I loved breastfeeding and was lucky it worked out for me and my babe. Those were cozy moments, just me and her together. You get special bonding opportunities, whether with the breast or bottle, or pumping, offering chances for making eye contact, a bit of one-sided convo, and maybe even bouts of impromptu singing. You can also do a bit of multitasking thanks to a hands-free nursing bra, which comes in handy. Really, I've done all of the following during sessions.
- Catch up on phone calls: You owe your mom a call, so steal the moment to connect. And your babe will be soothed by your voice. No one knows you're breastfeeding, which makes it a great chance for making any other calls that are on your list, too.
- Read a book: Get caught up with a couple of pages of a book or magazine, but read it out loud, which is also a wonderful way to keep your baby engaged via your voice.
- Join a conference call: Once you get to know your babe's feeding routine, it turns into a smart opportunity to schedule or jump on conference calls. Just be careful to keep yourself on mute and the video camera off if on a video chat.
- Listen to a podcast: I actually listened to several podcasts and writing courses while breastfeeding, which was a great way to sneak in a bit of learning that also helped motivate and keep me on track.
- Use an app: Get help with staying on track thanks to an app, like MyMedela, which is intended to be used during feeding or pumping. There are tons of articles and tips, plus helpful info when troubleshooting.
- Wash dishes: When my baby was just a newborn, I loved using a sling while she was breastfeeding, which kept her close and my hands free. I tackled the dishes during her postnap session.
- Go walking: While baby's in a sling, you can pretty much do anything while breastfeeding, but taking a walk offers the opportunity to get out of the house.
- Meditate: You usually get about 20 minutes per breastfeeding session, which is the perfect amount of time to sit and meditate on your own or with a guided session. You'll feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
- Make a to-do list: While you're sitting down, write out your to-do list so you can make sure to get everything you need taken care of during your busy day.
- Prep dinner: Even if you're working single-handedly, you can pull ingredients from the fridge and pantry to prep for dinner. Preheat the oven, get out the mixing bowls, and you're set to get cooking once both hands are free.
- Eat lunch: It's so important to remember to eat when you're breastfeeding, so take advantage of that downtime and savor something delicious.
- Drink water: You can also use the moment to load up on your water intake. Breastfeeding burns through calories and also zaps your body of necessary moisture, so replenishing is so important for you and your babe.
- Do something you love: See what's trending on your favorite social media site, play Candy Crush, or catch up on what's lingering in your Netflix queue. You deserve it.
- Do your online banking: Sure, it's not very exciting, but you can manage all your expenses and get organized while breastfeeding so you don't find yourself doing it last minute before paying monthly bills.
- Fold clothes: Get that laundry done — while you're breastfeeding! Roll baby socks and fold onesies so you're set for putting everything away.
- Clean up your inbox: Grab the computer and go through emails, cleaning up your inbox in the process. You'll be up to date without that big, looming number of emails waiting for you every time you open your computer.
No matter if you're feeding or pumping, know this time is special — and goes by so fast! Take care of yourself, and enjoy the moments you have with your little one.
More From Medela
Breastfeeding doesn't look the same for everyone. And that's more than OK. There's no perfect way to do it, and plenty of ways to get to your own version of perfect. See how real families with real-world advice get through it all at MedelaThroughItAll.com.