The first few weeks of breastfeeding can be hard, especially as a new mom.
When I first started breastfeeding, I had one spot that I always went to nurse. It was the most comfortable spot for me, I could add some pillows around me, and it was nice and private (in baby’s nursery) so I could have some time to figure it out.
I almost gave up so many times but I got lots of support from my husband, who knew how important breastfeeding was to me. Every time I wanted to give up I just told myself, give it one more week. Make it to this day, then re-assess.
I’m so glad I never stopped because it really was and is important to me.
Soon my son and I were a pro breastfeeding team. I could nurse him while running after the dog and grabbing myself a snack. We made it to a full year beside I decided I wanted to stop.
In those first few months of nursing around the clock, it was so helpful to have a nursing station by my assigned nursing spot.
Here are the things I had in my breastfeeding station, and that will definitely make your life breastfeeding a thousand times easier!
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CART OR BASKET
First of all you are going to want somewhere to put everything.
I love using a rolling cart because you can fit more and organize it. Because it has wheels you can bring it anywhere in the house. It’s not too heavy if you need to carry it either.
It may even be a good idea to have a cart in the main spot that you breastfeed and a basket for beside your bed, the couch, the bathroom, wherever else you feel it might be necessary to have some extra items near by.
PUMP AND/OR HAAKAA
If you are going to be pumping, you’re going to need your breast pump at your breastfeeding station. Some extra parts will be nice to have close by as well.
I just used this hand pump as I only pumped for when I was out for a bit and baby wasn’t with me. I tried to keep up with feeding him a bottle at least once a week so he stayed used to it when I did actually need him to take one.
Other than that, I mostly just nursed.
The haakaa is great for this because it catches the letdown and collects milk without having to actually pump. You can use it on one side while you’re nursing on the other, and not have to take up any extra time pumping.
It works better for some, but I’ve only ever heard good reviews, and have only amazing things to say about it! I was able to keep up quite a good stash with it alone.
It’s no secret that breastfeeding makes you hungry. My grocery bill definitely went up after I started breastfeeding.
So, snacks are necessary. While you’re cooped up cluster feeding like crazy on the couch, in your bed, or in the nursery, wherever you decide to nurse the first few weeks, you’re going to want to limit the need to get up.
Snacks in a basket near your assigned breastfeeding station will help you out there.
These lactation cookies are soo good and help you keep up your supply!
Also needed in your basket or near your breastfeeding station is going to be water.
Water keeps up your supply.
You can eat as much as you want, but if you are not getting enough fluids, your supply is hurt.
You’re always super thirsty anyway (just like you’re always super hungry… and yet you almost never have time to eat…ironic isn’t it?), so keep a few water bottles by your station.
Buying a nice, cute water bottle with an infuser to keep filled up might be a good idea and a helpful reminder to drink up.
You deserve nice things anyway, you just gave birth and have given up sleep, money, and personal space for the next years of your life.
These babies are lifesavers, especially while your milk is coming in and everything is adjusting and stabilizing.
My son liked to rip himself off me to check out every single sound he heard behind him when he got to about 6 months old, and most of the time it just so happened to be when my milk was coming down.
Milk was sprayed everywhere – on his face, on me – so keeping those handy for grabbing and throwing on to stop the spraying is sometimes necessary.
Especially when your baby is still teeny tiny (and won’t kick a blanket off), it’s nice to wrap yourselves together for nursing cuddles. Skin-to-skin contact is so important, not only for breastfeeding success, but also for bonding.
If baby is cold or you are cold, you don’t want to have to stop the feeding to go grab a blanket. You want to stay as comfortable as possible.
Swaddle blankets are also great for swaddling baby up after for a nice post-feeding nap (hopefully for you and baby).
During my first week breastfeeding I went to see a lactation consultant. I just wanted some help with latching, and as helpful as the nurses were after my son was born, they weren’t as knowledgeable with the breastfeeding side of things as a lactation consultant is.
This was the best thing I did for our breastfeeding experience.
The biggest thing she taught me was the more comfortable and relaxed you are, the easier things are for both you and baby.
She propped up baby with some pillows, gave me a stool to put my legs up, and got me so comfortable and relaxed baby latched on wonderfully, with her help.
From that day on, I took the time to make sure we were super comfortable before starting. Strategically placed pillows helped so much. With some more time and practice, I didn’t really have to use them anymore.
But in those first weeks and months, my back and shoulders were saved, and we learned quicker.
Nursing pillows are also great for this. They keep up baby exactly where he/she needs to be.
You could probably look up how many hours the average mom spends breastfeeding and it would probably be a lot.
You could spend that time just looking down at your beautiful creation, but let’s be honest, you’re not going to do that. At least not every time, and especially with how much time you really spend cluster feeding in the beginning.
Props to you if you can get through those many (MANY) middle of the night feedings without staring at a screen to keep you awake.
I however, could not.
So, I was on my phone for a lot of the time. It kept me awake and distracted while baby was nursing for hours non-stop in the evenings, and through the night.
Soon my son was very efficient with nursing and was usually done a good feeding within 15 minutes and was not nursing every hour on the hour. So I did sometimes take the time to stare down at his cute little face.
He even stared back up at me sometimes, and let me tell you, it was the best part of my day.
But sometimes I would take that time to check my phone and scroll through social media.
So, don’t forget your phone charger.
BOOKS OR MAGAZINES
These will also be helpful distractions during cluster feeding times.
Babies love the comfort of being close to you, and for most babies, sleeping on or very close to you is the best way to get longer stretches of sleep.
Lots of parents say they’ll never bedshare. But you probably will, at least for a little bit. It’s completely natural for babies to need the closeness of their mom. Look up the fourth trimester.
And even if you don’t end up bedsharing per-se, you’ll probably have some tummy naps on the couch with baby.
If you’re not sleeping as well, you’re going to go through a lot of reading material because you’re not going anywhere as long as that baby is sleeping.
Babies are very gassy, and most spit up a lot so burp cloths are going to be very handy.
You are also going to want diapers, wipes, diaper cream, extra pacifiers and extra sleepers or onesies. This way when you need to change the baby you don’t need to go searching for all his or her items.
Everything in one place makes your life so much easier!
Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding isn’t supposed to hurt, but it does take practice. For the first few weeks it may be painful, unless your baby is a miracle latcher right from the beginning.
Then I am so happy for you, and honestly, a little jealous.
If, like my son and I, it takes you a little practice, there may be some pain and discomfort at the beginning, and that’s totally okay.
Nipple cream will help you out there. It was a lifesaver for me for the first few weeks until we got a proper latch down and it didn’t hurt anymore.
These will be needed for loosening up clogged ducts, or cramps. Yes, you read that right. Cramps.
While I was nursing in the hospital for the first few days, the cramps were crazy painful. Breastfeeding is great because it helps your uterus contract back to its normal size much quicker.
While this is nice to know, it’s not nice to go through.
Heating pads are also great for loosening up clogged ducts, or for loosening up milk ducts before you nurse to make the milk flow better.
Cooling pads are life savers for relieving engorgement and any pain or discomfort you may have.
These Lansinoh Breast Therapy Packs are absolutely amazing! You can cool them to reduce pain from swelling and engorgement or heat them to loosen up those clogged ducts.
There you have it – a few things you will want near your breastfeeding station to make life a little bit easier.