Keeping Yourself Occupied While Breastfeeding

two women sleeping while baby breasfeeds
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If you have a newborn, this may seem like a joke. "What do you mean, 'What else can I do while I'm breastfeeding?' I'm breastfeeding, and I have no hands to spare! What can I do except for...well...breastfeed?" But, once you get the hang of positioning and latching your baby on, you will realize that you'll be spending a lot of time in your glider or on your couch.

So, how can you multitask and spend this precious time? Well, here are 10 things you can do while you're breastfeeding.

Interact With Your Baby

It may seem like a no-brainer, but spend some time staring at your baby. Talk to them. Sing to them. Before you know it, they are going to be pulling off the breast and looking up at you, giving a quick smile, and going back to nursing. This interaction will make you melt!

Get Some Sleep

Take a nap with your baby while they are nursing. Napping with your baby is an excellent way to spend the afternoon. Continue to follow safe sleep guidelines, such as making sure you don't have a lot of pillows around the baby and reclining on a firm surface (not a couch).

Have a Snack

Relax with a covered cup of tea and a healthy snack. Breastfeeding teas promote healthy lactation, and they taste great with a whole-grain oat bar or an energy bar. This is an easy way to fit in some nutrition, hydration, and relaxation.

Watch Television

Turn on the tube and catch up on all those recorded shows you've been neglecting. However, watching TV is easier to do with a newborn. It can get harder as the baby gets older because an older child can become distracted and stop nursing.

Do Some Reading

Depending on your attention span, you can use this time to read a magazine or immerse yourself in a good book.

Do Something With Your Other Children

You can spend quality time with your other children. If you have another child that is still very young, this time is critical. So talk to them or pull out their favorite book to make them feel that they are not left out of the loop.

Check Something Off Your To-Do List

If you're very comfortable and confident in your breastfeeding skills, you can get your housework done! If the baby doesn't require a lot of guidance with their latch and has good head control, you can put them in a breastfeeding sling.

With your baby in a sling, you can move about the house freely, and the baby can continue to nurse for as long as they want. If you're feeling particularly ambitious, you can even get some errands done. Slings are very discreet, You have to dig deep into them to see the baby, which most strangers won't do, so your baby can nurse through your whole trip to the grocery store if need be. (Just not in the car, of course.)

Make a Phone Call

Call a friend. When you're sitting on the couch breastfeeding, it's the ideal time to return messages. But you may want to buy a hands-free headset if the baby still needs assistance with the latch.

Just Relax

Sit in silence and put your feet up. The baby is happily nursing, so take this time to listen to the lack of fussing and enjoy the moment. 

Spend Time With Friends

Invite some friends over to hang out, you can chat through nursing and spend the day together. 

1 Source
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  1. Turkyılmaz C, Onal E, Hirfanoglu IM, et al. The effect of galactagogue herbal tea on breast milk production and short-term catch-up of birth weight in the first week of life. J Altern Complement Med. 2011;17(2):139-42. doi:10.1089/acm.2010.0090

By Melissa Kotlen
Melissa Kotlen is an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant and Registered Lactation Consultant.