Have you spent hours on Pinterest designing your baby’s nursery, choosing a pram and buying cute little baby outfits? Have you given much thought to creating a feeding sanctuary? A place where you can retreat to with your baby. A place where you’ll feed, rock and cuddle your baby, read, eat, watch netflix and perhaps fall asleep too.
Here’s a few things you can use to design your Feeding Sanctuary:
In the early days, you’ll spend a lot of time feeding and settling so make sure you have a comfy chair in your Feeding Sanctuary.
I love my Ollie Ella Mo- Ma Glider with the ottoman that glides in synch and the lumbar pillow to support your lower back. It takes the effort out of rocking your baby to sleep.
A feeding chair is a good investment as you can use it for subsequent children, as a reading chair or sell it on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace (they have really good resale value).
Create your Feeding Sanctuary where you think you’ll spend most of your time with your baby. Maybe in the nursery, your bedroom or in the living room.
Put a small table (a bedside table will do) in your Feeding Sanctuary so it’s in easy reach of your chair in for your snacks, drinks and other essentials.
Use a lamp in your Feeding Sanctuary with a low voltage globe or one with a dimmer instead of turning on the room light in the middle of the night. Blue light (light emitted from screens, fluorescent bulbs and LED lights) can make you and your baby more alert so you’ll both struggle falling back to sleep after an early morning feed). I love my Himalayan salt lamp which gives off a beautiful orange glow.
Keep a water bottle on your side table in your Feeding Sanctuary so it’s in easy reach and top it up before each feed.
Breastfeeding can cause dehydration so drink more than the standard 8- 10 glasses of water to make up for what your body uses in producing milk. Staying well hydrated increases your energy, reduces hunger, promotes digestion and boosts your milk supply.
Herbal Tea is also very hydrating. A warm cup of tea is like a hug in a mug. It boosts oxytocin and makes you feel warm, loved and cared for. This “breastfeeding tea” by LOVE TEA helps with milk supply and digestion (for you and your baby). Don’t let your tea go cold (which is easy to do as a new mama) drink it in an insulated reusable cup with a lid to keep it nice and hot.
Keep some snacks on your side table in your Feeding Sanctuary so they’re in easy reach.
Instead of counting your calories, use your hunger as a guide. Breastfeeding works up an appetite and can make you ravenous. Whilst it’s tempting to grab a packet of Tim Tams or a block of chocolate, they won’t leave you feeling satiated. Instead, stock up on snacks that are nourishing and will keep you fuller for longer like nuts and seeds, fruit, cheese, yoghurt and bliss balls.
Include a plan for snacks in your Postpartum Plan. Things like bliss balls, banana bread and slices can be frozen ahead of time so you can make them on maternity leave or allocate to friends or family that feel at home in the kitchen. Do some research to find some recipes you like and share them. My Apple and Cinnamon Lactation Bliss Balls are yummy.
Otherwise, ask friends and family to make you snacks instead of buying you a baby gift. Or put your visitors to work when they stop by so you can get some rest and enjoy the fruits of their labour later on.
The days may seem long and the nights even longer when you’re feeding your baby so you may like some entertainment in your Feeding Sanctuary.
KINDLE: Load it up while you’re on maternity leave. Some books that I really enjoyed are The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali, Happy Mama by Amy Taylor- Kabbaz, Mindfulness for Mothers by Rebecca Ryan and SLOW by Brooke McAlary. Keep away from all the dreaded baby books- they’ll just mess with your head. Hard copy books can be a little awkward when you’re trying to juggle a newborn so audiobooks are a good option.
PODCASTS: Some of my favourites are The Goop Podcast with Gwyneth Paltrow, The Motherly Podcast, The Motherkind Podcast, Newborn Mothers Podcast with Julia Jones, The Slow Home Podcast with Brooke and Ben McAlary and the Happy Mama Movement by Amy Taylor- Kabbaz. Use the Podcasts App on your phone and search for topics that you’re interested in.
NETFLIX: Add the shows you’d like to watch to “your channel”. Use your headphones so it doesn’t overstimulate your baby and mess with their sleep. When choosing movies or series, go for romcoms. Research suggests they’ll give you an oxytocin boost.
Keep your headphones in a drawer, a basket or on your side table so they’re in arms reach in your Feeding Sanctuary. Use them to listen to podcasts, music, chat to friends or watch Netflix. Iphone headphones are easy to get all tangled up when you’re juggling your baby and your cuppa so invest in some wireless ones.
No doubt you’ll be using your phone a lot for taking baby photos and texting friends and family, so keep your charger plugged in close to your feeding chair in your Feeding Sanctuary. Don’t get stuck under your sleeping baby with a dying battery not able to move.
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I’d love to hear your comments and questions in the COMMENTS below.