This article is full of the most beautiful & real advice for a Breastfeeding Mom.
Breastfeeding is one of those things that can go a million different ways. It comes easily for some. It’s really hard for others. And for some Mamas, it’s downright impossible.
These breastfeeding tips are for every mom.
For the Mom who wants to breastfeed. For the Mom who is nervous about breastfeeding. For the Mom who loves breastfeeding. For the Mom who doesn’t like breastfeeding. For the Mom who doesn’t make enough milk. For the Mom who has an oversupply. For the Mom who doesn’t have support. For the Mom overwhelmed with (unsolicited) opinions. For the Mom who breastfeeding comes easily to. For the Mom who finds herself unable to breastfeed. For the Mom who doesn’t want to stop. And for the Mom who can’t wait to stop.
For ALL those Mamas who just welcomed the biggest joy of their life into the world. ♥️
This is for you.
This post includes affiliate links.
If you’re reading this, it means you are thinking about nursing or already doing it. So, here is an amazing compilation of tips & advice for breastfeeding moms…straight from your fellow Mamas. These are the things they wish they’d known. The things they wish someone had told them. The things they’re telling you.
AND, if you just want to see all the breastfeeding must-have items & nursing faves in one place to help you keep track of everything you need (all the things Mamas recommended below + my tried & true faves), click HERE. Everything is Amazon Prime-able cuz I know all about that #momlife.
*Also, heads up: you can use your FSA/HSA on breastfeeding items.
Breastfeeding as I comment….If it’s what you want to do, don’t give up. If something’s not right, get help. Pediatricians don’t know everything. See more than one lactation consultant. Tongue ties are real (and a real pain). Babies breastfeed A LOT. Drink lots of water. Find a show to binge watch. 🤪
It’s absolutely okay and normal if your baby wants to nurse all the time. It doesn’t mean you aren’t producing enough milk—it’s what newborns do! Also, don’t be afraid to unlatch & relatch multiple times until it feels right & you get a good, deep latch. As my lactation consultant said, “We’re breastfeeders, not nipple feeders!”
OWN IT. I decided right away that if I was going to make it work, I needed to ignore being uncomfortable with other people seeing us nurse. So around family & friends, just own it and keep that baby comfortable. If someone is bothered by it, that’s their problem, not yours.
The first 2 weeks are the hardest. Baby will fall into a groove around 4 weeks and by 6 weeks, both mom & baby will be pros. Daily resources until 6 weeks—Motherlove nipple cream, nipple shields for flat or chapped nipples, microwavable heating pads, and disposable bra pads (then switch to Bamboobies). Use a thick bristled comb to push milk towards the nipple in a hot shower to get the milk clumps out those first few days & anytime you feel a clogged duct.
Biggest thing—baby naturally knows what to do, so with a little coaching from a softly-toned Mama, baby will figure it out.
My advice for a breastfeeding Mom is to offer one bottle a day, just before bed or in the middle of the night. This will allow you the luxury to sleep while SO [significant other] gets bonding time & bonus—you get the confidence to know that if you need to be away from baby, they will be ok with someone else caring for them for a few hours. Nipple confusion is a myth. Babies love the boob & will always come back for it!
Nobody really tells you how challenging breastfeeding can be.e., painful. Get yourself a support system either way to help you when it’s a struggle. Family, friends who have nursed babies, or LLL people.
It is the most amazing bonding experience! Don’t let anyone tell you it’s easy. Even for an experienced Mama it is work to get established, but so very rewarding on many levels. Both Mama and baby benefit from the best health possible, physical & emotional satisfaction, ease of preparation, eco-friendly, quicker return to pre-baby (ish) body, and last but not least, it’s free! One more thing…Mom gets to eat & drink lots of yummy food!
My advice for a breastfeeding Mom is to find a good support group. I’m part of a Friday afternoon breastfeeding support group with a bunch of women & we have HV’s (health visitors are to the UK what lactation consultants or midwives are to the US) drop in & 2 peer supporters. Not only has it been great for making lovely mum friends all with small babies but it’s really helped me through latch issues, advice on cracked nipples & helped guide me through mastitis, Plus it’s just lovely to all sit round & chat whilst breastfeeding our babies. 😊
If you cannot make enough milk to satisfy your baby, if your mental health is deteriorating, if you feel like a human pacifier who doesn’t sleepit’s OKAY to pump a bottle. It’s OKAY to switch to formula. Baby needs Mom for a lot more than milk, and if you’re breastfeeding successfully but feeling like a shell of a person, you CAN stop. It’s not giving up, it’s doing what’s best for your family, it’s not embarrassing, or taking the easy way out, it’s remembering that sometimes FED is BEST and I really wish someone would have told me that.
Make sure you are comfortable. Lie down, sit up, pillows for you & baby. Do whatever you need to be comfortable. Watch something, read something, listen to something. Babies take a lot of time & patience, so you can take a moment for yourself, too. If you want to do it, don’t give up. The hardest one for me was my 3rd. 🤷🏽♀️🤱🏽
It’s going to be ok if you don’t end up breastfeeding for whatever reason. It’s not for everybody and it doesn’t mean you’re less of a Mom or love your baby any less if you don’t breastfeed. Also, enjoy the time with your baby while you feed them, bottle or breast. Sometimes we sit there thinking of what else we could be doing, like chores, but you’re providing your baby with nourishment. You’re bonding with your baby. They are that little for such a small amount of timerelish it. They grow up up to be mean, ungrateful teenagers. 😞 Not all, but mine did.
My best advice for breastfeeding moms is the beginning is super hard so hang in there. Even baby #2 had a learning curve, but it gets so much easier & is the best once you BOTH get into a rhythm. Ask for help. It’s not easy, but it’s totally worth it. I am also happy I pumped while on leave b/c I now have a freezer stash so I don’t have to worry if I have a day where I get less or accidentally spill a bottle, etc…
It’s amazing how much time you spend breastfeedingespecially the first couple weeks. I created comfy stations around my house with comfortable chairs, WATER, snacks, blankets, chargers, etc., so i never felt trapped or unprepared. Hydration is key!!! I was home alone most of the time, so having what I needed at an arm’s reach really helped in our breastfeeding journey.
Everyone says you have to work at it, but it’s not the kind of work we are used to. You can’t power in to breastfeeding. You can read all of the helpful books and blogs, and you can KNOW how to do it. But that’s not the kind of work it is. It’s a work that requires determination & relaxation simultaneously, and we are not wired like that. We solve problems with strategy & action, and the strategy & action for breastfeeding challenges is: relax and try it again. (Yes, the same thing you just tried.) Then relax and try it again. (Because eventually, it’s going to work.) Get comfortable, relax, and try it again. Over & over until it starts to work. And then it works, and then you’re doing it. In the meantime, keep going to the LC, use formula if you need, and be as kind to yourself as you are to your baby. You’re both new to this jam, even if it’s your nth baby.
My best breastfeeding tip is to bring nipple balm to the hospital! Bottom line, start using it before you think you need to. Chapping & irritation happen faster than you think, but if you apply after nursing each time it really helps it not get too bad. (I love Bamboobies nipple balm!)
Take a deep breathbaby is learning how to eat too. It isn’t easy but it’s so rewarding to see them plump up those first few weeks.
I wish someone would have told me that not making enough make didn’t make me a failure. I felt so much pressure when my daughter was born and my body could not keep up.
Breastfeeding is HARD and doesn’t come naturally (at least it didn’t for me). Before giving birth find a great Lactation Consultant that will come to your home. YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE IF: you have low supply, you use formula, you can’t get the baby to latch, your baby prefers a bottle, etc. And, REMEMBER, fed is best. Do what’s best for you and your family!
It’s lovely bonding & rewarding & biologically normal and it’s a wonderful way to nurture your baby. It also requires a lot of painful sacrifice & it might not go easily & your boobs might not be able to work as you hoped, which leads me to❤️Breastfeeding doesn’t have to be all or nothing. We do not have to choose between formula or breastfeeding & be viciously in one of two militant camps! I’m still breastfeeding my 20 month old & he (& my firstborn) needed a supplement of several ounces of formula or milk from other sweet Mamas with every single feeding until he was about 1. No, I couldn’t physically exclusively breastfeed, but I kept it up anyway because I wanted the benefits for us, & it was still good! I fed my baby the way I could, and that was enough. I was made to be my baby’s Mama, and breastfeeding is just one way I mother him.
The best advice for a breatfeeding mom is this: Find a lactation consultant. They are an amazing resource & support. Get some nipple cream & Soothies gel pads. If you can hang in there the first week or two, it gets better and is totally worth it. When you’re done, for whatever reason, it’s okay to quit. There are things you can do to boost your supply (get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, eat oatmeal, etc.) but it’s also okay to supplement with formula.
I read a ton & also clipped the baby’s nails when I breastfed. (*Christina aka C’MON MAMA here for one second. These are the best baby nail clippers – trust me, get these!) I loved the washable nursing pads, Lansinoh nipple cream, and laying down. And I used green cabbage leaves in my bra when I came down with mastitis (per a recommendation from my midwife). My youngest abruptly stopped nursing at 10 months. I used ice packs on my chest to ease some of that pain. Also, it’s okay to have to supplement with some formula in conjunction with breastfeeding. And, ask for help if the baby isn’t latching on. This happened when I was trying to nurse the 3rd child in the hospital.
It will hurt the first few weeks, but then it’s totally fine after that. Nipple balm will get you through! Don’t feel any guilt for needing to supplement. It’s hard to maintain a good supply, especially when pumping, too. Most importantly, feel free to ignore any unwanted advice people give you because you know your baby best, and each Mother/baby relationship & feeding needs are different! Trust your own instincts.
It’s so hard & demanding but also so good for baby & for their comfort and health. Just try and enjoy those sweet moments being so close to your baby and embracing how awesome it is that we can birth them & feed them.
Keep. Going. 🤗 Listen to your body and baby. Sometimes a good latch still hurts but just a little. Count to 30 & if it still hurts, then it’s a bad latch. Use nipple cream like your life depends on it. It prevents chapping and cracking. Breastfeed as soon as you give birth & feed at least every 2 hours or more if your babe is signaling/rooting. It will increase your supply. 💓
Pumping does not yield as much milk as your baby does…so don’t let the amount scare you into thinking you’re not producing enough. Your body knows that it’s a pump.
Do whatever works for you and your baby. Happy Mama happy family. 😊 Let’s all be supportive & stop staring at a Mother for not doing exactly what you do. We’re all different!
It’s amazing but if it doesn’t work out, don’t feel ashamed! I couldn’t breastfeed either of my kids & I felt so embarrassed & bullied about it. I love that breastfeeding is beautiful & natural, but don’t think not doing it is the wrong choice ❤️
For Mamas with a low milk supply…don’t listen to the naysayers, you CAN do it. Give that baby all the milk you can & it’s okay to supplement the rest. Find someone to encourage you & cheer you on because you are amazing but sometimes we need a little reminder. ❤️
Best advice for a breastfeeding Mom would be get a good support system in place! I wanted to breastfeed so badly but I had a hard time at first so I would have probably given up if it wasn’t for the support I had around me! I breastfed exclusively! So happy I did. It was worth it & I was proud to not give up!!!
Just feel freedom to ignore advice that makes you second guess yourself. We all need more support and less judging as Moms.
My only breastfeeding tip is, it’s different for every Mama, different with every baby, and do what feels right.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help at any point on the journey! And try not to stress at the beginning. Both you & your baby are learning something totally new!! Don’t worry about a schedule, especially at the beginning. Your baby is growing so quickly & just wants to be close to you. It’s okay if all you do is feed your baby that day. Any day. Every day! ❤️
I had an awful experience in the hospital trying to breastfeed. My nipples were bleeding & sore. I was so emotional because I couldn’t get my baby to stop crying. I felt like a failure. Of course, I had a plan (breastfeed only, no pacifiers until breastfeeding was established, etc.) but that wasn’t working out. I had to learn that it was okay to change the plan. The nurses & lactation consultant were the best at giving advice & support. I don’t know that I would have stuck with breastfeeding as long as I did (9 months) if not for them. My goal was a year but I ended up getting pregnant & my supply wasn’t keeping up with what my baby demanded.
If your pediatrician doesn’t have a consultant at the ready, go elsewhere. Don’t wait. And pay attention to your own health to know the signs that you may need some help.
Although the first few weeks may be extremely difficult & feels like it will never get normal, it’s not gonna be like this forever! Just bite through & you’ll get there!
I wish I had known how hard it would be to stop, physically and emotionally. The hormones rise/dip hit me HARD for about 5-6 months after our last time nursing. Also: the football hold was my golden ticket to a successful start. 💙
When you breastfeed, make sure you start on one breast & then the next feed start on the other breast & keep alternating. You will be sleep deprived in the beginning so write down the time of the feed & then which breast you started with so you don’t forget. This prevents mastitis. (There are also apps that help you remember which breast you last nursed from.)
It’s not as intuitive as it seems it should be. Get support! If anything feels like it’s not working, even if you’re unsure, just ask for help. It gets sooo much easier with time, baby’s mouth gets bigger & drinking is more efficient. Do what makes you & your baby comfortable. There are no rules! If anyone else cares, that’s their own stuff to deal withnot your issue. Breastfeed when, where, and how you want to. And to whatever age works for you & your babe. No matter what happens, feed your baby in a way that is supportive of BOTH you & him/her. ❤️
When in doubt, latch! Babies nurse for MULTIPLE reasons, whether they’re hungry, over-stimulated, scared, sad…and don’t stress about if you’re making enough or not. If the baby is having an adequate amount of output, then you’re doing amazing. Also, your body makes EXACTLY what baby needs. You cannot “fatten” your milk up by eating more fatty foods. Eat a balanced diet, and trust your body to do what it was intended to do.
It IS hard the first few weeks. But the payoff is amazing!!
My advice for a breastfeeding Mom is to give yourself grace when it’s hard. And when you’re crying watching latch videos because your baby doesn’t know how yet…give yourself grace. After the learning curve it gets better! Drink lots of water to help with your supply. Never be afraid to ask for helpit does not equal failure. All babies are different so don’t compare your journey to another or feel unsuccessful, just do what your Mama heart tells you to do. You can do it!!
My advice for breastfeeding moms is that it’s ok if you can’t/ don’t want to breastfeed. That it’s hard work & doesn’t always work out. That you’re not a failure or a bad mom if can’t or don’t. What’s important is your emotional & mental health & the health of your baby.
Relax. What is best for your baby is best for your baby. Also, the theory/practice of hooking something to the unlatched nipple is brilliant! It really makes you a milking machine! Wish they’d have had the Haakkaa breast pump when I had my babies!!
I nursed one for six weeks ( dried up from one feeding to the next from an unrelated trauma ). I nursed the other one for three years!! Both of them are grown wonderful men & you could never tell which one was nursed. They were both very healthy.
Be prepared to feel like you’re nursing 24/7 for the first couple of weeks because you sort of are! Also don’t be afraid to ask visitors to get you water/snacks while you’re nursing to keep hydration & calories & energy up!
Fill a prescription for Dr Newman’s nipple cream from your local compounding pharmacy before the birth. It’s the best stuff for seriously cracked nipples. And nobody wants to be making phone calls & picking things up with the new baby. No matter how amazing my babies’ latches have been I’ve always had pain for at least three weeks and I’ve always had cracked nipples until then. Then it all just magically goes away. My thoughts are to surround yourself with a good breastfeeding support system, power through for a month & then evaluate. Do what you need to do to keep you & your baby healthy & happy but know that breastfeeding isn’t some magic easy button you just push.
Get Milkies! It goes in your bra & while you’re nursing on one side you put it in your bra on the other side. It’s like a full pump session without any of the work or clean up.
It hurts so much the first two weeks. It is so overwhelming when your milk supply is low. What helped me was drinking tea, eating & snacking every two hours. And hot showers. After you get over that 2 week bump, you become a pro. I breastfed my daughter for 18 months & my son is 1 & we are still going strong. 💪
I struggled severely with breastfeeding my first-born, but with my second it was effortless. Each child & breastfeeding journey is different. Be kind & gentle with yourself as it is another full-time job.
Switching to this manual pump changed everything for me. I got so much more milk out!
You will pretty much just sit & breastfeed for the first 3 months, just know this and expect it.
The new pump, The Elvie, is a game changer…at least it is for me. No more sitting & pumping for 25 or so minutes. It’s wireless. This is especially beneficial if you have a toddler & don’t have time to stop, hook up, and pump like you do with non-wireless pumps. Start storing up your milk by creating an extra pump a day…having stored milk creates your freedom. And nipple cream nipple cream nipple cream the first 6 to 8 weeks of learning to breastfeed. I would write more but I have to go breastfeed again. 😜
My advice for a breastfeeding Mom is to take care of yourself more so that rest is up & milk supply is abundant. I had to do formula + breast with my Preemie twins so also knowing that breastfeeding is much like planning birthsyou have to accept that what you desire and what may happen will be two different visions. You’re a great Mama who feeds her child & keeps them safe by making those decisions for all of you. ❤️ Oh, and it was super hard to stop nursing like I couldn’t let go of it & it was HARD!!!!! Some Mamas crave some physical space & with twins lord help me that wasn’t something I recognized while trying to pump and feed and do 500 other things. 🤷🏻
There will be times when you think that it will never stop hurting but one day you will wake up & it won’t hurt at all. There will be times when you are in public & feeling like everyone is staring & you’ve never felt more awkward & then one afternoon you won’t even notice that you’ve just whacked your baby on your boob while starting a conversation with the teenage boy from down the road at a BBQ.
It’s HARD. It doesn’t come as naturally as you hope, but eventually it gets easier. It takes a lot of time & patience, but it’s so worth it! It’s a superpower that literally fixes everything. It’s so much more than “feeding.” It’s comfort, bonding, healing & protection. People will judge you no matter what. “You are still breastfeeding?” “You aren’t still breastfeeding?” Remember you are not doing it for anyone other than your precious baby & yourself! Find a tribe who will support you with this journey, because you will need it. And as hard as it is in the beginning, it might be even harder for it to end. Good luck Mamas! 💕
There you have it. This is some of my favorite advice I’ve ever heard. It’s sweet and it’s honest. I wish I’d been told every one of these breastfeeding tips when I was nursing my babies.
Now, here is my own advice for a breastfeeding Mom:
You most definitely can & should nurse your babies to sleep! It’s BRILLIANT & I think it’s by design. Both of my kids are epic sleepers now & I nursed them to sleep all the time. Don’t let people worry you about that!
(And while we’re at it, “Holding your baby too much” is NOT a thing. You can’t spoil them by holding them too much. That’s ridiculous. Hold your baby like there’s no tomorrow.)
I nursed my son for 18 months and my daughter for 14. It was hard to stop because it was such a part of our little lives together. And it was something that was just us. You really do spend so much time breastfeeding & just being with them when they’re babies. That time is magical & you never really get that same kind of time again.
Also, I never had a crazy large milk supply & I just kept going and it all ended up great.
And I never pumped & dumped. No way was I going to work that hard to pump just to dump it out, ha! Once my baby was sleeping all night long, I would have a glass of wine (maybe even 2 on rare occasion). I’d pump. And I’d never dump. I’d usually mix the milk from that night with the milk from a night I had no drink just to be extra safe.
Do not worry about people looking. Seriously. People are always going to look. (And this applies to ALL of Motherhood.) They’ll look when they approve. And they’ll look when they don’t. They’ll look when they think it’s sweet. And they’ll look when they think it’s inappropriate.
Oh and one last piece of advice for a breastfeeding Mom—take pictures!! You will wish you had some later. I could only find ONE picture of me breastfeeding my daughter & that breaks my heart, especially since it was something I did all day every day. 🤱 So seriously, take some pics. It’s the sweetest thing.
For a couple of my breastfeeding must-haves & why I love them, click here. (And my whole Baby Registry Must-Haves article is baby registry gold for a mommy-to-be!)
For ALL the links mentioned above + all the breastfeeding must-haves in ONE place, click HERE to visit my Breastfeeding List on Amazon.
NOW, before you do anything else check out my OG article for New Moms: 14 Things Every New Mom Should get Herself. You need the things on this list, Mama. Trust me. Yearssss later, I still love & use them all.
What’s YOUR best advice for a Breastfeeding Mom? What do you wish someone had told you?
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