When I talk about a breastfeeding station, I’m not talking about one of those over-priced cushioned nursery chairs you see in the catalogues. I mean, if you want one of those chairs then by all means get one, but that’s not really your breastfeeding station. That’s just the place you’ll be angrily breastfeeding from at 6am, furiously wishing you’d created a better breastfeeding station.
The key to a good breastfeeding station is that it’s somewhere you want to be. It’s not somewhere you don’t mind sitting for a forty minute feed, it’s somewhere you long to be the rest of the day. Your husband, your mother, the postman - they should all look longingly at your breastfeeding station, wishing they had the goods to call the station their own.
Here are some tips to consider when creating the ultimate breastfeeding station:
- Location, location, location - Kirstie Allsopp is the Queen of breastfeeding stations. Her and Phil are on a mission to transform the nation’s breastfeeding stations. And, being a very wise woman, Kirstie knows the most important factor to consider is location. You could plonk yourself in Junior’s room, but then you’re stuck in a nursery for seven hours a day, staring at the garish pink wallpaper you thought was cute. And it was cute, until you were forced to stare at it for seven hours a day. When it comes to selecting the location of your breastfeeding station, you want to use a selection criteria worthy of Sheldon Cooper. You want the comfiest seat, with the best view of the TV, in the perfect micro-climate of the living room.
- In-flight entertainment - the pregnant amongst you might be thinking “Entertainment? Surely gazing lovingly into my babies’ eyes will be entertaining enough.” And sure, it will be, for the first day. Then you’ll be bored of watching Junior chomp away, and you’ll be craving some light relief. This is where the breastfeeding box set comes in. You’ll need a selection of TV box sets to work through during the first few months of breastfeeding. I watched West Wing, New Girl, Six Feet Under, Superman and Grey’s Anatomy. That might sound like an excessive amount of TV, but babies eat A LOT. And yeah, you could whack them in a sling and get on with the housework, but who wants to do that? Make yourself comfy and settle in for some TV.
- Close enough to kiss - do not let that remote out of your sight. So many times I would sit down and get the baby latched on only to realise the remote was out of reach and I was stuck watching Pointless AGAIN. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, what you really need is one of those mitten strings fed through your clothes - TV remote dangling out of one sleeve, and the blu ray remote attached to the other. You will also need to keep close your phone, iPad, book and magazine - delete as appropriate.
- Risk it for a biscuit - breastfeeding makes you hungry, VERY hungry. Of course, nutritionally rich, healthy foods are best, but you're breastfeeding so you can have what you want - no-one tells you off when you’re breastfeeding so sod it, have a biscuit. Breastfeeding also makes you really thirsty, so make sure you have a drink handy before you park at the breastfeeding station. Cold, cold water was my favourite tipple during those early months.
If you follow the tips above, you should have wonderful, fulfilling and comfortable breastfeeds.
Or, more likely, you’ll be sat on the knackered sofa that smells of dog, trying not to wet yourself AND die of thirst as you breastfeed your aggressively hungry baby, whilst you sit opposite (and just out of reach of) the wonderful, comfortable breastfeeding station you set up. You will sit, staring at the tantalising pack of ginger nuts resting upon your favourite book, while Pointless fills the room like an unwelcome guest.
But hey, at least you’ll have that nice breastfeeding station to admire for the next 40 minutes.
To find out more about the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt, click here.