My first winter experience in Germany as a migrant from a warm country like India – tips which I gained over the years

I was born and brought up in southern part of India. It’s the place where the weather is always warm. Back then I felt cold in winter which was around 20 -25 degree Celsius but after experiencing winter in Germany I changed my mind from cold to warm 😋. In my home town even in winter we can survive without wearing any winter clothes. I always thought cold weather will be good as I experienced extreme hot weathers. Back then I imagined snow as a beautiful glaze of sleet, crystal, snow flake etc. Now after 5 years of living in Germany and after 5 winters, the thought has slightly changed in my mind. Even though I love snow and I always eagerly wait for the first snow and excitement I get to see the snowfall never went down, but getting into the snow or freezing weather on a daily basis has definitely proven wrong about my imagination which I had back then. It’s always beautiful if you are inside the home with heaters on and sipping a hot tea and watching snow or cold breeze through the window. On the other hand getting up at morning 6, where it’s pitch dark outside, me doing house chores and dressing with multiple layers of clothes which added extra kgs to the weight and dressing my kid in same way and taking her to kindergarten daily is not a joke.

I remember going out without covering my head in minus degrees, made my ears numb. I didn’t realise the importance of boots until I slipped in snow with sport shoes on. Went out without mittens in very cold weather which made my finger tips pain like someone prick with the needle. I am the person who never used chapstick back in India but here, after experiencing a bad lip crack followed by bleeding made me realise its importance in winter , which now is like an organ for me which always stays with me. In addition to all I got a best gift called sinusitis which says hi in all winters and it’s terrible. Over the years I learnt to suffer less from sinusitis. One by one I learnt how to survive winter, the skills got strong when I had my baby girl. Through all trial and errors now after 5 years I somewhat manage to adapt my body in this cold weather which made me to write this blog and help my fellow immigrants who lived their entire life in a warm country like mine and experiencing new winter weather. Here are few tips from my experience to you guys.

Stay active. I know when winter blows in, you want to pull the blankets over your head and go back to sleep but there is no reason you need to take a break from physical activity when temperature drops. Actually there are advantages in staying extra active in winter.

  • As it’s not humid like summer which make you sweat more and exhaust soon so walking or running extra mile is added advantage.
  • Exercising more results in burning extra calories.
  • Great way to take some vitamin D.
  • Getting fresh air and exercising with intake of vitamin D boosts immunity from cold and flu.

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Dress in layers. Dressing in layers is the key to keep you safe from cold weather hazards. They help trap the heat and form a kind of insulation. Avoid layering in cotton because when you sweat, the inside moisture is trapped and will make you feel colder. Invest on moisture wicking fabrics and a good waterproof jacket to help to keep you warm in rain and snow.

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Stay hydrated. Winter never indicates us to drink water even though our body needs it. I always forget to drink water during the beginning years of winter season as I don’t get thirst and ended up in headaches. Keep hydrated as much as possible to maintain fluid balance. Symptoms of dehydration in winter are chapped lips, dry cough, nosebleed, headaches and acne.

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Avoid sickness during winter with household things and nutritional foods. I always struggle with sinusitis every winter. Over the years I learned some home remedies to prevent it and helped to ease if I got a sinus infection. The wise method is to invest on a good humidifier. It’s a life safer for me and my daughter during cold and flu. Second thing I noticed is to eat food which gives immunity during winter season like vitamin C rich foods, herbs and spices, yogurt, lots of vegetables like mushroom, dark leafy greens, broccoli and non veg like salmon, chicken soup etc. One thing which also helped is steam. Regular steam inhalation reduce the inflammation.

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Give some care to your drying eyes and skin. Best thing to take care of your eyes and skin is eating omega-3-fatty acid rich foods like fish, eggs, milk, yogurt, soy milk etc. Invest on good moisturizer during winter for your skin. Don’t forget the sunscreen, it’s important even for winter. As I said earlier proper hydration keeps skin retain moisture. Blink you eyes often to avoid dryness due to harsh winter weather.

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Fresh air. Let the fresh air circulate your home once in a while which is healthy for you as it takes away the trapped moisture inside the house which lead to mold formation. The fresh air circulation is always more comfortable and feel good. If you have a baby or kid who has not started kindergarten then just take them out everyday to get fresh oxygen.

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Invest on good boots. I remember falling down with my sports shoes walking on the snow melting ice. Walking on a melting snow is too dangerous that too with a flat base shoes hence, invest on a snow boots or even sport shoes which helps your feet keep their grip on the ground.

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I hope these tips are helpful for people like me who has been migrated to a different country with winters totally different from the homeland being super cold and snowy.

Stay warm and stay healthy

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Flying alone with my one-year-old -my experience and tips

Since my daughter was born we took several long and short plane rides. Majority is to our home land India. The plane ride from Germany to India takes 10 hours (straight flight) and 14 hours (transit flight). In most of the plane rides we three travelled together but when my daughter was one, for the first time I got to travel alone internationally, here I am gonna share that experience with you guys.

My daughter was one-year-old when I took my first flight alone with her. It was already her third time flying internationally, but both me and my husband were there in those trips with her. She was just 5 months old when we took her first time on flight, it was quite easy as she was not so mobile and only on breast milk. She slept mostly and was quite manageable. But this time she completed one and was super active baby girl, eats solids as well as breastfeed, walking, won’t sleep for longer etc… and adding to those I was sick before my travel 🙁. I had very bad sinusitis which made me think it’s going to be a nightmare. I was in fear thinking how am I going to survive the whole long 10 hour ride.

Finally the day came and I took some medicine to ease my pain and boarded the flight with my little princess hoping everything goes well. Guess what! I survived. Yes, I survived the whole 10 hour flight with some awesome tips I got from fellow moms, some research and few of my own techniques. Whatever advise u get or research you do before you start, at the end it’s all in your hands to manage your kid. Just think and prepare their needs. Here are few tips from this new mama which might give some clues for you to get ready for the flight run with your prince or princess.

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Make a safe and handy place for your documents. According to me carrying a backpack for your baby’s essentials is the most comfortable thing for a long flight journey. In addition to that, I would recommend to take a small slash bag with you to keep your documents handy as it is to be shown several times in the airport. There are certain situations where your kids him/her to be carried in hand even though you take stroller along with you, so having a slash bag along with your backpack is more comfortable than carrying a handbag which is going to fall from your shoulder when you deal with all tantrums your baby gonna do. Also you can’t take your documents every time out from your backpack which is difficult with kids and chances of missing documents may happen. Slash bags are handy option for your documents when traveling with kids.

Back-pack for your baby things. As I said earlier backpack is the best thing for international flight travel. Don’t pack more, try to understand your baby’s important needs and pack accordingly. When I travelled I packed one packet of diaper and I ended up only with 3 diapers for the whole 10 hour flight. I also packed more clothes which is unnecessary. Put on some comfy clothes to kids, it will do for sure. Few extra clothes are more than enough. Do some homework and try to fit all the essential things in a single backpack.

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Things to keep your kid engage. Kids can easily engage themselves with what they have, so don’t over think and pack all their toys. My daughter played most of the time with headphones and magazines which was in the plane. Buy few new little toys and surprise them one by one in the flight when they fuss, that will make them happy and let them sit for a while. Buy crayons and a colouring book which are kids favs. Stickers will also do a great job. Interacting with co-passengers was one of the thing my daughter enjoyed. She loved to see many new faces which kept her busy ( I hope no one was annoyed 😝). Singing rhymes, me doing silly magic tricks, playing peek-a-boo, reading books, colouring, telling all kinds of aeroplane stories, doing finger puppets etc., are some of the things I have done to engage my daughter. Some may even work for you, give it a try!

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Foods to be carried for your one-year-old. Check your airlines website for the quantity of liquids and solids to be carried for your baby in flight. It is ideal to carry a bottle of water for your kid as we can’t expect good quality of water in flight and also we don’t want to mess up with different water and end up in sickness until we reach the destination. I always carry boiled water for my daughter like most Indian do. If your baby drinks milk, carry that as it is helpful for takeoff and landing. Bottle foods are big no no for me, hence I carried homemade food and snacks from home. Certain homemade food and healthy snacks which are ideal to be carried for one-year-old are as follows,

  • a banana
  • Boiled mashed sweet potato
  • Dal rice (Indian dish for babies) (if you are traveling in meal time)
  • Finger fruits like grapes, apple cut into pieces, pomegranate etc.,
  • Raisins
  • Nuts
  • Lollipops
  • Cheese strings
  • Biscuits or crackers
  • baby carrots
  • pasta

These are the foods can be carried. Food I took not only filled my cutie pie’s tummy but also mama’s tummy.

Keep hydrated and get some food in your belly. I know we moms will sometimes forget us as we are always focused on our kids. Just stay hydrated as much as possible. We can be in zen mode only when our body is hydrated and energised with some food otherwise our mommy monsters may come out. You may need super energy to keep up with your kid, so eat some snacks and stay energised. Pack some extra snacks for your baby so that you can eat too. Don’t make your taste buds work more when you eat airlines lunch. Finish everything provided for lunch as it’s gonna help for sure when your kids extreme energy or over tiredness kicks in no time and you need that super power to manage them.

Prepare for landing. Landing will upset most of the kids than takeoff. Get ready before you land. Don’t give any water or milk one hour before landing as there are chances for them to refuse while landing and end up in eat pain or tummy pain. Make them drink or suck something while landing which prevent their ear from popping. Lollipops will help sometimes. Distract them as much as possible. Make that cheerful mommy come out even though you are fully exhausted. Play their favourite game and sing their favourite rhymes. Giggling will make them divert totally or make them less sick. If possible make them sleep (that occurs very rare). If nothing helps just let them cry it out, keep calm and don’t stress yourself. Crying out is sometimes better as it may help in relieving from ear plugs so, don’t freak out. If you stress, the situation will go worse. Most of the co-passengers will understand and if someone reacts just ignore them.

I hope this blog help you guys. Don’t over think, just go ahead and face it. Your baby will understand you more than anyone else. They will make us smile and laugh most of the time in flight when we are stressed and tired. Most terrified flight journey will go smooth. Take it as it goes with little preparation. Happy journey dear moms.

Checklist I made for my travel (it may help some)

  • Diaper
  • Wipes
  • Formula or expressed breast milk ( if you need)
  • Medication ( if your kid needs some)
  • Plastic bags for diaper disposal
  • Change of shirt for you and baby
  • Spare pants for baby
  • Pj’s ( if it’s a night flight)
  • Sweater (in case of chilly in flight)
  • Your baby’s favorite blanket
  • Sleep toy (if your baby has one)
  • Passports and documents
  • emergency contact numbers (written)
  • Immunisation medical record for your baby
  • Bottle of water
  • Sippy cup empty (for water or milk if your kid doesn’t take bottles)
  • Food (listed above)
  • Baby spoon
  • Toys
  • Books
  • Baby rhymes playlist in iPad or mobile phone
  • Stickers
  • Crayons and colouring book
  • Cotton plug for ears in case
  • Socks
  • Candy or lollipop.
  • nasal drops (in case of stuffy nose or congestion).

Having my baby girl made my marriage stronger – some tips from my experience

Like all moms in this whole wide world, I too suffered from stress, sleeplessness etc. Being a new stressful parent made me show more hatred towards my husband. Ya I know many moms would do that, don’t worry I am at your side 😉. It’s totally normal to show your anger and fight with your partner but keeping it for long time is not good for your relationship. For few weeks we barely seen each other. We seen each other only for few hours each day after he gets home from work, and I will be busy always in feeding, changing diapers and taking care my baby. There was no time for each other, the days passed and things changed when my baby girl started laughing at people, seeing things, making sounds made my husband spend more time in home which made us enjoy things together. I felt like my happy life is back again. Many say when babies grow, the couples space will get lesser, but in our case once she started growing month by month she was the one who made us come closer to each other. We both felt a different feeling of affection and attraction towards each other. I liked him more as a dad of my daughter than my husband. Seeing my husband in my daughter’s features always made me think about him. Arguments do happen at times, but we understood each other’s pressure of being new parents and compromised. Having a baby is the biggest adjustments couples could experience. I fell in love with him all over again, but this time more deeply. The gratitude I had for my husband has increased as I have watched him love, guide and serve my child. My daughter not only made us a father and a mother but also made us understand the value of our relationship to become better spouses as well. Here are few tips for you guys which I like to share from my experience.

Accepting the difficulties on both of you as new parents. When I had my daughter, I thought I was the person who does more chores for the baby than my husband and got into more constant arguments with him. Later I realized it isn’t true, like we moms undergo major shift, our partners also deal with major identity shift. Communicate and acknowledge more with each other, as both mom and dad experiences may have equal intensity.

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Appreciating lonely time. For us before baby it’s not a big matter of spending time to each other, and we didn’t even think it’s a big deal and sometimes we sit with our mobile and laptop in the corner and spend hours together with them. But after baby, having lonely time is a big deal and we started appreciating those moments by spending it for one another. My kind advise is to keep away your expectations aside. Never expect that your husband will find time for you, instead you make time for him and appreciate the lovely time with him.

Text each other not only to buy things or to fight but to romance. Texting each other is the great way when there is no time to cuddle. It’s a better way to stay connected. Yes that’s what we did when our baby occupied most of our time. Sometimes expressing in writing will be more intense than verbalizing (watch out, it may lead to misunderstandings too 😜).

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Sometimes talk stuffs other than your child. I know it’s hard part. After having kids the only topic for discussion will be them. Even though you try to navigate, the ending topic of discussion will be kids without your knowledge. I know girl! I am with you. But try hard to get some time other than kids stuffs. You can share the stuff like idle neighbourhood gossip, politics, times when you first met, about your favourite game, weather, whatever. Always find things to laugh about. Spending time away from kids or not talking about them is not a bad thing. Look at it as a gift to them because you’re going to be refreshed and happy which is highly important for the mental health of both as couples as well as parents.

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Never let yourself hungry. When you are a new mom, especially breastfeeding and your partner brings some issue during lunch time, for sure he is in big trouble. Hunger will make you go crazy, even the smallest issue will be seen big when you are in a hungry mind. Never ever discuss sensitive subjects when hungry. Ask you partner to speak after your stomach is full. Small advice for men is to grab some favorite food of your wife before starting your conversation.

Planning for baby’s future. Many think it’s too soon to plan the baby’s future, but this magical moments when it feels like it will last forever, it goes by so fast. When you both sit together and plan for your little one future it will definitely make you excited for the life you are building together and many exciting thing to come! Putting your all into your family is the best thing and definitely it’s going to make your marriage life strong.

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Try to walk away from annoying things your husband do. Arguments are definitely unhealthy for a family, having said that there is no marriage life without arguments. Walking away from arguments sometimes is good as the babies pick up on tone of voice, facial expressions, stress and the overall emotional health of the parents at very young age. Sometimes saying anything fuels the flames of the fight, so it may be best to not say anything at all and just walk away. I know it’s hard but sometimes it helps a lot to make our marriage life healthy.

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Babies definitely make family strong. They make each and everyday beautiful. My daughter made us come closer than we were before having her. Sharing things like hilarious moments of my daughter do make us laugh harder than anything else. Also sharing my fears with my husband made me bond with him more. Having baby is one of the biggest test your marriage will face but, when you pass the test, the rest of the life will be fruitful.

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My first interview published on expat focus

Thank you expatfocus for interviewing me. Really had a good feeling as it will help people like me. Happy to be a part of expatfocus as they do a great job for guiding people when they move to different place.

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895B53CC-94C5-405D-9CA6-9B000AB2BDA2Here is the expat focus link – https://expatfocus.com/c/aid=4700/expat-experiences/germany/rama/

Hello new moms! Squash your worries and grab some happiness!!

Let me tell a short story of mine. When I had my daughter 3 years ago, I thought my life has flipped upside down. I struggled from everything like mood swings, depression, loneliness, breastfeeding, cooking with baby, sleepless nights, felt useless and constant disagreement with partner. Totally unmotivated mom I could say. I felt heavy due to the demands placed on my shoulders each and every day. Even though, my husband helped me a lot in household chores, I felt some burden in me. I wanted someone to motivate me. Major stress built around me. The feelings I experienced was overwhelming and new, as I live away from family and friends it became more stressful.

As a new mom, I was constantly seeking answers in google. I googled the most ridiculous things. If people judge my parenting I started responding and felt guilt about my parenting. It continued for a year and finally my mind started changing when I started discussing with fellow moms through mommy groups and forums and read blogs about the struggles of other new moms and how they overcome it (in-between my ridiculous search in google, I even searched something good 😁).

I saw my child and hubby less happier with me. Then I realised something is wrong with me and not with them. I was constantly searching for happiness in life, whereas I totally forgot that I am not giving happiness. Happiness comes only when you share it with others. Happy mom makes happy family. I understood that and I started focus on building optimism, self-motivation and happiness which spread to my family. My daughter become more happier when she saw me happy. I saw my body in a more positive way. I realised how strong I am to do things that might have been daunting before. I would like to give some tips on how I made myself and my family happy.

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Be real and not dramatic. Being grown in Indian household I was always taught that kids, husband and the house should be the first priority which I followed spiritually and ended up in stress.

  • Stop focusing on being a good mom or wife and focus on you (yes I mean your soul), being good only to others won’t make you good internally, it means you are cheating yourself.
  • If you expect your house to be always clean and your kids to always well behaved then you going to face stress and unhappiness.
  • Be realistic both doesn’t gonna be perfect. Sacrificing doesn’t going to work. At least for me. I know some may disagree with me.

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Give your precious time. The true happiness comes when you give time both for your kids and for yourself. It’s ok to take time for yourself to enjoy your interests. Enjoying doesn’t mean partying or clubbing in midnight. The tiny things in life will give more happiness if you do it whole heartedly. Say it from painting your nails, pedicure, makeup, reading a book, cook your favourite, peaceful work, a new haircut etc.. these things refreshes you and that will make you a better mom for real.

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Make a happylist. I know as a new mom, you have a huge list of things be done. But let the to do list turn to would like to do list. Make your work fun.

E.g., To do list

  •  Clean the kitchen
  • Do exercise
  • Cook lunch
  • Clean bathroom

Would like to do

  • Clean the kitchen and get some cuddle with my baby
  • Dance in your kitchen
  • Cook lunch and take a pic and post in instagram.
  • Clean bathroom and do pedicure.

Embrace your post-baby body. Try not to compare your post-baby body to others. Comparing yourself to others will lead to negative thoughts. Focus instead on your body needs. Wear outfits that are comfortable and also make you feel confident. Use positive affirmations like “I love my body”, “I accept the way my body looks”, “ I am grateful for allowing my body to grow and give birth to my child”.

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Do easy exercises at home. Doing exercise is the best thing to make you feel better and improve your body image. As a busy new mom you may not find time to workout for hours or go to gym. Instead, try fitting in quick and easy exercises at home while baby is napping. Even a little time spent in excercise will make you feel more positive about your body. You will definitely feel more energy and happiness.

Pat on your back. Self-confidence is really important for new moms. Boost your self confidence regularly by appreciating each and every work you do such as mothering skills you learn everyday or your ability to simply get through the day with a new born. Give yourself a pat on your back when you accomplish some work as a new parent, this can help to increase your confidence level. Acknowledge yourself for your hard work raising a child.

Appreciate others. Appreciate others will make you feel good internally and also gives priority to you and others. Appreciate wholeheartedly every little thing which makes you happy. When you begin to appreciate it keep you away from dwelling on the negative. This attitude in you will definitely instill in your kids with a way of seeing the world that appreciate the good things. Your kids will carry this throughout their life.

Be thankful. If you believe in God then thank him for the precious blessing! Thank God for our mind to help mold, our body to nurture and our spirit to enrich. Be thankful for your body, try to see your body as better, not worse.

If you follow these things then for sure you doesn’t need any external factor to motivate you. Happiness is within you. Happiness is something you create and are uniquely responsible for. Search happiness in you, it will reward you with priority as I did. Beleive you are beautiful and hold your head high.

Our Best family trip to wildlife – Tripsdrill

In Summer (2017), we took a trip to Tripsdrill which has a Wildparadies (wild life park) and a Erlebnispark (theme park). It is located an hour from the large city of Stuttgart. It includes lots of family attractions.

We have been to many places in Europe but this place really was special for me, my daughter and my husband as we felt really happy and relaxed. Nature always gives an immense joy for every individual, as we moved bit far from it to live lives. As I really had a good time there, which made me to write about it. When my husband booked in Tripsdrill, I wasn’t sure what to expect. We packed a little since, we were only going on a twoday trip. As soon as we reached there, the first thing attracted me is the nature. It was green everywhere. We were excited to stay in the Shepherds Wagon (shepherds hut). The beauty of the location was a delight to our eyes. The Shepherds Wagon was situated among the real sheep herds and a wild life place very near which brought a real feel of camping. For people who wants to go camping and need the ease and comfort, it’s the right place. There is no tent, no sleeping bags but just comfortable beds, electricity and even a tiny TV. My daughter was so happy staying in a very new atmosphere (even I am). We literally felt like sleeping inside a forest hearing sheep, wolves and other animals at night.

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Shepherds Wagon

The Shepherds Wagon was build totally unique and bespoke. Interiors are made of natural materials like wooden hangers for clothes, wooden pen etc., which are so beautiful and unique. There were even name boards for each Wagon. A small wooden table and bench were placed before each hut so, that people can hang out there for sometime.

 

There were even bathroom facilities, it was a shared bathrooms which were located across a small street. The toilets and bathroom decor had it’s unique touch of nature. They were spotlessly clean, modern and well-appointed.

On the same day we got to visit the wild park. Deer’s were the first animals we saw, they were roaming free without harming or getting scared of people. The areas where they aren’t free there were cages which are less restricted. Unlike zoo, it was a forest trip but more secured. The chance to interact with wild animals was special for the kids. My daughter was so happy as she got to feed the animals and touch the animals as she never got the chance to do it before.

There was even a wooden park for kids to play which was so good. Actually it is a big wooden park to say. We had so much fun playing there.

The apple picking was our favorite, there were apple and pear trees everywhere. It was wonderful to see.

 

 

The next morning we went to (Erlebnispark) theme park which was 10 minutes walk from Wildparadies. The main attraction was a giant roller coaster but we didn’t get a chance to go as my daughter s little. The water ride (Waschzuber Rafting), which was so amazing and even small kids can ride it with fun. There were many rides for little kids as we exactly wanted for our 3-year-old which never happened in other theme parks. I would say it is the best toddler friendly theme park.

 

Love this quote from Stephen Moss, “Nature is a tool to get children to experience not just the wider world, but themselves.

As the quote says, in this fast-paced world it is necessary for the kids to expose themselves to nature which is helpful in their physical and mental well-being. We, as a parents too definitely had a break from our day-to-day life and really felt relaxed seeing my daughter completely away from TV and cartoons and spending time in the nature. It was such a lovely park with beautiful surroundings, impressive themes and great variety of rides. We enjoyed to the most and loved to visit it again in future.

Breastfeeding – My Survival and Tips

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Breastfeeding, in my opinion is a easiest choice to make but toughest to follow. Today I am going to share my experience on breastfeeding my daughter as a baby. When I was pregnant with my daughter I decided to breastfeed her at least for 2 years. The time came and I gave birth. My daughter latched immediately and my milk came in by the second day. It was so wonderful to feed my baby and it was the best feeling ever. The excitement which I had for breastfeeding soon flew off the window. My nipples cracked in the second week and I was in excruciating pain and I did my own milk treatment (applying our own breast milk on the nipples and leave it to dry) and with lanolin cream. The nipple crack healed and my milk came in full flow like a fountain which made me suffer in breast engorgement followed by mastitis. I suffered from worst pain ever, it’s lot more painful than giving birth. I remember shivering in the middle of the  night with three blankets on me and breastfed my baby. As advised by doctor feeding continuously made the mastitis go and I was relaxed. From then I started to learn from my mistakes and I researched as much as possible and made my breastfeeding journey a success and as I planned I breastfeed my daughter till 2 years. It’s not an easy thing to learn on the go, so prepare for it to be a pro.

Breastfeeding is a real pleasure when you make it perfect. But, the perfection comes only through practice and patience. I would like to share some simple tips, which will prepare your mind if you are still pregnant or ease your mind with some solutions that you are searching for during breastfeeding. I am not a professional but a mom who gained knowledge through experience. You can always consult a lactation specialist before following the tips.

Pre-prep during pregnancy. Soon after making the decision that you want to breastfeed, start preparing for it. Some may ask ‘what is there to prepare’? yes you don’t have to prepare physically as your body will do most of the work in preparation for breastfeeding but mentally there are few things to prepare, so that you can avoid certain breastfeeding problems with a bit of preparation. There are a lot of resources to prepare beforehand. Preparations include massaging your breasts in your third trimester to clear the ducts, use of breast shells for flat nipples, finding good breast pump, purchasing nursing bra for convenience and support, breastfeeding pillow, nipple moisturizer, breast pads etc.

Get some help. It’s necessary to have some kind of help at the early stages of childbirth. You definitely can’t focus on baby unless someone takes care of the housework. There is no such problem if you reside near your mom, in-laws or close friend’s place, but in my case I was living in Germany, faraway from my hometown and there is no support system near me apart from my husband. Luckily, my mom and in-law came over to Germany which was a great support for me in my initial months. The help you get is not only for you but for baby and your family. Handling alone will lead to stress and sleep deprivation making breastfeeding difficult and hurting your physical and mental well-being.

If your partner is the only support then make him understand. When you live away from your home, the only support will be your partner, but expecting your partner to know what needs to be done is wrong. It’s about talking and solving together. Hence, talk and figure out what should be done. Definitely as a first time father, your partner may be clueless about what must be done and what you are going through hormonally. Instead of getting angry of what he has not done or done something wrong, remember he might have not known what to be done, so communicate as possible as you can and make him understand.

Food and water is must. I know as a new mom definitely food and water is a secondary thing. But timely food not only benefits your baby but also you. I remember going mad on the baby if I starve. Your diet does not need to be perfect, you need an estimated 300 – 500 extra calories per day. Breastfeeding might make you feel thirsty, so consider keeping a bottle of water nearby and drink as often as possible. I made a self-rule to drink water before and after breastfeeding which helped me a lot to fight against dehydration.

Sleep when baby sleeps. I know it’s easy to say but hard to follow, but try to take as many cat naps as possible to pump energy for the night otherwise you would be waking like zombie the next day will result in irritable, lethargic, unable to focus on the most tasks and breast milk reduction. Even if you can’t go to sleep lie down and relax. Don’t stress if you can’t fall asleep, just lying down can be restorative.

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Relaxed feeding. Relaxed feeding will always help in good milk flow. Having skin to skin while feeding make you and baby relax and enjoy the moment. Have a snack while feeding the baby. Hunger will lead to anxiety. Make yourself comfortable by leaning onto a pillow and have a pillow under your legs for support while sitting. Breastfeeding takes time so you can relax by doing your favourite thing like listening music, watching shows etc. Once baby and mom gets hang of it then you can nurse by lying down.

Breastfeed on the go. Breastfeeding on the go is inexpensive, time-consuming and mess free. All you need is your breast and hungry baby. No pre-prep needed like washing bottles, sterilizing etc. Once you get hang of nursing your baby, it’s by far the most convenient way of feeding your baby fresh warm milk anywhere anytime. Breastfeeding in public is not a sin. My simple trick to breastfeed in public is wearing a tank top underneath my t-shirt which helped to nurse easily by just lifting my t-shirt while feeding without exposing my breasts.

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With preparation, some information from fellow moms, little research, help from others and proper knowledge will make you a breastfeeding champ. Nursing may be natural, but it’s downright difficult so don’t give up and think breastfeeding is your responsibility. There are mom’s out there who does not breastfeed for many  reasons and it’s  a your choice, a mother is a mother even you breastfeed or not. For new moms out there and for those who are going to be a mom, my best wishes for your wonderful breastfeeding journey.

Some tips to boost milk production

  • Nurse often.
  • Switch sides.
  • Nurse skin to skin.
  • Don’t use binky so early.
  • Wear right bra.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Try herbs to increase milk.
  • Massage your breast before and during nursing.
  • Add more garlic to your food.
  • Include Oats, fenugreek seeds, spinach, carrots, barley in your diet.
  • Eat more proteins.

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