Surprise! National Breastfeeding Month This Year Isn’t What it Used to Be!
Normally, August is the most wonderful time of the year for your friendly neighborhood lactation consultant. Conferences, free webinars, and heaps of useless plastic tchotchkes adorned with the National Breastfeeding Month logo are ready for the taking. Well, nothing about 2020 is normal. I would like to dedicate this month’s blog post to the support of the breastfeeding mom.
Love On Your Favorite Breastfeeding Mama(s)
Breastfeeding mom/exclusively-pumping mom life is lonelier than ever in COVID times. The social isolation that new moms experience is of course aggravated by social distancing. Plus, I promise that she has worried herself a new ulcer thinking about COVID. This means that you need to reach out and love on your favorite breastfeeding mama.
First, send her a text telling her what a great mom she is, and acknowledge the personal sacrifice that she is making in order to give her baby the healthiest nutrition possible. Boom. Easy and free.
Next, porch-drop her favorite fancy coffee beverage (yes, breastfeeding moms can have a serving of caffeine and no one is going to die). Don’t just ask if she wants anything from the local coffee shop. Some new moms are in a strange superhero/survival mode and will decline any offers of help even when the house is disintegrating around her and her other children have gone feral. Special note if you don’t live near said mom- use DoorDash or similar food delivery service to accomplish the same thing. Yes, that’s a more expensive alternative. Yes, she is worth it. Text her and let her know that the coffee is waiting. Tell her how awesome she is.
She has her coffee and some encouraging texts. Keep up the support. Text every day. Send her goofy breastfeeding memes that you found on the internet, or send memes that are funny and uplifting. This is not the time to try to influence her mask/no mask stance. If she doesn’t have other kids to care for, this would be a great time to send her a good book. You know that she isn’t going to have any quality book reading time for like, years, so make it a good one.
Ifshe does have other kids, send them activities so that they have something to occupy themselves when she is spending hours on the couch feeding/pumping for the new baby. A mom with other kids might need a good bottle of wine, too (yes, breastfeeding moms can have a serving of wine and no one is going to die).
Support for You, the Breastfeeding/Exclusively-Pumping Mom
Hey girl, this ain’t easy. Give yourself grace. Challenge yourself to answer “yes” to everyone who asks if you need anything. Ask for help when you need it if no one is reaching out. Join a Facebook support group. Seek counseling if you feel overwhelmed.
Love comes first. Feeding comes next. The other kids can have too much screen time. Household stuff can wait. Stay in your jammies. Dry shampoo is your friend.
Love Comes First
In this time of pandemic illness, unrest, and disagreement, don’t forget about love for our fellow human beings. Wouldn’t it be awesome for us to come out of all of this better that when we went in? I hope that you found some of the suggestions in this article helpful.
Love and hugs to you all,