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Taking Care of Yourself While Breastfeeding

Despite your good intentions, you may find that around-the-clock breastfeeding gets in the way of taking good care of yourself. Fortunately, there are things you can do to feel less exhausted, and it starts with asking for help. Planning ahead and resting when your baby rests will help, too. Remember, the better you take care of yourself, the happier you and your little one will be.

Where to Start

When you found out you were pregnant, you probably started taking great precautions -- what you ate, what you drank, your overall health, you name it. You knew that what you ate and drank would also affect your unborn child.
After giving birth, your focus may have shifted to the well-being of your little one. You now may feel that taking care of yourself is just not a priority. However, it is crucial to take care of yourself, especially with the high demands your body will need to meet while breastfeeding.

Staying One Step Ahead

Try to plan ahead so that after your child is born and you return home, you can relax and focus on you and your baby's needs. That first six to eight weeks after birth is a time where you will be going through many emotional and physical changes. If this is your first child, there is the added stress of being new to this and not knowing what to expect. However, there are several things you can do ahead of time to help give you those extra hours and minutes of precious rest.
If you are going to breastfeed, you can plan on being up for feedings just about every three hours (at least). Having this type of schedule 24/7 can quickly exhaust you. To help save every minute you can to rest, try to line up help ahead of time. Schedule a time for friends or family members to bring dinners, help with chores, or just watch the baby for a little bit while you rest or take a shower.
Simple things like this, even if they are for just a few minutes, can be a tremendous weight lifted off your exhausted shoulders, particularly in those first few weeks after birth.
Also, before bringing your baby home, you can stock up on all the necessities, such as diapers, laundry detergent, and other things that will come in handy. Because those first couple of weeks at home are literally a time to heal and regain your strength, try to build a stockpile of supplies so that you aren't trying to run errands and sacrifice that much-needed rest. 
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Breastfeeeding Overview Information

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