Preparing Your Breastfeeding Chair
Many pregnant women spend a lot of their time preparing the baby’s nursery - but forget to prepare some beautiful and comfortable spaces for themselves!
You are going to spend many, many hours breastfeeding and rocking and cuddling and holding your sleeping baby in your arms. It’s so much more enjoyable when you have a beautiful and comfortable space.
Choose Your Chair
The classic recliners from a baby shop are pretty hideous, but they usually do the trick. You can also consider a POÄNG Armchair from IKEA, which has a good bounce for rocking your baby too. Friends of mine even have a beautiful Eames rocking chair! Or perhaps you have a lovely old wooden rocking chair that is a family heirloom.
There are many, many options and it’s a very personal choice. But make sure you spend some time sitting in the chair before you choose as some make you slouch. Given you will spend many hours in that chair it needs to support your posture.
There are plenty of fancy breastfeeding cushions, but regular, firm cushions usually do the trick. Keep a few handy for propping up your elbow or supporting your lower back. An ottoman for your feet can make things a lot comfier! Plus a throw rug can be really cosy in winter.
Did you know that breastfeeding requires around double the amount of calories of pregnancy!? If you think you are hungry now, just wait! Make sure you have a water bottle and snacks nearby. Whilst fresh food is best, sometimes you won’t realise you are hungry until you sit down to feed, or you are stuck under a sleeping baby for hours. Prepare a tin of some long-lasting snacks ahead of time like dried fruit, nuts, chocolate or muesli bars.
And always have a water bottle within arm's reach.
Lactation tea in a thermos is one of my favourite breastfeeding companions. Downloadthe first chapter of my recipe book Nourishing Newborn Mothers free to learn more about nourishing postpartum food and drinks
Did I mention you’ll be sitting there for hours? Some light-hearted entertainment can help pass the time so keep your remote or device or book handy. As a new mum, your heart is wide open and you are often more sensitive than usual, so you might find yourself avoiding anything too scary or intellectual.
Books are great, but sometimes your brain needs something lighter so get some awesome magazines for yourself, too - I adore the Lunch Lady book series.
The early days and weeks of breastfeeding can be painful. Cracked nipples, mastitis and afterbirth contractions can be exhausting, so have some pain relief nearby.
During the early weeks do a wee before you breastfeed as a full bladder can intensify the feeling of those after birth contractions.
A heat pack on your lower back or abdomen can be very comforting.
Over the counter painkillers, Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen are generally compatible with breastfeeding. Ask your midwife or pharmacist for local recommendations.
There are plenty of things that can help you enjoy breastfeeding, including breast shells and nipple shields. Speak to your breastfeeding counsellor or call the Australian Breastfeeding Association for specific recommendations.
Breast Pads And Muslin Squares
Babies are a messy business!
When your milk comes in you’ll leak like you never knew possible! When you are breastfeeding on one side the other nipple might drench you with milk, and if you baby pulls off mid let-down you can squirt milk halfway across the room.
There will also be spew and poo… so many bodily fluids!!! Keep plenty of fabric handy for mopping up the inevitable spills.