While I certainly knew that I’d be spending a bit of time nursing my baby, little did I know how much time I’d be sitting in the same spot everyday… nursing my baby.
It wasn’t just the late night fog of nursing (“where am I? What am I doing?”) but the long days of nursing too. If breastfeeding was a sport, I’m pretty sure every mother would be competing for an Olympic Gold Medal.
It didn’t take me long to figure out a little hack though. And I make sure all my birth and postpartum clients take part in it too. It’s the luxury of a nursing station.
Everything you ever needed for yourself and your baby right at your fingertips. No latch followed by “oh crap. I forgot…” Because let’s be real. #mombrain . We (okay, I) forget something every single time.
And let’s also be clear about this. The nursing station isn’t for baby. Sure, there are diapers and wipes and all things baby-lisious. But really, THIS IS FOR MAMA. This is for mama to sit down, relax, and know that she has everything she needs right at her fingertips.
And during the early postpartum, it’s critical mom rests her body as much as possible. Moving about, collecting forgotten necessary items, stressing over finding what you need (or not finding what you need!) is far from healthy. It’s downright unhealthy. And it will only extend postpartum bleeding, deepen feelings of exhaustion, and so much more.
Creating a nursing station isn’t just for first time moms. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first, third, eleventh, or last. Actually, the more kids you’ve birthed, the more you probably realized you’ve needed one!
So without further ado, let’s get right into what makes a nursing station. At the end of this, there will be a free download, so you can print this off and take it shopping if you’d like. Or simply stash the list on the bottom of your nursing station basket and use it as a reference for refiling. The less you have to use your brain on containing all the details, the better.
The Nursing Station Container:
This, quite simply is the easiest. Rubber Maid tub it if you need to. Although I recommend something you absolutely love. The more beautiful you have your station, the more you’ll feel better about sitting there for a good part of the day.
Another thing to consider: have more than one station. As you begin venturing further than the biosphere of your own bed, you may want to have another nursing station in a place you enjoy sitting. Like the couch. And keep one at your bed for late night breastfeeding.
- Wipes and diapers
- Extra baby clothes
- Burp cloth
- Swaddle blanket
There isn’t much necessary for baby. I’d even venture to say that the clothing part is completely optional, especially in the early days postpartum. A blanket and mama’s bare chest (and a diaper) are all that are needed. Wipes are amazing not just for quick diaper changes, but for wiping up milk messes, and dropped food crumbs on baby’s face (that’s never happened to me. Ever).
Water and snacks are essential items for your nursing station. If you aren’t drinking water every time you nurse your baby, you are going to hit dehydration (and thus a drop in milk supply) fast. So make sure that you are drinking a ridiculous amount of water. And of course, calories and protein are still just as important in postpartum as they were in pregnancy. However, now you are nourishing a bigger baby which will take more from you than they did within the womb. So snack away, mama. Some amazing snacks to pack in at your nursing station: nuts, dried fruit, homemade lactation cookies, granola…
- Nursing pads
- Nipple cream
Nursing pads and nipple cream are about as essential as a bathing suit at a public pool. Not only did my boobs need something to contain their newly developed skill of shooting out breastmilk every 20 minutes, but I desperately needed something to help ease my nipple’s transition to breastfeeding. Although nursing should NEVER be painful, the first few weeks can cause a little tenderness as you now have a newborn sucking away at them all day. Eventually, they’ll toughen up but in the meantime, it’s nice to have a bit of support.
My absolute favorite nipple cream is my homemade recipe (I’ll share that shortly). But if you aren’t into that kind of thing, check out MotherLove. Their Nipple Cream is so soothing. And it can help keep thrush away.
And if you are in the market for nursing pads, I’d stay far away from the disposable supermarket brands. No only do they make diaper-like noises in your bra (eeewww), they are made of chemicals that aren’t necessary to tell you about because they are considered a medical supply good. Do you and your baby a favor and check out these amazing organic reusable pads from Borealis Britches. They are my absolute favorite. I’m fairly certain I own about 15 pairs.
- Chap stick
- Hand lotion
- Things to read
- Stress Away Essential Oil
Mother’s comfort should never be put on the back-burner. A comfortable mama bonds better with her baby, heals faster from labor and birth, enjoys postpartum more, and experiences far less mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Some basic self-care tools available to you at your nursing station can make a world of difference. Bring your favorite chap stick and hand lotion, make sure to pick up Stress Away Essential Oil (you can get it from your local Young Living distributor), and some of your favorite things to read. Books and magazines, both trashy and healing are welcome. Do what makes YOU feel good and hold little space for the rest of the world to chime in.
Not sure where to start? Here are some of my favorites:
Of course, I’ve created a free PDF print download for you of this exact list, so you can create your own holistic space for breastfeeding within your home. Bring this list shopping with you, or simply place it in your nursing station so you can gently be reminded on what to stock it with.
Is there anything on the list I’m missing, mama? What was the most helpful thing for you in your nursing station?