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Breastfeeding, Family Support & The Holidays

No matter how you look at it, November and December are incredibly busy months for many families. And, whether warranted or not, the holidays are often stressful – no surprise given the preparation and travel this time of year. This year we’ll be spending both Thanksgiving and Christmas here in Germany with only our family of five. It’s the first time in, oh forever, that we haven’t spent one of these holidays with extended family.

One of the nice things about breastfeeding is that it’s a pretty low-maintenance operation so you don’t have to worry about bringing or preparing food if you are traveling. However, it can be a little awkward to sit down and feed your baby in front of extended family. I can’t be the only one who finds it more nerve-wracking to breastfeed in front of my father-in-lawthan in front of strangers?

I distinctly remember sitting on the couch, my face flush with embarrassment, as I adjusted my first son to my breast (under a cover) while my father-in-law sat a few feet away. Even I had to remind myself that I was doing the best thing I could for my son – and for his grandson. He couldn’t fault me or judge me or even be embarrassed when thinking of it in those terms.

And, if he was embarrassed? He never let on. I have been extremely lucky to have a supportive family and extended family about my decision to breastfeed. I can’t imagine it any other way.

But, for those of you who will face criticism or judgment from your family, you have to remember that you are doing what is best for you and your child. No one can argue with that. If they do? Look at your baby and know “milk built his body.” And it’s all good.