Self-Care Tips for Breastfeeding Mamas
I am excited to share a new blog post from guest writer Katherine Williams. She is the owner and operator of whenthebabysleeps.com. Self-care is not talked about very much with busy mom's! Continue reading to find some tips to help, and of course information on essential oils and breastfeeding! Enjoy the blog post!
Breastfeeding is one of the most important things you can do for your baby’s health and development. But it can also be physically and emotionally draining, especially for new mothers.
Taking care of yourself while breastfeeding is essential to ensure both you and your baby get the best possible care. To help, Wicked Good Scentz shares some tips for essential oils to avoid while breastfeeding. Keep reading to find out which essentials to avoid.
Focus on Nutrition
As a nursing mother, it’s important to eat a balanced diet to nourish yourself and your baby. Make sure you are getting enough protein, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Incorporating fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains into your meals can help keep you healthy while giving your little ones the nutrition they need as well.
Aim to Keep Your Home as Clean as Possible
Being a new parent is hard work, and finding the time and energy to clean your home can seem like an impossible task. Consider delegating some of the heavier cleaning duties to your partner or hiring a professional cleaner.
Regardless of who cleans, make sure they are using natural cleaning products so that you and your baby won’t have to deal with harmful fumes or chemicals. These efforts will ensure that your home is free from dust mites and other allergens that may cause irritation to both you and your newborn.
Breastfeeding is important for your health and the health of your child. It's essential to drink plenty of water throughout the day - at least 8 glasses per day - to ensure proper hydration during this time. Additionally, it's best to stay away from caffeine as dehydration can reduce milk production when breastfeeding.
Involving Your Other Children
Having a new addition to the family can be exciting for all. If there are older siblings at home, it's a great idea to get them involved in helping out with the new baby. They can do simple tasks like folding laundry or helping with dishes, which will give them a sense of responsibility and free up some time for mom while she is nursing her newest little one.
Try to Get Some Physical Activity
Physical activity doesn’t have to take much time out of your day, but it is important to get in some daily movement when breastfeeding. Take a quick walk around the block during naptime or take the baby on a stroll to pick up a few groceries. You can also do some yoga at home — whatever works best for you. It’s important to stay active so that both body and mind stay healthy while breastfeeding your little one.
Keep a Daily Journal
Writing in a journal is a great way for nursing mothers to process their thoughts and emotions. It can provide clarity when you become overwhelmed with the emotions of being a new mother. Noting any worries or concerns helps to keep perspective on the difficult journey of motherhood.
It’s Okay to Ask for Help
Being a new mother can be a taxing experience, so don’t shy away from asking for help. Asking for help with errands or even just having someone watch the baby for an hour can provide much-needed rest and relief. Having family, friends, or experienced childcare providers available can make all the difference in keeping stress levels low during this special time.
Catch Some Zzz’s
We all long for those days when uninterrupted sleep was a regular occurrence, but things have changed and that's ok. Taking a break from caring for everyone else and allowing yourself to enjoy some much-needed rest when the baby does is one of the most important components of maintaining your own well-being. Don't feel guilty about grabbing a few moments of shut-eye — it's more important than ever.
In fact, pick up a few beautiful, comfortable, and functional nursing gowns. Not only will they help you get a good night’s sleep, but you can easily transition to night feedings without a hassle. You can try this listing for a few great options. You can also add some relaxing aromatherapy from Wicked Good Scentz to your room to encourage sleep. Check out her blog for recipes on some various room sprays and other recipes.
Essential Oils to Avoid While Pregnant & Breastfeeding
The following essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding. They are not recommended to use in any form due to the risks described in the Essential Oil Safety book by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
Most of the concerns of essential oil use during pregnancy is if it could affect the baby’s growth or not. It could also be argued that there is still risk to an infant who is nursing. It is really for you to decide if this is something you want to risk or not. I am just providing the information.
Make sure you pay attention to the Latin name of these essential oils. Please
take note of the species or chemotype listed within the parenthesis. This is to prevent any confusion of other essential oils with the same name. An example of this would be Tea Tree essential oil. If you have further questions, please reach out to me via my Wicked Good Scentz website or by email.
If you find an essential oil without a Latin name, just avoid it to ensure you are not getting an essential oil on this list.
· Anise: Pimpinella anisum
· Anise (Star): Illicium verum
· Arborvitae/Thuja/Western Red Cedar: Thuja plicata
· Artemisia vestita: Artemisia vestita
· Basil (lemon): Ocimum x citriodorum
· Basil (Madagascan): Ocimum gratissimum, Ocimum viride
· Basil (pungent): Ocimum gratissimum, Ocimum viride
· Birch (Sweet): Betula lenta
· Black Seed: Nigella sativa
· Buchu (diosphenol): Agathosma betulina
· Buchu (pulegone): Agathosm crenulata
· Camphor (brown): Cinnamomum camphora
· Carrot Seed: Daucus carota
· Cassia: Cinnamomum cassia, Cinnamomum aromaticum
· Chaste Tree / Vitex: Vitex ugnus castus
· Cinnamon Bark: Cinnamomum verum, Cinnamomum zeylanicum
· Cypress (Blue): Calitris intratopica
· Dill Seed (Indian): Anethum sowa
· Fennel (Bitter): Foeniculum vulgare
· Fennel (Sweet): Foeniculum vulgare
· Frankincense (papyrifera): Boswellia papyrifera
· Ho Leaf (camphor): Cinnamomum camphora ct camphor
· Hyssop (pinocamphine): Hyssopus officinalis ct pinocamphine
· Laurel Leaf: Laurus nobilis
· Lavender (Spanish): Lavandula stoechas
· Lemon Balm (Australian): Eucalyptus staigeriana
· May Chang / Litsea: Litsea cubeba
· Mugwort (camphor/thujone): Artemisia vulgaris ct camphor/thujone
· Mugwort (chrysanthenyl acetate): Artemisia vulgaris ct chrysanthenyl acetate
· Mugwort (great): Artemisia arborescens
· Myrrh: Commiphora myrrha, Commiphora molmol
· Myrtle: Myrtus communis
· Myrtle (honey): Melaleuca tererifolia
· Myrtle (Lemon): Backhousia citriodora
· Nutmeg (East Indian): Myristica fragrans, Myristica officinalis, Myristica
moschata, Myristica aromatica, Myristica amboinensis
· Nutmeg (West Indian): Myristica fragrans, Myristica officinalis, Myristica
moschata, Myristica aromatica, Myristica amboinensis
· Oregano: Origanum vulgare, Origanum onites
· Parsley Leaf: Petroslinum sativum, Petroseliunum crispum
· Parsley Seed: Petroslinum sativum, Petroseliunum crispum
· Pennyroyal: Mentha pulegium, Hedeoma pulegioides, Micromeria fruiticosa
· Rue: Ruta graveolens, Ruta montana
· Sage (Dalmatian): Salvia officinalis
· Sage (Spanish): Salvia lavandulifolia, Salvia hispanorum
· Tansy: Tanacetum vulgare, Chrysanthemum tanacetum
· Tea Tree (lemon): Leptospermum petersonii, Leptospermum citratum
· Thuja: Thuja occidentalis
· Thyme (lemon): Thymus x citriodorus, Thymus lanuginosus, Thymus serphylum
· Wintergreen: Gaultheria procumbens, Gaultheria fragrantissima
· Yarrow (Green): Achillea nobilis
· Peppermint* Mentha piperita – I just want to clarify something about why peppermint is on this list. It is fine to use in pregnancy, but some have reported it reduced their milk supply. Just something to be aware of on the use of peppermint.
So, as you can see from this list…you probably haven’t heard of half of them! There are so many more essential oils that can be safely used during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding for your self-care regimen.
Find Your New Normal
Managing motherhood and breastfeeding is hard work, and it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself while giving your all to your little one. But don't let that stop you from prioritizing nutrition, hydration, and enlisting help when necessary. All of these steps come together to provide a balance between taking care of yourself and tending to your baby.
Thank you for reading!
Love and Nature,
Nicole & Katherine
Remember: The contents of this blog post are intended for educational and informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here. Click here to read more about my medical/FDA disclaimers.
Tisserand, R., & Young, R. (2014). Essential Oil Safety. (2nd ed.). Churchill Livingstone.
Aromahead Institute. (n.d.). Aromatherapy Certification Program. [Courses]. Aromahead Institute. https://courses.aromahead.com/aromatherapy-certification-program