kids but a lot of the time it gets pushed to the back burner with all the other stuff going on in our crazy lives. Nursing is a great chance to snuggle up with older kids and read. We’ve gone through some of our old favorites in the past few months like Harry Potter and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. When I don’t have any free hands, my 9 year old son takes over and gets the chance to practice his oral reading skills.
What do you like to do while breastfeeding?