How to Prep for Breastfeeding Success
Just because breastfeeding is natural does not mean it is easy. With a newborn baby, nursing sessions can be so frequent and lengthy, you may feel like breastfeeding is your full-time job! That is why we recommend creating a 'breastfeeding nest'—a nook in your bedroom or living area filled with items to make nursing as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Here is how to trick out your nursing nest and prepare for breastfeeding success.
Comfy, Stylish Breastfeeding-Friendly Attire
Breastfeeding definitely limits your wardrobe…let us just say you will not be wearing turtlenecks for a while! Every mum finds the breastfeeding 'uniform' that works best for her, whether that is low-cut tees, wraps or button downs. We especially love our Everything Dress, a camisole-style dress for pregnancy and nursing, which accommodates a growing bump and offers easy nursing access once Baby arrives. Plus, it is soft and comfy enough to sleep in…yet chic enough to wear out and about!
A Cosy Seat
Whether it is a plush glider, rocking chair, or spot on the couch, choose a place where you can put your feet up and get comfortable. Some mums find they enjoy nursing on a yoga ball because the bouncing soothes their babies.
Depending on your nursing position, your arms and back can get tired and crampy unless you have some support. A special breastfeeding pillow or bolster placed under baby will raise him to height of your nipples without strain.
Feeding a baby is rarely a tidy job. Be ready for a trickle (or flood) of spit-up by tossing a burp cloth or receiving blanket over your shoulder. Your shirts will thank you.
Until your nipples toughen up, you may experience chafing and discomfort. Lanolin cream protects and soothes your nipples yet is safe for baby to ingest, so you do not need to worry about scrubbing it off to nurse.
Breastfeeding uses up at least 500 calories per day, so it is no wonder you are hungry! Stash snacks in your breastfeeding nest—ideally foods that you can eat with one hand and that don’t require urgent refrigeration. Think granola bars, fruit and nuts.
Hydration is key to breastfeeding success—your milk supply depends on it!—so make sure to keep a refillable water bottle at the ready, ideally one with a top that you can pull open with one hand.
Notebook or Breastfeeding App
Your doctor may recommend that you track the timing and duration of your early nursing sessions. Make it easy by keeping a notebook, pen and clock nearby, or go digital with a breastfeeding tracker on your phone.
Tablet/E-Reader and Charger
Though you are sure to spend plenty of time just gazing at your beautiful baby, it is okay if you need additional entertainment—especially to keep you awake in the dark! Load up some binge-worthy TV shows, books or podcasts to check in with each time you nurse.
Until your supply levels out, you may find that your breasts are leaking onto your bra and shirt. Disposable pads, tucked into your nursing bra, can be a big help, so keep a box nearby along with a small trashcan.
If you are planning to pump and store extra breast milk, stash your breast pump, pumping bra and milk collection bottles near your nest for easy access.
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.