Are You a Postpartum Mom? You Can Still Enjoy the 4th of July
October 9, 2023
In postpartum, everything changes, including how you celebrate big holidays like the Fourth of July. From the fireworks, parades and parties to the guests, indulgent food and unsolicited advice, the thrill of holidays and all that they bring often lead to parents having to adapt their feeding schedules, resting, and more. Below are our tips on how to conquer the Fourth as a postpartum mom, while still having some summer fun.
Wear What Make You Feel Good
After pregnancy and labor, your body goes straight back to work. From milk coming in, to hormones raging, and exhausting nights–it seems as though postpartum bodies are continuously evolving. Model and mother Maxey Greene notes in Vogue:
“I think the majority of women feel strange about their bodies during this time–we have to relearn to love them. There’s something so magical about becoming a mom. For the first time, my body didn’t exist for appearances, but it existed solely for nourishment. I started looking at it in a whole new way and being so incredibly thankful that it was able to do what it needed to do.”
As you settle into this state of in-between, it’s important to remember that your body and hormones will continue to change and that you don’t have to “bounce back.” However, there is a chance that these changes in your body may cause feelings of frustration, especially as you prepare for holidays and events. One thing that you can do to combat them is to wear the things that make you feel good. Whether that be leggings and a tank top, the most fancy dress you own, or casual shorts and a tee, being comfortable in your skin and body can help rid you of any anxieties or self-consciousness that can occur with gatherings and seeing friends and family again. Who knows? Maybe your postpartum self will have a whole new style than your prenatal and pregnant self. Don’t hesitate to purchase the jumpsuit you’ve been eyeing the past few days–if you know you’re going to feel amazing in it, buy it! On the other hand, if you’re figuring out what clothes to buy, consider:
Loose, flowy dresses for easy breastfeeding and circulation in the summer heat
If you plan on breastfeeding, an accessible and soft bra will be your best friend
Alongside these options, check out the post-baby jeans, bras, and dresses in this article suggested and curated by moms.
As a new mom, you may be exhausted from all of the cluster feedings and lack of sleep–having time to go to the mall may not be in the cards. If this is you, try exploring subscription box options like Stitch Fix, an online styling service that sends you clothes that match your style right to your door. In this time of change and adaptation, feeling good in what you’re wearing and being reassured of yourself will help you conquer anything and everything that comes your way.
Eat What You Want, and Enjoy It Too
Postpartum is one of the trimesters where nourishing yourself is of utmost importance to aid with recovery. Just like during pregnancy, fruits, veggies and lots and lots of protein are the most excellent options. Luckily, these are all staples of a Fourth of July backyard BBQ, and ensuring you’re eating enough will not only aid in your postpartum recovery, but also help you get through the hot and sunny holiday.
You should also be enjoying yourself. If you’re breastfeeding, you may be feeling more pressured to watch what you’re eating and drinking–but the Fourth is a holiday, and even if it wasn’t, you’re still allowed to indulge in all of the best holiday treats. Immerse yourself in all of the red, white, and blue cookies and cakes, chips, dips, and burgers, because let’s face it: you deserve it, and eating sweets for a day will hardly affect your breastmilk.
If you’ve treated yourself to caffeine or alcohol, accompany your drink with a glass of water, and wait to breastfeed for at least two hours; or, pump the morning of (or the day before) to have milk ready for your little one when they need it. Also, many stores like Target, Amazon, Buy Buy Baby sell breast milk strips that detect levels of alcohol in your milk supply. These strips are affordable and may provide some peace of mind as you nourish your little one.
Let other people hold your baby while you eat! If you’re attending the event with your partner, you might be planning to switch off–but allowing others to get to know your little one while you eat something will let you have your food and enjoy it too.
Stick to Your Routine
If you’re planning on bringing your little one to the festivities, you’ll have to take their needs into consideration. Oftentimes, moms and babies may feel stressed if they’re in a new environment –so to help with this, try following your hourly schedule. Whether you need to change a diaper, feed your baby, or take a nap, keeping your established schedule as best as you can, amidst the games, parades and floats, will help you and your little one still feel a sense of order.
If you’re on private property: when you arrive at the event, ask the host where it would be best to feed, diaper change, or just rest with your newborn. If you prefer, you might even want to have a conversation prior to arriving to ensure that the host can prepare a space for you. Having a designated spot that you know you can immediately head to will be helpful when mother nature calls–this way, you won’t have to stress and will be able to take care of your parental duties with ease.
If you’re in a public space: A quick word on breastfeeding: whether it be by breast or bottle, feeding a hungry infant is normal. Specifically, all fifty states have laws that allow women to breastfeed in public, so, if you are comfortable, find a suitable chair where you can watch the parade or talk with friends while nourishing your baby, and know that you’re guaranteed the right.
Set a Plan that’ll Let You be Flexible
When you consider nap time, feedings, and your personal needs, your plan will likely have to adjust to accommodate them. The tips below will help with how to go about making your plan:
Assess Importance. Having a holiday to look forward to is always an exciting time. When it comes to the Fourth–and at that, any holiday–assess the importance of the day and what it means to you. As holidays can also be stressful, choose the events and parts that mean the most to you. You don’t have to attend everything; holidays can be just as wonderful if you decide to hunker down and spend quality time with your partner and little one.
Tune into Your Feelings. In the morning, you may feel excited and ready to conquer the Fourth. By midday, you may be fatigued, anxious, or achey. Whatever you may be feeling, listen to your body and mind, allow yourself to feel those feelings, and be OK to do what you need to do. Note that there will be plenty of events in the future that you’ll be able to attend–enjoy your time with your infant, and leave when you want to!
Take Breaks. With all of the responsibilities of parenthood, work, household care, and more, the go-go-go feelings that holidays bring can be overwhelming. The great thing, however, is that you’re likely celebrating with trustworthy people. So, if you need a break, take or ask for one, and know that your baby will be in good hands.
Your plan will likely be different than it was the year before. As a recovering mom with a needy newborn, you have the right to go home early, take a nap, and do what is best for you and your family. If you’re feeling tired and need to “Irish exit,” let your partner take care of all the “good-byes” while you wait in the car with your baby–do what you need to do!
Holidays with a newborn and a recovering body can still be fun and relaxing! Plan, prepare, listen to your body and mind, and take the day as it comes –and you’ll be able to have a fabulous Fourth of July feeling confident, comfortable, and ready for whatever the day may bring.
Maggie Nash is the Content Creator Intern for Hibiscus Motherhood who brings together creativity and education through her knowledge of all things women and gender. As a recent graduate from Creighton University receiving a BA in Cultural Anthropology, she utilizes her skills of research, adaptability, and analysis to create engaging content for the team. With a background in expanding reproductive health, Maggie is dedicated to Hibiscus Motherhood’s mission and vision of providing quality, comfortable care to mothers post birth, as well as educating interested individuals. If you have any questions regarding her work at Hibiscus Motherhood, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.