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Ep. 2: Your Perfect Breastfeeding Station

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Do you break the latch and you get up and start searching your cluttered home for the exact thing that you need, or do you just reach in your nice, organized box to the left or a basket and get the thing that you already knew you would need because we told you you were going to need it?

This is Maureen Feral and Heather O’Neal . We’re midwives and lactation consultants here to talk to you about all things, lactation and boobs, body positivity, mental health, all the milky topics. So join us for another episode.

Welcome to episode two, where we talk about all of our favorite things to put in our nursing stations. Yeah. We really like to have a little comfy place set up to nurse in. Not that you’re going to use it every time. And I don’t know. Maybe you won’t use it most times, but there are a couple kind of universal things everybody’s going to need when they’re sitting there with a newborn breastfeeding and like some stuff that we just like, that we’re going to throw in there.

Also it’s a great thing to start thinking about if you’re pregnant, because I did not think about this. I mainly focused on how my labor and delivery and birth was going to go. And I really didn’t think about how I was going to prepare my home for breastfeeding. So, if you’re in that nesting phase of your life, you might want to consider nesting in this way and creating a daytime nursing station and a nighttime nursing station.

And they do vary a little bit. And we just want to make sure that you’re setting yourself up for comfort and that way you’re not troubleshooting when you’re already tired and you really don’t know what you need. So we’re just going to make this really easy for you and tell you what you need. Oh yeah.

So here we go. Number one, snacks. Oh yeah, snacks. Now like some people sit down and nurse for 10 minutes and it’s fine, but it’s also okay if you have that baby that latches on for like an hour.  Yeah, I like Parmesan crisps. I’m sure you had something more to say to that, but immediately I’m just thinking about Parmesan crisps. Parmesan crisps are good. I, gosh, what was my favorite breastfeeding snack? I always liked  like bars of anything. Oh bars really like, I can’t handle a protein bar. Like if it has the fake protein in it, it automatically makes me fart. I call them fart bars. So I really can’t, I don’t need any of that in my life.

I’m dealing with enough postpartum. I don’t need to be crop dusting everybody in the home. Honey roasted peanuts was a good one for me. Yeah. I mean, you know, think about for sure stuff that’s going to be healthy, full of protein. You know, and like, if you want to overindulge, it’s not going to be the end of the world. Right. And I had one of those babies that was super distracted by every damn thing.

And so when you do choose a snack, just be prepared that if you choose a really crunchy snack, your baby might break their latch and look up at you. Like what the heck was that? And you will drop pretzel dust on their head and it’s fine. Just brush it off. That’s totally fine. Just try not to make it like hot food dropping on their head. Yeah. That’s frowned upon. Yeah. Hmm.

Yeah. Okay. Baby blankets. You, the, the, like the worst thing is you sit down and you start nursing your baby and you realize like, you’re both cold. And you’re like, crap. I like kinda like take my shirt off and like wrap it around and like, sort of like, just bundle us. Like, cause we finally got that good latch and that’s so hard to get or do we get up and get a blanket?

Yeah. You see they’re modeled little legs. Oh yeah. The little marbling. Yeah. Not everyone knows what modeling is. Marbling. It’s when your skin looks like a marble. Yeah, yeah. Babies do this. It’s like one of the first signs that they’re cold for a lot of people. Usually their arms and legs get this weird, like modeled, marbled look where it’s mostly white and has like reddish, purplish  lines in it. Like limestone.

But yeah, definitely baby blankets. And they’re also good to cram in little tight places to help with positioning. Or like if your baby has a blowout while you’re breastfeeding, it’s really nice if you already had a blanket like underneath. When that happens. Yeah. That’s not an if, that’s a when.

Speaking of baby wipes. Yeah. Please have your wipes there. Absolutely. Baby wipes are just good to have there for anything. Man, like, honestly, at this point, I just like, I clean my house with them sometimes. I don’t. I definitely do not. I’m just like, Oh, I need to, I wipe the counter? I’ve got a baby wipe. Although I did notice that we ran out of ass wipes during this pandemic and do you call them ass wipes at your house? You know, I’m supportive of it. The Charmin ultra clean, like wipey wipes for your B hole.

My husband was really bummed. Oh my God. He was really bummed that he couldn’t get any ass wipes at the store. And so I busted him taking our daughter’s baby wipes out of her nursery and he was ripping them in half to like save them because of the pandemic. And he just, I love having a husband that cares about the cleanliness of his bum. So refreshing in so many ways.

The other thing that you should probably have is burp cloths, a plethora of them. Yeah. Yeah. Or like the like crappier baby blankets you don’t care about that can be used burp cloths or a  milk residual collector.

Yeah. You know, some kind of like thing to prop under your breast. Right. Especially also like if you have larger breasts sometimes it’s really helpful to like roll up some kind of cloth or blanket and prop your breast up with it too. Yeah, it kind of helps with positioning. That way you’re not worried about holding a heavy breast and positioning your baby at the same time.

It can also like soak up that under boob sweat. Yeah. Preventing yeast under the breasts in the breasts. Oh yeah. I hate yeast. Awful. I’ll talk about that later. Chapstick. Yeah. Like who doesn’t want that all the time? And I feel like I only want chapstick when it’s not there though, to be honest. So I just, it’s all over. Yeah, it’s important to have them placed in strategic areas all around your home. Isn’t that the most distracting thing too? You’re sitting there and you’re like, my lips are dry and I lick it and it gets worse and it’s just awful.

And then you kiss your baby’s super soft skin, and you’ve got like this beat up, chapped lip. And you’re just like, I’m not even able to enjoy this angel soft kiss because my busted lip is in the way. So chapstick is a good thing to sneak in your little bin next to you.

And then having a water bottle is helpful . Yeah. Like stay hydrated, stay healthy. And then if you have a water bottle and next year nursing chair, like every time you sit down, you’re going to be like, Oh, I should take a drink of water. Hmm, exactly. It’s a good reminder. And for those of you that don’t wear a Camelback, I recommend definitely placing water all around your house because the chances are, you’re probably just going to pop down and breastfeed wherever you feel like doing it.

And it’s nice to have waters around for yourself. Yeah. And I really like those bottles that have like a little straw, because I’m one of those people who like, I just spill water when I drink it sometimes. And I’ve definitely spilled it all over my baby trying to hydrate. So little straws are nice.

But you also have to clean those. Don’t forget that. You have to like scrub in the straw or you’re just gross. No you don’t. Yeah, you totally do, Heather. Heather! I’m alive.

All right, Maureen, what’s next on our list? Some kind of nursing pillow or prop, if you use one or just even like a little throw pillow, if you use that. You might not use it every time, but for some people, this is like an absolute, every time I breastfeed thing and they couldn’t do without it. So yeah.

And your baby kind of gets used to it, too. I skipped one. And then phone charger. Get an extra phone charger and plug it in. I like to make sure that my nursing station in the daytime is next to an outlet. That way I can plug in my phone if I need to, because I had one of those babies that liked to have a lazy lunch and would be there for 40 minutes at a time.

Oh yeah. Yeah. So when you’re on your phone, you know, because your baby’s in the boob zone and could care less if you’re like staring at them the whole time. You know, I might be known to scroll Facebook from time to time and if your phone starts to die and like maybe you’re checking work emails, it’s just a nice thing to have, to make sure that you are, you know, not feeling isolated.

I actually used to prefer to have a book because I’m really guilty of like scrolling my like birth and breastfeeding groups and looking for problems I don’t have while breastfeeding. And so to fix that, I would try to read a book instead. We have similar problems.

And then my favorite, last but not least, the silicone breast pump. AKA the haakaa.  I think there’s an off brand one now, too, but everybody calls it the haakaa still. It’s like a Xerox or Kleenex. Yeah. Like, so to be clear, haakaa doesn’t pay us. And I don’t know if they did, that’d be great, but they’re probably never going to. But please pay us. If you don’t know what this is, it’s like this entirely silicone, it looks like a bubble with a breast flange on there.

And you kind of just like, whoop, suction it onto that boob and it passively collects milk. Yeah. It just creates some gentle negative pressure. And that way, when you have a milk let down on one side that the baby’s eating on it, doesn’t just get soaked up in a burp cloth or spray all over your shirt on the other side. It actually goes into a receptacle and you get to keep it. And yeah, and you’re not supposed to collect a large amount in this gadget. No. I mean, some people do and like, wow, good job boobs there. But you know, mostly we’ll get like a half an ounce or an ounce and I think that’s great.

I wish I had had one when I was breastfeeding, but I don’t know if it existed. No, it didn’t. It’s new. It’s new. And I also didn’t even have it for Heidi, my last baby. Yeah. It’s like, it’s pretty new. But I love it. Me too. It has solved so many issues for my clients. So anyways, and it’s a cheap investment.

It’s not like an expensive pump. It’s like $14. Yeah it’s something like that. Really cheap. And it’s, it’s a really good option for people who leak a lot or who just like want a little baby stash in the freezer, but they don’t want to pump cause pumping kind of sucks. Gosh, we are so punny. Oh, we’ll link to the haakaa in our show notes so you can find it easily.

Yeah. And I want to mention too, like Heather talked about, kind of the thinking about things prenatally. If you’re like hardcore nesting and I don’t know, like redesigning your house and buying new things, consider buying a really nice supportive, upright chair that is like kind of wide, you know, and has some arm rests.

It’s got some wiggle room to reposition, but it’s got that really good support because man, is your back going to thank you for that. Agreed! Like, Ooh, absolutely. Yeah. And you know, that’s kind of like our basics, but the way that I want you guys to think about this is I want you to think, wow, if like somebody glued my ass to that chair for 50 minutes, what would I want other than a dirty martini? And a good period piece maybe?

Yeah. And you know what, like may, maybe that’s where you want to be. Maybe you want your breastfeeding chair, like where you can watch a movie. Yeah, maybe so. Yeah.

I used to watch a lot of like I would pick a like TV show and just watch that while breastfeeding and watch like one episode each time. Cause they were about 40 minutes and that’s how long my kid took. That’s funny. I didn’t know that about you because I did the same thing and my breastfeeding show was Downton Abbey.

Oh man. Okay. I, gosh, what did I watch? I watched some weird, some Western sheriff thing. What was it? Longmire or something Long Myer. Yeah, I think that was it. Was that even you? Well, we didn’t actually have internet at the house at first, so I just have whatever a very nice friend of mine put on a flash drive for me.

Oh, yeah, he was real sweet though. He like, yeah. So we were still building our house when I had a baby in it, because we’re really good at planning. That happens all the time. Yeah. And we actually like had a baby in it. I had a home birth. And my friend who was up there living with us, building the house like went to town and like downloaded a bunch of shows for me and brought them back cause he’s just the sweetest.

That’s amazing. I know what a good friend. He’s great. He brought you Longmire. Yeah. And he didn’t say anything about the weird birth noises I made the next day. So and you know, the list that we just went over is just like your standard, day to day breastfeeding station. Now the nighttime nursing station, we add a couple extra things.

I like to add the breast pads for leaking because it’s common to leak overnight. And if you’re a super leaker, you might need to put that in your daytime nursing station as well. But I really don’t like people to sleep overnight with wet breast pads against their skin, because it’s a breeding ground for yeast and it just bothers me.

And then also instead of the haakaa, because I don’t really recommend using it at night, unless you’re going to fully sit up in an upright chair and like do the thing because it could get kicked off. It’s probably dark. You’re going to spill the milk. You’re going to cry over spilled milk, and you’re going to be like, damn you, Heather and Maureen.

So I recommend the milk saver shells in the nighttime scenario compared to the haakaa, because they can sit in your bra and they can passively collect that milk again. But they don’t require somebody to hang on to it or to like monitor the suction to make sure it doesn’t fall off on the floor. So I like the milk saver shells.

And then what else do you like to put in the nighttime? Yeah, I like a really small nightlight, like the smallest possible that you can see by because we really want to also make sure that we’re trying to help your baby understand when it’s time to sleep so that you’re not up all night forever. And also having like a full, like couple changes of clothes and diapers, like within reach of your bed.

Yeah and this is not required, but it’s a nice little parenting tip is to have a little dirty clothes basket right next to it. Because the chances that your baby’s going to pee through something, or you’re going to wet your shirt or whatever, are pretty good. And you can just quick take it off and throw it in that dirty hamper.

And then that way you’re not stinking up a room. Because that’s what’s going to end up happening. When you’re exhausted, you’re just going to throw this stuff all around the room. And then two days later it’s going to smell like shit and rotten milk. Yeah. So Heather, you mentioned already about not wanting to sit up all the way while nursing at night.

Can you expand on maybe what else you could do? Yeah. So you can absolutely nurse laying down. I just like to make sure that people have a mattress that’s not too squishy, that it makes it unsafe to do that. If you do fall asleep and your mattress is really squishy, the risk is obviously that you roll in towards each other and you end up suffocating your baby.

So, yeah. That obviously is something that you want to avoid. And just make sure that you have a more firm mattress that you both are able to lay next to each other safely. And you can get a Chuck or like an absorbent pad that goes underneath of you because if, and when you both fall asleep doing that, somebody’s going to spill something.

Yeah. And it will just be nice to catch that and not have to completely change your entire bed. Yeah. And again, like this is not specifically breastfeeding, but on that note, if this is your first baby, just go ahead right now and put a waterproof cover on your mattress. Don’t take it off ever, ever again.

Tell me what, what did your son say this morning? So, yeah, my son who is four, he did that creepy toddler thing where he woke me up with his face, like right next to mine and started whispering. And if you don’t have a toddler yet, have fun with that. And he, he goes, mommy, wake up. I had an accident on you.

I realized that yes, yes. He had peed on me. She got a golden shower from her toddler. He was the big spoon. Yeah. Thanks. So yeah, just a waterproof cover on. Love these children. Somebody said one time, because my son is a touch of a bed wetter and he’s almost seven. And someone was like, why don’t you just double make the bed so you have two sets of sheets on the bed already?

And I was like, I think you’re grossly underestimating the amount of urine that he can put out. Like I just, that I’d be ruining two sets of sheets at the same time. Oh my gosh. Have you done that? So I, I’ve only done that for births with like a waterproof sheet in between.

Did it work? Yeah. With a real like waterproof sheet though. Huh? All right. Well, there you go. Yeah. Well, that’s our list for ya and we hope that you enjoy nesting and we hope that you feel ready, secure, peaceful, and hydrated. And yeah you know, like hit us up with your favorite products. If you’re like, Oh wait, I couldn’t live without this thing in my nursing station.

Tell us what that is. If we’ve never heard of it, I don’t know. Maybe we’ll buy one and try it out. Who knows? Absolutely. We are always trying new stuff, so definitely don’t ever be afraid to message us. And we look forward to seeing you in episode three. Thanks guys.

If you’d like more information on today’s topic or you want to check out the sources we used, you can find them in the show notes. Don’t forget to subscribe. So you don’t miss a thing.


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