Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and for many breastfeeding mothers, that means wondering how to celebrate the most romantic day of the year. Should we hire a babysitter or just bring the baby to dinner with us? What should I wear (especially if I’m feeling a little less than stylish these days)? Having just delivered my third child (conveniently right before Valentine’s Day), I’ve learned a few things along the way about balancing a breastfeeding regimen while still finding time to spend with my partner. Here are a few of my sanity-saving tips for all you nursing (and soon-to-be nursing) mothers out there.
Embrace the Little Things to Keep the Spark
Life is hectic with a breastfeeding newborn and there’s just no way around it. You are often exhausted from feeding a hungry baby day and night, which can be a real romance killer. Instead of trying to recreate a Valentine’s Day reminiscent of the times you spent together before you started a family, rely on small gestures to display affection. Recreate your first wedding dance as a married couple in the comfort of your living room. Order take out from a restaurant you’ve been dying to try out. Feast on premium chocolates while you luxuriate in your comfiest robe and slippers. Whatever simple things bring you and your spouse joy, do them!
Dinner and a Movie… at Home
Babysitters are hard to come by on Valentine’s Day and are often booked weeks in advance. You may also be completely worn out from keeping up with your breastfeeding schedule along with the day-to-day tasks of running a household, so I find it’s best not to force a Valentine’s Day “occasion.” Cook dinner with your spouse, light some candles, fire up Netflix, and have a romantic evening for two on the couch.
Go with the Flow
There is nothing nursing moms understand more than to expect the unexpected. Even the best-laid preparations can be thrown into a tailspin with a newborn calling the shots, so be ready to go with the flow. Maybe your baby is especially fussy on Valentine’s Day, or a cold strikes during the most inopportune of times. Be ready to laugh off any roadblocks and know that you and your spouse can tackle anything together, including a non-traditional Valentine’s Day celebration.
Talk About the Kids
This may seem counterintuitive, as your whole life essentially revolves around their daily needs, but the Breastfeeding Resource Center recommends making your best effort to avoid talking about your breastfeeding newborn during your couples Valentine’s Day. Instead, take the time to concentrate on each other as it will give you both a mental break and allow you to reconnect as a couple before you started your family. As a breastfeeding mother, you deserve a night off and your significant other can agree!
Pressure Yourself to Celebrate on Valentine’s Day Itself
With reservations booked weeks in advance, I felt like I was forcing myself to celebrate on Valentine’s Day and felt like more than pressure than I needed. So, I came up with a solution: DON’T! My husband and I often set the occasion to the night after Valentine’s Day to avoid crowds and eliminate some stress out of the holiday.
It’s important to remember that Valentine’s Day doesn’t center around writing a sentimental card, buying flowers and digging into a box of chocolates. Celebrating unconditional love with your significant other, and the family it has grown into, is what the day is really about. So, treat yourself this holiday and take time with your one and only. You’ve earned it!
Imalac cofounder Rachael Kish is a working mother and Certified Lactation Counselor. Those who would like to support our newest product, Nurture by Imalac, can find out more by visiting our Kickstarter page. If you would like to connect with the Imalac team, please check us out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.