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Taking Care of Yourself While Breastfeeding

You Need Rest -- Enlist Help

Particularly during the early weeks and months of your baby's life, your ability to rest will be very limited. With feedings every couple of hours, numerous diaper changes, and all the other things you have to do, having time to rest and take care of yourself may fall by the wayside. However, if you don't rest, you’ll quickly deteriorate into an exhausted, hormonal wreck, making it more difficult to take care of your child. You can't take care of your little one until you are strong enough to do so.
Resting is a key factor in a mother's ability to rebuild her strength. Just in trying to keep up with your new schedule, exhaustion can sneak up quickly. So try to fit in time to rest.
Most mothers have heard the old adage, "Sleep when your baby sleeps." Although it may be a cliché, it's also wise advice. Try to rest when your little one rests. Enlist others to help with your "to-do list" for a while; they can help do laundry, pay bills, and assist with other household chores until your schedule is no longer as demanding.
You may not be able to get a full night's sleep for some time, but it is vital for you to rest when you can and as often as you can. Leave the chores, cooking, laundry, and everything else for someone who can help you out. With that said, however, make sure not to have too many visitors at once, as this can cause you more stress in feeling like you have to entertain them -- completely defeating the purpose of having them there to help you.
Once you have gotten into a good routine with breastfeeding, you may consider pumping after each feeding to start storing up some extra breast milk (see The Whys and Hows of Expressing Breast Milk). This not only helps to improve your milk supply, but it can also provide extra milk so that someone else can help with feedings every once in a while. Even if you are exclusively breastfeeding, this can give your partner a chance to be involved with that special bonding time. It will also give you time to rest -- so take advantage of it when you can!
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