One of my friends recently gave birth a few weeks shy of her due date. As a result, there were still things on her list left to accomplish before the baby’s arrival. In an effort to make things easier for her, I decided to bring her all the essentials for her breastfeeding station. Most first time mothers (including myself ) don’t really think of what they would need to accomplish a feed but let me tell you, it’s a bit more involved than your breast and your baby. Here is a list of 10 things that you will use, practically on a daily basis ( per feed basis) that I had by my bedside:
- Basket: to help contain your essentials and make it easy to move around to wherever you want to breastfeed.
- Nipple ointment: since breastfeeding is a new function for your body, your nipples will go through a period of time when they will get dry and possibly crack. To soothe them opt for a lanolin creme to moisturize the area and still have it safe for baby to latch without worrying if it’s harmful for baby or not.
- Breast pads: another unglamorous part of breastfeeding is that you may experience leaky boobs. To help you combat wet shirts and embarrassing stains, make sure you grab a box of breast pads to catch the leaks.
- Wash cloths: When you are nursing, it’s good to have a few of these by your side because they help so much. They are good for:
- helping your letdown reflex: in the early stages of nursing, sometimes you get a little clogged up, say you went too long without a feed because you were out, or are recovering from mastitis. soaking a wash cloth in warm water and covering your breast with it, can help you unclog your ducts and help the milk flow.
- wiping up leaks from your other boob while your feed from one. (it happens, nothing you can do)
- when baby is done nursing, you can wipe up her face.
- keep it handy in case your baby spits up.
- Organic coconut oil: Your breasts will go through a lot. They will be stretching and they will become engorged, the skin will get parched and dry. Give it some love every day by moisturizing with organic coconut oil. Believe me, every little bit helps.
- Hand and Body Lotion: You will notice that breast feeding is highly dehydrating for mom. The skin on your hands and body will become very dry. Help it along by using your favourite intensive care hand and body lotion. You could also use coconut oil for this.
- Lip balm: it’s astounding how dry our lips get when we are nursing so, save your baby from chappy kisses and make sure your basket has your fave lip balm.
- Water bottle: I’m not kidding when I say that you will be thirsty all the time. All the freaking time. It’s crazy, in the middle of nursing I always get the urge to drink a cold glass of water, therefore having a bottle ready to go, helps you remember to hydrate so that you can focus on feeding the baby!
- Lactation cookies or granola bars: In the early stages, I found eating certain foods helped with an ample milk supply. Lactation cookies are a great source of ingredients like oatmeal and nuts, which are supposed to encourage the production of milk. After the initial learning curve, you body begins to produce what your baby needs on its own. However, you will get peckish while feeding your baby, so make sure you stash a few granola bars in your basket so they are an easy reach away. (These become my midnight snack when my baby would wake up to nurse at 2 in the morning.)
- Fenugreek seeds: I did some research and what I found was that consuming whole fenugreek seeds or even the capsules aided in milk production. I would take a teaspoon of these seeds, with water, three times a day. I don’t know that it will work for everyone, but it did for me. So I threw it in the basket for my friend!
All in all, your basket might differ slightly than mine, but it’s a great starting point. Comment and shares fell you had a nursing station or what else you would stick in to yours!