Welcome to the Carnival of Breastfeeding for December. I’m making my reappearance after missing the Carnivals for October and November. For this month’s carnival, the theme is taking care of yourself during the holidays — specifically tips for nursing moms on how to get reast & relacation during the holiday season and avoid becoming stressed, overtired and getting plugged ducts and mastitis. Please check out the other contributing writers linked at the bottom of this post.

For the holidays, my family usually goes to to cities – Cebu (Stan’s hometown) and Davao (my hometown). These cities are about 1 hour and 1.5 hours away from Metro Manila and are 45 minutes away from each other by plane. Since we go home as a family only once a year, we have a list of relatives to visit and parties to attend (especially in Cebu).

I really don’t have tips to cope with the schedule since I pretty much just tried to “wing it”. I’ve seen 2 other websites with great tips which I’d like to share here and here. For me, however, one important (and painful) lesson I learned was to always bring my breast pump when on vacation. When Naima was about 3 months old, we went to Cebu to attend a wedding. At this time, Naima was exclusively breastfeeding so I didn’t see any reason to bring my pump. Plus, we just pulled out from our nipple confusion troubles so I really didn’t want to give Naima any bottles during our trip.

What I didn’t expect was for Naima to change feeding schedules – she started feeding for longer intervals and I ended up getting engorged with plugged ducts! Naima nursed from me as much as she could but even then, I couldn’t get everything out. I tried hand expressing unsuccessfully. I tried calling my first lactation consultant but she wasn’t answering my texts/calls. I was eventually able to resolve the plugged ducts when we got back to Manila but hot compresses, pumping and taking lecithin. It really did hurt and I think I could’ve avoided this if I brought my pump.

This holiday break, I am trying to wean from the pump. I expect that Naima will be nursing but I’m hoping to stop pumping by year-end. So, I will still be bringing my pump to avoid any more plugged duct nightmares. Happy Holidays everyone!

Other Carnival Participants:
The Adventures of Lactating Girl: Breastfeeding and the Holidays