Searching for the best breastfeeding tips to turn your boobs into a busy baby buffet?
Okay, mama. Not to worry. You weren’t supposed to just know how to successfully breastfeed.
Like many things mamahood, breastfeeding comes with a whole lot of questions:
How do I get baby to latch on correctly? How long should a breastfeeding session last? What foods help produce breast milk? And, of course, how do I know what foods to avoid while breastfeeding?
Help is here! Here are our top 20 breastfeeding tips so that you can succeed with the feed.
Breastfeeding help has arrived!
20 breastfeeding tips for new mamas
1. Breastfeed ASAP
The sooner you get cracking with breastfeeding, the better. If it’s possible for you, try to breastfeed within the first hour of your baby’s birth. Why is this useful? For two key reasons. The first has to do with milk production. Breastfeeding after birth is like saying to your body and brain, “This restaurant is open for business.” And the second reason? Colostrum—otherwise known as liquid gold, both for its color and its nutrient punch. But, know that there are various situations where breastfeeding after birth is not possible. You can only do what you can with what you have.
2. Tickle, aim, latch
Getting your little one’s latch on can be a challenge. Try this: tickle their lips with your nipple to encourage them to open their mouth. Then, aim your nipple at their nose. Try to encourage them to open as wide as possible by getting them to come at you chin-first.
3. Know the signs of a good latch
How do you know that you’ve got a good latch going? Firstly, it doesn’t hurt. Secondly, that tiny chin is touching your boob. Thirdly, that little mouth is wide open with lips turned out. (Yup, a pout worthy of social media.) After that, some good sucking and swallowing action should let you know that all is working as it should. When you have a newborn in your arms, your breastfeeding sessions will likely last anywhere between 20 and 45 minutes.
4. Places, everyone!
Position really matters. One thing that helps is to think baby-belly-to-mama-belly.
5. Boob on demand
One of the best breastfeeding newborn tips you can get is to let your baby boss you around a little. As newborns, when they want boob, give ‘em boob. Sometimes this can be up to 12 times a day—but keeping up with their busy schedule means that they get the nutrition they need and you get your milk supply stimulated.
6. Bond, baby, bond!
Here’s some breastfeeding help that you’ll really want to put into action. Keep that baby as close as possible, as often as possible. Keeping your baby in the same room helps you key into their needs and make sure that you understand “I’m hungry” in newborn speak. Of course, life may get in the way of this. Again—just do what you can.
7. Wash your hands before feeding
This is one of those simple breastfeeding tips that go a seriously long way in preventing unwanted germs from getting close to your baby.
8. Clean out the clogs
If your flow is restricted in some way, clogs may occur. Don’t stress, mama. Generally, it’s just a result of your body getting used to how much your baby needs per feed. Clearing those clogs is sometimes as simple as continuing to breastfeed. If the milk doesn’t drain entirely, use a pump or hand express method. Also, a little massage can do wonders, as can a wipe with a warm, damp cloth. Find out more about clogged milk ducts here.
9. Position those sweet feet
Now, this may be one that nobody really tells you. Babies seem to be able to breastfeed better if their feet are touching a surface. That surface can be you, or a pillow or piece of furniture.
Your nipples can get pretty dry and sore—and you don’t have to just live with it. Use a nipple cream to get those moisture levels up. Another thing that works well is using your own milk. Gently rub a few drops on your nipples after a feed to keep things smooth.
11. Get the right tools
If you’ve got the finances, an electric pump can be your best friend. It will not only stimulate milk supply but also pull out your nipples a little to make them easier for your baby to latch onto.
12. Get to know this word: galactagogue
While it sounds like an intergalactic dictator, galactagogue actually breaks down like this: (“galact” = milk) + (“ogogue” = promoting). So yes, galactagogue means that which promotes mama’s milk. Galactagogues come in various forms, from certain herbs (fenugreek, alfalfa, thistle) to medicines. Galactagogues are for mamas who are experiencing low milk supply or who need to increase their pump production.
13. Create a feeding oasis
Find a corner of your home that you can set up with all the things you need for a good feed: a comfy nursing seat, a breastfeeding pillow, a cloth for that inevitable regurgitation (yum) and all the creature comforts you need (book, snacks, puzzle…).
14. Keep yourself nourished so that you can nourish in return
Three good meals a day. Lots of fluids. And if you’re worried about foods to avoid, that’s mama-specific. You may want to tone down the allergens like dairy, soy, and wheat—but think more about moderating your intake rather than cutting food types out completely.
15. Get on a roll
Pop your nipples between your fingers and give them a little pull and a twist. You can start practicing this awesome move while you’re still pregnant.
16. Chuck the pacifier
For now. During the first month, pacifiers can confuse the issue by taking your little one away from critical boob time and creating confusion when it comes to their hunger feelings and responses.
17. Get let-down
The breastfeeding let-down is the kind of let-down you actually want. The let-down reflex means that your breast milk is ready for action. You’ll get to know the signs as they appear in your body—usually a bit of a tingly feeling. Sometimes the sound of your baby crying can stimulate this response. Isn’t nature amazing?
18. Summon your tribe
Breastfeeding is a beyond legit excuse to not do the dishes, laundry, cooking, etc. Get yourself a “Mama at Work” sign and reach out to the breastfeeding community on Peanut when you need to.
19. Take the time you need
If you don’t get the latch you want the first time around, it’s totally fine. Take a deep breath and try again. Be patient with yourself, mama.
20. Get the help you need
If it’s not working, there’s help available. Reach out to your doc and let them know that you’re having trouble. Counselors and classes are at the ready to ensure that you get the assistance you need. The sooner you do this, the better. That way you can ensure that your little one is getting the nutrition they need and that you don’t hurt yourself in any way.
Lastly, know that it’s completely okay if you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. Breastfeeding woes are yet another category of mamahood that we just don’t talk about nearly enough. So, if you feel comfortable, share the love on Peanut by giving your tips for breastfeeding to other new mamas.
🍼 You might like:
Breast Milk Storage Tips
7 Breastfeeding Positions to Try
10 Foods to Increase Milk Supply
Breastfeeding in Public: Tips & Advice
What is the Best Breastfeeding Diet?
A Guide to Breastfeeding While Pregnant
How to Stop Breastfeeding (When You’re Ready)