Thursday, December 2, 2010

Portable Breastfeeding Station

My dear friend, Carolyn, explained to me the importance of having water bottles on hand to rehydrate oneself, as well as snacks, books, etc. to make breastfeeding more comfortable and to fit in some self-care. When I first heard from mothers that breastfeeding happens all over the house, I thought about setting up "breastfeeding stations" in a couple different rooms.

Although I love the idea in theory, once I started thinking about what it would mean to put a breastfeeding station in the baby's room, the living room, and our bedroom, I started to like the idea less and less. The main problem is that our house is tiny (like 900 or 1,000 square feet). It can look cluttered very quickly. One of my goals as I move into parenthood is to not let our house get overrun with baby stuff.

That's when the idea hit me: a portable breastfeeding station! I know exactly the contraption I need to buy from my local antique store. It's a wooden box/tray with a single handle coming out the top. It looks like something a carpenter might have used. The single handle will allow me to hold the baby, grab the breastfeeding station, and go wherever we want to breastfeed.

Here's what I'm thinking I will put into the portable breastfeeding station:
  • iPod (we're going to have a docking station in the baby's room and we already have one in the living room)
  • Magazines
  • Books
  • Journal (if I absolutely have to jot down something that I read)
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Burp cloths
  • Clipboard with paper and pen for tracking feedings/poopings/etc.

I think all of that will fit into the contraption I'm thinking of. I'll have to see. If not, I'm sure I can find a basket that will do the trick.

In the meantime, can you think of anything else that I might want to have by my side when I'm breastfeeding (aside from a breastfeeding pillow, extra pillows, and the baby?). Thanks for your suggestions!

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Irishker said...

you might want to add breast pads to the portable station. my sister-in-law found them really helpful!

Anonymous said...

Lanolin! You are gonna want this lifesaver, trust me.

Anonymous said...

I second both breast pads (you can get reusable pads) and lanolin. If you are sore, hydrogel pads and breast shells (shells, not shield...important difference!) are also helpful.

Another larger breastfeeding tool I like is this stool: You can usually find them used for super cheap at a baby supply place.

Maureen said...

If you can't find a wooden version of the handle in the middle , you may be able to find a plastic one marketed as a cleaning supply caddy. We use one for cleaning supplies and one for car stuff.
Much cheaper than a wooden antique:

Maybe also check at the Continer Store.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to add that you don't need to stress out so much about a breastfeeding station just in case you are. I obsessed about them when I was pregnant and ended up not really using them at all. My son was a quick eater (about 15-20 minutes total), and I ended up doing it all over the house as well, at the kitchen table, and the couch, laying in the bed, in front of the computer doing a project for work. Once I felt comfortable breastfeeding I was able to be pretty mobile while doing it, and I ended up not using most of my stations and all of the stuff I had bought for them. Best of luck to you!!!!

Carrie said...

Your phone and the TV remote control when you're in that room.

Sara said...

I would add baby nail clippers, chapstick, hand lotion and the first few days postpartum, maybe some pain relief. I took arnica (and swear by it for healing from tears and any birth pain. I used it for all three of my births) and I also liked mother wort tincture for cramping, but I personally didn't get "after pains" when my first child was born and I only used arnica with him.

Rebecca said...

You might want to think about getting a Kindle. It's an expense on the front end, but if you're buying books every month, you'll make the money back pretty soon.

The reason I thought it would be helpful here is it's lighter than a book and you can turn the pages with one hand. Also, it's greener than actual books. It's not hard to convert library e-books or your own documents or pdfs (for your work reading - or these other documents you create for childcare) to be read that way either. Also, my Kindle cover has a kickstand so I can read hands-free. Just a thought.

Heather said...

Water is the most important thing I think. The minute my first would latch on I was always overcome with the most intense thirst.

Make sure the book/magazines are really light reading - you probably won't have the attention span for anything too serious.

Turning the pages can be tricky. Sometimes it is easier to read online because you can surf with one hand.

Analytical Armadillo said...

Firstly LOVE the blog! Mixes all my favourite things: Montessori, Pregnancy and breastfeeding lol (plus lots more by the look, going to browse further in a mo :))

I'm not sure when you're due, haven't got that far into the blog lol but if during the colder months I would recommend a keep warm cup for hot drinks - I love the Brugo mug that cools the drink to the right temperature and then holds it there. (I have no affiliation with Brugo other than they donated some cups for our breastfeeding mamas) Because finishing a hot drink is SO rare wth a baby lol.
You can get some really nice "nursing teas" too if you don't drink regular tea/coffee.

Definitely second the breast pads -Lilypadz are my favourite.

Lanolin you shouldn't need if breastfeeding is kicked off to the best start - skin to skin, breastcrawl etc to avoid soreness.

Phone/mobile - you can guarantee it will ring just as you sit down to feed! ;)

You may get into books/mags/jotting down etc, but in all honesty in the early days the oxytocin often makes you so relaxed all you want to do is gaze at baby and play with tiny baby toes, fingers, ears - you get the drift ;)


Anonymous said...

And along those same lines as the writer above (ie, oxytocin), you may get really sleepy while breastfeeding. I had a hard time keeping my eyes open sometimes... played a LOT of online scrabble games, read so many good books, etc. to keep my mind occupied so I could stay awake!! (Wow, did I really used to have time for reading and scrabble?! lol!)

kahlia said...

Sorry to post a link to a product, but I don't have experience breastfeeding and I thought you might like to hear about an alternative to an iPod docking station. I got a (cuter, more round, purple!) version of this speaker:
at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $10. It fits in the palm of your hand and I carry it wherever I carry my iPod throughout the house (it's about as wide as the click-wheel on my "classic"/full-sized iPod). It does need to be re-charged (with a USB) after every couple of hours of play time, but if you're only using it for a half hour each time, that might not be a problem. It's very light, too, so it wouldn't add too much weight to your portable station.
(I have no interest in this company, I just love my little speaker & thought you might like to consider it as a less-expensive, portable option.)

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