One of the best things you can do for your postpartum mental health to prevent feeling overwhelmed is create systems for your daily life. This frees up mental space by establishing structure and making choices in advance so they can't bog you down all day long - which is immensely helpful in the demanding season of new motherhood.
Enter: Breastfeeding your newborn. Demanding? For sure. Overwhelming? Very likely.
That’s why it’s so important to think through the logistics of breastfeeding specifically and prepare as much as possible. Optimizing your baby’s nursery is a great start! After all, you’ll be there for long stretches of time around the clock - it needs to be able to serve you and your baby well!
HAVE A SEAT
In the nursery, first and foremost on the priority list is a comfortable place to sit since you’ll be spending lots of time there!
An upholstered rocker or glider with arm rests is probably most conducive for breastfeeding. Don’t forget to make sure the back of the chair is tall enough to allow your head to rest against it when sitting. Your tired self will thank you for that during the half-asleep nighttime feedings and rocking sessions! A foot stool of some sort is also beneficial because it allows you to sit back against the chair and bring the baby close to you instead of hunching over, which would become uncomfortable over time.
Next to your chair, a nightstand (preferably one with a drawer or room for storage underneath) is essential. Ensure that it’s placed near an outlet so you can plug in a lamp and an extra cell phone charger.
- Other items to keep stashed here: a refillable water cup, a snack for you, a book, extra burp cloths, a swaddle blanket, nursing pads, Haakaa or other manual pump, and extra bibs.
If you have the space, an additional nursing station in your primary living space is convenient, especially if you have older children (since you won't always be able to steal away to the nursery) or if your baby's room is not on your main level. Designate a spot to sit such as the end of the couch by the arm rest or comfy chair. If there's not a table next to it, see if you have one that can be placed there temporarily. Even a small footstool or basket turned upside down could work! A basket filled with the essentials can be tucked away beside or underneath the side table. Ta da! Now you're able to nurse easily in either place without having to carry things back and forth between the two spots.
ROOMING IN BABY?
If your baby will be sleeping in your bedroom in the beginning, you can also create a breastfeeding-friendly set up there! In addition to the steps above that we've already covered, you might find these things helpful to keep nearby:
- portable changing pad / changing pad clutch
- extra sets of pj's and swaddle blankets
- a string of mini-LED lights hung over the bed for a soft glow that's not too bright!
- small trash bin for dirty diapers
In the newborn and infant days when you are relegated to one spot for so much of the day (and night) it’s beyond helpful to have a fully prepped area waiting on you every two to three hours! We hope this will ease some of your new mama load.
And as for easing your load even further, if you are in need of a breast pump, Wyatt's Maternity would love to help you in this process of obtaining one at NO COST to you through insurance! Just click here to get started; all you need to do is fill out a simple online form and we handle everything else.