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  • Rebecca Elowen, LM, IBCLC

Creating the Nest You Need


The weeks and months leading up to a baby arriving are geared toward nesting, preparing, going inward and gathering the resources needed to take the deep dive that becoming a parent can be. Many people have a room that is to be ‘The Nursery’ and spend months and not a small amount of money making it beautiful for their coming babe. I’ve walked into more rooms than I could count that truly took my breath away with their carefully crafted, color-coordinated, sweet baby-themed décor. (And yes, maybe you can tell, I felt a little intimidated more than once!)

That loveliness was rarely enjoyed as much as it deserved though, as these rooms were largely unused. Their little ones were sleeping in their parents’ room for at least the first 6 months, often a year or more, and they were more likely to put them down to play in the living room where they could occupy themselves nearby with food prep, laundry, writing their novel, whatever aspirations they had for those quiet moments. These beautiful nurseries, therefore, are often going unused, except for quick diaper changes throughout the day.

This, in itself, is not a problem per say. But here’s the thing: as a Prenatal Educator and Lactation Consultant, I work exclusively in clients’ homes (or online, as the situation calls for it). We sit and talk, and practice various positions and techniques for feeding their babies in the spaces they use every day, so that what we work on together will be replicable and familiar in later feedings when I’m no longer there. I am frequently surprised by how these nursing parents are cramming themselves into uncomfortable chairs, using pillows that don’t fit them, stressing their necks and backs trying to make it work, with no table, snacks or water nearby. Meanwhile there’s a lovely room down the hall that is all decorated for their baby, which is getting very little love.

So, here’s a thought… maybe we decorate that room in stages. Can we save some of the sweet baby things for when they’re moving toward using that space and claiming it as their own? Consider spending your nesting days creating a haven for yourself as a new parent, where you will be able to feed your baby comfortably, have a stash of snacks, drinks, novels, phone and laptop chargers, a sound machine, and a really comfy chair that leans back quietly, and far enough to nurse in various positions. Can you imagine it? Can you see the art you’d choose for the walls that you’ll be gazing at while your babe dozes on your chest? Can you see the quotes or affirmations you might choose to post where you can read them as needed in the middle of the night? Are there books you’d like to have within reach, or a music system for your favorite soothing tunes?

What would most nurture you, the new parent, who will continue to need that nest, that anchor, that safe space where you can break open, become someone new, fall madly in love while weeping with fatigue, and emerge a stronger, softer, phenomenal parent version of you? Doesn’t the caterpillar deserve a really lovely cocoon for that precious, irreplaceable time? I think you do, and I wish you so much pleasure, joy, and connection in the creation of and immersion in it as you meet your baby, and yourself, in this next, new phase of your life.

{Need some ideas for how to set up the ideal nest for your future self? Visit the site below to find several lists of recommended supplies (under the Virtual Services & Resources tab), which I have compiled over the years as I discovered the items I love most for new families. I discuss many of these items in my Virtual Newborn Care and Breast, Chest & Bottle Feeding classes, and am also happy to take a tour of clients’ homes and supplies in a Prenatal Consultation to strategize together on how they can set up their most functional and nourishing postpartum space.}

By Rebecca (Plum) Elowen, LM, IBCLC, CST-I

Hearthstone Midwifery, Lactation & Craniosacral Services

Rebecca offers lactation consultation, craniosacral therapy for infants, prenatal & professional classes, support groups for solo parents, prenatal & postpartum consultation, and fertility support throughout Sonoma County and the San Francisco Bay Area. Services are provided virtually, and in clients’ homes.

Website: www.hearthstonemidwifery.com

Facebook & Instagram: @hearthstonemidwifery

Email: rebecca@hearthstonemidwifery.com

Cell: (707) 893-7877

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