Monday, 6 July 2015

How to Survive Cold Winter Nights While Breastfeeding

Last year, when winter approached, I wondered about how I would survive the cold with boobies exposed for half the night without getting frostbite on my nipples (TMI? Sorry!). Okay, we don't exactly live in Antarctica but Johannesburg winters do often mean temperatures plummeting into the negatives overnight.

 I did not think I would still be breastfeeding by now, but somehow, I have found myself going through yet another winter breastfeeding through the cold nights, with my son. Last year this meant no blankets as he was tiny and I was afraid of smothering him, the same applies this year as  he is determined that nobody should be allowed the luxury of blankets or duvets (if he falls asleep he wakes up as soon as I try to cove him with a blanket). I thought I would share my night time  survival tips.

First of all, dress appropriately. If you have ever breastfed, you will know that clothing can pose a challenge as you need to wear clothing that allow baby to access the milky bar when needed. This gets even more complicated when it comes to pyjamas. Obviously, the starting point is a good nursing bra. Then, get some nice, warm breastfeeding pyjamas. I get mine from a place called Sleepy Sleepwear, who have a few branches and some agents who sell it too. The ones I have are made of a warm velvety material and has a slit that allows it to open up at the bra-line so that you can feed with minimal skin exposure. 

The problem is that I have only ever managed to find one set in a size small, so when that one is in the washing, I need to make a plan B. I know there are tutorials online for making your own ones, so if you are the resourceful type you make your own. (This will not work for me as I am useless at sewing). There is also another local brand called Peek-a-Moo, who do similar long-sleeved tops, but for now they only seem to do these in thin t-shirt material, which are awesome for day wear or as pyjamas  for when there is a slight chill in the air but not for very cold weather.

 I find that low cut winter pyjamas or those with zips or buttons help, but I hate having the top of my chest cold and exposed. So I add a wooly snood to the mix. Sexy turn on? Definitely not. Warm, yes! I have also heard of mommies who have turned to adult zip-down fleece onesies as breastfeeding pj's.

The next important thing is to keep the room that you will be feeding baby in warm (heaters,insulation etc).

Lastly, consider co-sleeping, if only for winter. Not having to get out of bed means conserving precious body heat.

If anyone else has useful tips to share, I would love to hear them.