Self-Care Tips for the Breastfeeding Mom

Beyond  Day of Love

Valentine's Day is all about love. In this new season of life as a breastfeeding mom, it’s not unusual to feel like you’re already giving all you’ve got in the love department. As moms, we spend our days and nights worrying about how our little ones are doing. Worrying about milk supply, pumping output, latch, diaper counts, naps, tummy time, and more fill our thoughts to the point that thinking about anything else can bring on the dreaded mom guilt. Remember, mamas, that we are interconnected with our babies. This means how the baby is doing impacts how we’re doing and how we’re doing impacts how the baby is doing. Caring for yourself is an important part of caring for your baby! Remind yourself that mom guilt shouldn’t be allowed to take hold when you’re devoting some time and attention to your self-care. 

This Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be extravagant, expensive, or complicated. Making a practice of weaving small acts of self-care into your routine can have a big impact over time. So, how can you take care of yourself while also taking care of your newest little valentine?

Cozy up Your Nursing or Pumping Space

Start with a comfortable chair as the base of your cozy space. Look for something with arms, good back, and shoulder support, and maybe even a footstool. Add a lamp for soft lighting and ambiance.

Breastfeeding momBreastfeeding mom

A shelf or roller cart are great option for keeping all your essential supplies nearby. Load it up with burp cloths, nursing pads, your breast pump, extra pump parts, nipple butter, nourishing snacks, and anything else you think you might need at arm’s reach. To finish it off, consider playing white noise or soothing music on your phone during nursing or pumping sessions.

Find Moments of Self-Compassion

Buy Yourself a Gift That Makes Breastfeeding Easier or More Convenient

  • Get a reusable water bottle or insulated tumbler that helps keep you motivated to drink plenty of fluids. Bonus tip: Using a straw helps you drink more!
  • In-bra milk catchers make it easy to save any leaking milk. These are especially helpful if you leak on the opposite side while the baby is nursing.
  • Comfy nursing tops can help you feel more confident when nursing while out and about.
  • A hands-free pumping bra makes pumping less of a hassle and allows you to multitask if needed.
  • Microwave steam bags make sanitizing pump parts a breeze whether at work or home.
  • Pump-to-bag adapters allow you to pump directly into breast milk storage bags, reducing dishes and the risk of contaminating your precious liquid gold.
  • Having extra sets of pump parts on hand can eliminate the need to wash after each pumping session.
  • A wearable pump or portable pump makes pumping on the go so much more doable. If you are pumping regularly, pair a wearable or portable pump with a traditional pump to best support your milk production.

Nourish Yourself Well

Even though Valentine’s Day is traditionally all about chocolates, show yourself some love by eating to power your body for this new mom's life.

Map out the best health-conscious convenience foods or take-out options so you have a backup plan when you’re in a pinch. 

Along with continuing your milk supporting supplements, take some time to stock your fridge and pantry with healthy, whole foods that will support milk-making and recovery from birth. Meal prep a few key ingredients (grains, proteins, fruits, veggies) to make nourishing yourself easier throughout the week.

Connect With Breastfeeding Moms

Finding online or in-person breastfeeding support groups can be a great way to connect with other pumping and nursing moms who are on this journey too. Hearing from other breastfeeding mothers can calm your fears about what’s normal and what’s not, and can provide helpful tips for navigating breastfeeding struggles.

Connecting with an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) can provide reassurance that things are on track or help you address concerns with milk supply, latch, nipple pain, pump settings, and more. 

Cuties diapers without MedicaidCuties diapers without Medicaid

Schedule a Baby-friendly Galentine’s Get-Together With Other Moms

Sometimes self-care looks like getting back out in the world. It might feel a little intimidating to take the baby out at first, but in no time at all, you’ll be a pro. Ease yourself into it by opting to meet up with friends in baby-friendly settings. Consider a local park, or a quiet coffee shop, or invite your friends over for a mid-afternoon snack and cup of tea. Make it a full-on Galentine’s celebration! Lots of pumping and nursing mothers report that getting out and about in the newborn phase feels a little daunting at first, but is worth it.

Get Outside

It’s no secret that those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere are at greater risk for low vitamin D levels. Getting some sunshine can help boost vitamin D which can have a positive impact on mood, immune system function, bone health, inflammation reduction, and general well-being. Taking a daily walk can help you ease back into exercise and provide babies with lots of rich sensory input as they ride in the stroller or are worn in a carrier.

Let the Love Hormone Flow

Oxytocin is the powerful hormone responsible for uterine contractions during labor, orgasms, the letdown of breast milk, and bonding with the baby. It’s often referred to as “the love hormone”. Immediately postpartum, uninterrupted skin-to-skin is encouraged to help get oxytocin flowing and to encourage early breastfeeding. But, skin-to-skin isn’t just for the golden hour after birth. Skin-to-skin contact can help soothe a fussy baby, support breastfeeding, and even help reduce anxiety and promote feelings of calm for the mom. Embrace that loving feeling on Valentine’s Day and every day!


Celebrating Valentine’s Day as a nursing and pumping mom might feel different than before baby. Just remember that you can incorporate self-care into your daily routine while also meeting your baby’s needs. Your physical, emotional, and mental health have a direct correlation to your baby’s overall well-being. This Valentine’s Day, shift your thinking to prioritize self-care just like any other part of your healthcare. Lots of love to you, mama!

About The Author

Jacque Ordner Motif Medical IBCLCJacque Ordner Motif Medical IBCLC

Jacque Ordner is a mom of four sons and IBCLC in the heart of the Midwest in Illinois. Her love of lactation support began over a decade ago when she was working as a registered nurse. She specializes in adoptive lactation, breastfeeding after c-section, and pumping. 

Information provided in blogs should not be used as a substitute for medical care or consultation.

Information provided in blogs should not be used as a substitute for medical care or consultation.


As a registered nurse and IBCLC, Jacque has worked with breastfeeding families in the clinic, hospital, WIC, and private practice settings. As a mom of four, Jacque is intimately familiar with the struggles that face breastfeeding families, and she loves helping families create personalized feeding plans to help them reach their breastfeeding goals. She has devoted much of her career to creating lactation, birth and baby care educational programs that equip new parents for the journey ahead. Jacque is passionate about finding ways to make pumping more effective, comfortable, and sustainable.

Focus areas: Pumping, Flange Fitting, Adoptive Breastfeeding

Certifications: Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), RLC

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