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Coping with Kids, Family Get-Togethers and Breastfeeding During the Holiday Season!

Well, here it is, the first of the monthly Breastfeeding Carnival Posts as promised. And just in case you haven't a clue what I'm on about, let me remind you quickly!

Five breastfeeding bloggers have got together to bring you the first of a new monthly project - a breastfeeding blog carnival. Each month the five of us will publish posts concerning breastfeeding issues and we will link to the others in the group to bring you a range of related posts. Below is my Carnival Post, "Coping with Kids, Family Get-Togethers and Breastfeeding During the Holiday Season!" So read on and enjoy! And do click on the links to see what the others are posting. I assure you that you will enjoy it!

Thanksgiving_imagesThe holidays are looming and you’re going to be stuck at home for two weeks trying to cope with a breastfeeding baby, excited siblings and a partner getting under your feet, not to mention the mutiny of visitors calling laden with gifts! How ever will you get through it?

Holidays at any time of the year can be stressful, but at times like Thanksgiving and Christmas, perhaps more than ever because of all the extra pressures placed on families.

Here are a few tips to help you cope:

1. Delegate – try not to do everything yourself. You may feel like acting Supermum but nobody expects you to do it all. If you are finding all the preparations too much, ask friends, your partner or family to give you a hand.

Visit Angela at Breastfeeding123 for "Ten Tips For Breast Health", a post to help you stay healthy this holiday season and avoid plugged ducts and mastitis.

2. Try to make some “Me Time.” It doesn’t have to be anything very special, just something to help you relax. Perhaps run yourself a bath, light a few candles and slide down under the bubbles for half an hour. Go for a brisk walk on your own to buy a magazine. Read a book or phone a friend. Tell your kids and partner that you are having 30 minutes to yourself and that you don’t want to be disturbed!

3. Plan ahead so everything doesn’t come crashing down at the last minute. Make a list and follow it through. If you do forget something – don’t worry, the world won’t stop turning!

If your holidays involve travel then you really should check out Jennifer Laycock's blog post about breastfeeding laws in places you may visit over on The Lactivist Breastfeeding Blog

4. Try to have a supply of stored breastmilk so that someone else can feed the baby once in a while. Grandparents, aunts and uncles love the opportunity to feed the baby and it will allow you a well-deserved break!

Check out Tanya Lieberman's excellent post on the importance of family support, "It All Starts Somewhere" at Motherwear Blog.

5. If all the kids are vying for attention at once, try to do something that they will all enjoy. Perhaps the baby is hungry – feed him/her whilst reading a story, singing or watching a family movie with the other children.

6. Remember your partner – it can be all too easy to concentrate on the children at any time of the year, not just the holiday season, and to forget about your relationship. Make an effort to get out for a romantic meal together, go for a walk or just sit and chat when the kids have gone to bed!

7. On the day itself try to get everyone to help out. If you are busy breastfeeding the baby, ask your partner to help prepare the dinner or to take the kids out for a breath of fresh air. Prepare as much of the food as possible beforehand and freeze if necessary. And children love to help out too – perhaps washing vegetables or having a race to see who can get their toys put away/ tidy their room the fastest!

8. When it comes to clearing up get everyone to do something to help – even if that means all the kids keeping out of the way while you get on with it!

9. Finally, remember that breastfeeding and childhood don’t last very long. So try to keep calm and enjoy it. Take lots of mental snapshots (as well as plenty of photos and videos!). And in future years you can joke together about the time when mum was breastfeeding and forgot to take the turkey out of the oven, dropped a glass of red wine on the white carpet, fell asleep in church during the sermon…

Finally, before you head off on those holidays, give yourself a giggle by reading Andi Silverman's humorous post, "'Twas The Breastfeeders Night-time" on Mama Knows Breast!

Enjoy your hols!

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