I WISH I’d known these breastfeeding tips a year ago.
(THIS POST PROBABLY CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. OUR FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY IS REALLY BORING, BUT YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.)
Breastfeeding is hard, and anything that can make it easier is essential information. I had no idea what I was getting into – there is just SO much to know about nursing a baby! (And I say that as a mom of single babies… it’s even HARDER if you’re breastfeeding twins!)
You’re wise to prepare for breastfeeding by taking a simple affordable breastfeeding class. (I like the Milkology course. It’s video based, and comes with a trouble shooting guide – that’s important. There’s almost certainly going to be at least a little trouble when you start nursing.)
These are the best breastfeeding tips I found from across the internet land when I started on the Great and Scary (but Wonderful) Breastfeeding Journey.
Related: 11 Things To Do In Baby’s First Year
♥ Don’t miss these Nursing Momma FREEBIES:
(Use the coupon code mommyonpurpose50 to grab any of the following for free)
Free Nursing Pillow
10 Pairs of Reusable Breastpads
Tips to control pain from breastfeeding:
(I was in pain for two solid months. But it DID go away – you just gotta keep at it… and try to get to the bottom of what’s causing pain if it’s more than just the whole learning to breast feed thing. The squishy baby had a tongue tie, and that was the cause of a lot of our trouble… and then we got thrush. Yay. Check out this list of 9 common breast feeding struggles and how to fix them if you aren’t sure why you’re in pain!)
♥ Booby ice packs SHAPED to fit your boobies! These are super easy, and wow, I love them. Because lumpy ice on sore boobs sucks.
♥ Pineapple juice is a natural anti-inflammatory, and can help with the pain of engorgement. I loved this post: why I pack pineapple juice in my hospital bag.
♥ Learn new positions for feeding your baby. When things get terribly painful in the traditional cradle hold (baby across the front of your body), ease the pain by trying different positions. I found the football hold REALLY made a huge difference.
♥ This DIY sore nipple remedy is way better for your baby to ingest than commercial creams and (more beneficial than straight up plain coconut oil, which isn’t a bad option either).
♥ Breast shells – to keep your shirt or bra away from your nipples AND collect any extra milk. Win-win! (I personally never felt that a bra full of wet nursing pads was that comfortable, and I was always frustrated that milk was being “wasted” as it escaped…)
♥ A nipple shield might be the relief you need, if baby sucking is just unbearable. I used one in the first week with my second baby and it made a HUGE difference.
Related: How to Pee Postpartum (without crying!)
Related: 8 Things You Need to Be Prepared For Postpartum
Tips to make breastfeeding a little easier:
♥ Some say a breastfeeding station is needed, I say breastfeeding basket. (For the first month every time I say down and got squishy baby latched I started yelling requests to my husband in the other room. “Please bring the burp cloth. Some water. The advil. The nipple cream…” Throughout the day I’d collect all the stuff in the living room, and at night I’d get into bed and 2 am would come only for me to find that I was again without the burp cloth, the advil, some water, the nipple cream. If everything is in a breastfeeding basket, all your stuff can go with you from living room to bed room, no extra thinking required.)
♥ Decent support for feeding in bed. (My back actually went into spasm because I kept getting confused and holding the baby for hours on end in bed at night after feeding. I wish I was kidding.)
♥ Science has proven that getting skin to skin with babe helps the whole breastfeeding experience – it helps baby latch and increases breast milk production. (And besides that it’s just super great for your babe).
♥ If your milk supply is low, you can increase it by doing a few simple things at home. (Yes, I have done all. the. things. They worked!)
♥ Keep a hair band on the wrist you fed on last. Next feeding, switch wrists! Never forget which boob needs to take the first turn at the next feeding.
♥ Cut holes in a sports bra for cheap hands free pumping. Get the instructions here.
♥ These microwave sterilization bags make it SO easy to clean your pump. Believe me, you will get tired of sterilizing.
♥ Have a hot shower before pumping to get more milk out.
♥ Look at pictures of your babe and focus on him to help your body produce more / letdown.
Breast milk storage tips:
♥ Freeze Breast milk in ice cube trays so you’re not stuck thawing 5 ounces when you need 4 or 3 ounces when you need 5. Each cube is around an ounce, so you can thaw JUST how much you need.
♥ Soda can boxes are the perfect size for storing bags breast milk in the freezer.
♥ Print out a cheat sheet of breast milk storage guidelines for the front of your fridge. And if you’re keeping milk in the fridge, use date stickers to ensure you don’t have to throw any out. (You’re tired and you have no idea if this bottle has been in there for 4 days or 8 days, so you dump it out. Save yourself this heartbreak.)
The most important breastfeeding tip EVER:
♥ The secret to keeping a breastfed baby full. The milk that comes out later in the feeding has more fat, and the fat keeps babe fuller longer. Hindmilk is so. very. key. to having a baby that doesn’t need to nurse 24/7.
What are your best breastfeeding tips and hacks? Leave them in the comments and I’ll add them to the list!
Related: 10 Ways to Increase Milk Supply
16 thoughts on “19 Awesome Breastfeeding Tips and Hacks for New Moms”
Just felt the desire to stop by and tell you keep up the good work on your blogging. More mommy bloggers like you should be online sharing helpful tips like yours on quality breastfeeding. Hopefully you’ll start a video channel on YouTube momentarily discussing everything related for mothers. 🙂
I regret that I have not read anything that would prepare me for breastfeeding when my first baby was born but I certainly do not regret that I decided to use this method of feeding. It is not that easy and a woman should definitely prepare for it. When I was pregnant for the first time I was sure I wanted to breastfeed and I didn’t think I need to prepare for it. Now I know that it is so not true! I had problems, my daughter didn’t want to suck and I failed 🙁 I gave her a bottle and she didn’t want to eat my milk. When I was pregnant with my second daughter I knew I need to be prepared for this task. My dear friend told me about Susan Urban’s guide “How to make breastfeeding pleasant and easy” ( http://www.parental-love.com ). She said it is great because she knew exactly what to do when she had problems. She told me that I should read it and I did. She was right! This guide is awesome! Helped me so much with breastfeeding. I was self-confident and knew how to deal with problems. Every new mom or mom to be should read it. Such a great help!
Thanks for sharing Anna!
I do like your blog! After reading the article and the comments I decided to read Urban’s guide about breastfeeding like Anna suggested and I have got to say it’s a good one! Finally something worth to read and worth to recommend. I got the answers to all my questions. Instead of searching the internet I have it all in this guide. Going to have it with me ( it’s an ebook so I will have it in my phone even in the hospital 🙂 I know I’ll find a solution there if I need it. Really like it!
Glad you found a useful resource Alice!
I know it book! My older sister was really excited after reading this but I forgot about this until now. I definitely need to read this, since I can remember my sister saying this is all she needed to get prepared. And yes – she succeeded and is breastfeeding her second now, while I’m still waiting for my firstborn!
These are great tips!!
Instead of date stickers I use a wet erase marker to write the date and time on the bottle caps.
A couple other amazing tools/ must have items for me that can be bought on Amazon, usually available with prime for free 2 day shipping:
I swear by freemie cups for pumping in the car or when you have visitors and don’t want to leave the room.
I love the silicone hand pump/ suction cup style for collection on the non nursing side during a feeding (or they can be used on both sides at the same time instead of a pump).
I’m seriously considering a hand pump this time around – they look really neat!!
A very helpful tip in all moms out there! Thanks for sharing this. As part of dietary meal you can also add on some probiotics cause there are many health benefits from it. It can help you through out digestion of foods you take. More blogs to come.
Thanks so much for sharing! Nobody ever tells you how hard it really is to breastfeed, and with my firstborn whom is now 6, I tried to breastfeed and didnt look into at all except the benefits of it, and gave up within 2 weeks bc I couldn’t get milk out and felt like I was starving my son. This time, with my second I’m reading everything there is to know and this I found very useful! If anyone has any more info on how to increase milk supply or just anything else that would be helpful please email me at kaylagroves5757@gmail thanks so much for your blog!
Aw I’m sorry you had the experience you had- breastfeeding IS SO hard, ESPECIALLY the first time! My best tip for increasing supply is to NURSE AS OFTEN AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE lol. A supply and demand thing, remember!
I think every mom-to-be thinks breastfeeding just happens naturally. After all, I have boobs and my baby needs to eat so…It’s a big surprise that learning to breastfeed takes practice. So glad you mention the nipple pain too. Because even without a tongue tie and thrush, your nipples will still be sore for a while until you get used to breastfeeding. New moms need to know that it’s normal and will pass. The more you know, the greater your chances of being able to breastfeed!
I definitely agree – education is key!
breastfeeding is important for every baby this milk is full of nutrients which is need of any child and you have to deal with them smoothly which is telling and inspiring moms to get ready for breastfeeding.