5 August 2017

The Breastfeeding Box

Anyone who knows me or how follows me on Instagram will no that, although I do it as much as I can bear too, I hate breastfeeding. It does not make me feel bonded to the baby, it makes me feel a strange combination of resentful, trapped, inadequate and like a cow. I do it because I can and there are lots of women out there who would love to be able to and can't and because it is good for them. I am a crap milk maker though so the boys have all had top up bottles when either they, or I, need it. Why they don't recommend combination feeding more often I have no idea. I'm sure if they did more women would breastfeed but to feed a baby when you aren't making enough milk or hate it and feel that it's an either/or option is ridiculous.

Anyway, part of my problem with it is that having been a mountainous pregnant person you are suddenly not pregnant anymore and (eventually) much more able and mobile and yet there you sit, pinned under a feeding baby staring at the mess/washing up/DIY/gardening/whatever and unable to do anything about it. So, pretty quickly with Ned I made myself a breastfeeding box.

On one of the many errands I sent my mother on when he was a newborn I asked her to pick me up a box from the Spend & Save and in it I put a load of things that I was always wanting when trapped under a feeding baby. It didn't make breastfeeding great but it made it so much better. I was prepared when visitors came round, if I was bored, hungry or thirsty and if the baby did a massive puke I had a muslin to hand. When I was getting ready to feed Ned I'd get my box and plonk it down next to me and I knew I'd have everything to hand. If I forgot to do this it would mean I could ask someone to bring it to me instead of saying 'can you get my nipple cream it's in the bedrooms' then 'oo sorry can you find me some water' followed by 'can you find a muslin?'.

I also hate that visitors expect you to whap your baps out in front of them, or turn up while you are feeding and looking like a hag. So I have make-up that I can slap on while someone else answers the door.  I often try to take myself to another room and I'd say at least half the time the visitor would come and find me.

I recommend this to every new mum (second and third time round I used it less as I was basically feeding Jim and Jack on the move) and it's especially good if you've had a C-section because they you really shouldn't be moving about while feeding. You are fairly mobile when you are feeding but if you have a fussy or colicy baby you don't want to move an inch if they've settled. I've listed below what I put it in but you can add your own stuff obvs. You get the idea.

  • When I get back from the hospital I edit and transfer my washbag to the breastfeeding box (you can see in the pictures... it has watermelons on it). In the washbag I have breastpads, nipple cream, tic tacs, lip balm, blusher, deodorant, Clinique Moisturse Surge spray, hand cream, hand sanitiser, hand mirror, black eye liner and mascara (I cannot be viewed without mascara as a minimum requirement).
  • Flapjacks or other similar snacks but I like flapjacks. Oats are good for making milk so basically, while you are breastfeeding, they are a health food. 
  • Something to read - I have a backlog of London Review of Books though a kindle is ideal if you are feeding as there are no pages... which can be problematic.
  • Baby wipes
  • Muslin
  • Remote controls if you are as scatty as me
  • Notebook and pen - transferred from hospital bag. With Ned I kept having to write down timings because he wanted to eat again and I couldn't persuade the midwives that I wasn't making enough milk. Thank god for friends who convince you that top-up bottles won't kill the baby. Also useful for doodling, writing shopping lists and thoughts on the new baby if you are so inclined. 
  • Bottle of water - I don't usually approve of bottles of water but if you've breastfed you know that horrible immediate and desperate thirst that can appear as soon as you've got them on. 

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