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Self-care for breastfeeding mums

How to take care of yourself while taking care of your baby.

self-care for mums

Caring for young children takes a lot of time and energy, so you may not have given much thought to doing some enjoyable things for yourself. While watching your baby grow and develop is rewarding, sometimes we forget we also need time for some self-care.  

Whether you are a new mother or an experienced one, working out what is really important to you, and planning some activities can make life more fun. Sharing the parenting load and looking after yourself is important.  

Simple self-care ideas to include in your day  

  • Have a relaxing warm bath or shower. 

  • Use feed times as a chance for a drink and a snack. 

  • Learn how to feed in a laid-back position or lying down so you can rest. 

  • Sit outdoors while you feed, or baby plays on a rug. 

  • Read a book that's not about babies! 

  • Say yes to offers of help with housework, meal prep or looking after older children. 

  • Listen to music or podcasts

  • Try a short meditation or mindfulness exercise (free apps available).

Your time can appear very disorganised when there are little ones in the house. Instead of starting and completing one task at a time, you probably find yourself starting two or three amidst unpredictable interruptions for feeding, soothing, playing, changing nappies, and rocking to sleep. By the end of the day, you may look back and wonder just what you've achieved.  

Don't worry - it's the way all mothers work, at least some of the time. As your baby gets older and in more of a pattern, you will find it easier to work around their feeds and even go out for short times between feeds if you wish.  

More ideas for your me-time

Things you can do with your baby

  • Meet other mums at your local ABA get-togethers

  • Visit the library. Borrow books, magazines, toys, or try their story time and singing

  • Go for a walk or run or visit a park

  • Walk to a nearby café

  • Go swimming

  • Go to the movies - great for non-mobile babies or the mums & bubs sessions 

Things you can do while your baby sleeps

  • Do crosswords or puzzles 

  • Cooking/baking 

  • Plan a holiday 

  • Watch your fav show or series  

  • Do a craft activity - one that can be done in small sections 

  • Paint your nails 

  • DIY facemask 

Things you can do when your baby is cared for

  • Try a cooking class 

  • Take a gym or fitness class 

  • Have a massage 

  • Go to the hairdresser 

  • Study 

Make self-care part of your usual day  

Aim to spend about half an hour each day on self-care or an enjoyable activity. 

"I remember at one stage feeling as if I wasn't achieving anything, so I started a jigsaw puzzle. It took more than a week to complete, but I could see some progress each day and felt a real sense of achievement when I put the last piece in." 

The ABA booklet Breastfeeding: diet, exercise and sex includes sections on stress and relaxation, diet and eating well, breastfeeding and exercise, and strengthening your body, as well as the experiences of mothers in their own words.  


© Australian Breastfeeding Association April 2022

Find out more about wellbeing for breastfeeding mums

35+ pages of info and practical tips

Breastfeeding: Diet, exercise, sex and more

Diet booklet