For the past few weeks our home has been a germ factory. No sooner has one bug spread through the family than another hits. It has been awful. Having a sick baby is terrible. You would give anything to make them better but all you can do is cuddle, soothe and attempt to calm them when they cry. All your energy goes into looking after your sick bubba but who is looking after you? Here are a few tips I have picked up to make sure you don’t forget about your own wellbeing while caring for your family.
- If you are breastfeeding and your baby’s appetite reduces while they are sick, you may experience engorgement due to the mismatch in supply. Be careful that this doesn’t lead to mastitis. Hand expressing in the shower or using a breast pump when you can will help relieve the engorgement. The reduction in appetite is temporary so pumping will also help keep your supply at the right level for when bub is better and wanting more milk. You will also likely build a good stash in your freezer!
- You might be beyond the days of sleepless nights but sickness can bring these back with a vengeance. Remember the advice everyone gave you when your baby was born to sleep when your baby sleeps. Don’t feel any guilt about sleeping during the day, as you will need your energy when baby wakes during the night.
- Stick to a healthy diet so you keep up your immunity. Boil a few eggs and keep them in the fridge along with a bag of pre-washed lettuce, tomatoes and avocado. You will have a quick and easy lunch you can throw together and eat with one hand. You might eat the same thing a few days running but at least you are eating. For dinner a bag of pre-cut stir-fry vegetables, pre-diced meat and a dash of soy sauce makes a healthy easy dinner. A BBQ chicken (minus the skin) will also get you a few meals worth.
- Accept offers of help! If you have a family member or friend who offers to come over and help out for an hour or so, take them up on it. Even if they can hang out the washing, or watch baby while you shower it will make a difference to your day. Don’t be afraid to ask for help either. Maybe a neighbour could collect your older kids from school or a friend could pick up a few grocery items for you. Good friends won’t mind you asking!
- When baby is feeling better, gradually start back into your normal routine. You are likely exhausted and jumping head first into whatever it is you have been missing while looking after your little one is likely to wear you out. Take baby steps with small outings so you don’t over exert yourself. Your bub who is still getting back to their normal self will probably appreciate it also.
Do you have any tips for looking after yourself while baby is sick? Share them in the comments below.
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