From timing to technique, here are 31 of the best breastfeeding tips for new moms from our mamas on Peanut ‒ tried and tested!
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 often should I feed? What can I do about sore nipples?
Never fear, mama, help is here!
Here are our top 31 breastfeeding tips for new (and veteran) moms so that you can succeed with the feed.
In this article: 📝
- Breastfeeding 101: tips on how to breastfeed
- Latching-on breastfeeding tips
- Preparing for breastfeeding tips
- Breastfeeding tips for pain
- Breastfeeding with inverted nipples tips
- Breastfeeding twins tips
- Breastfeeding at night tips
- Breastfeeding do’s and don’ts
- Questions to ask about breastfeeding
- Best breastfeeding books for first-time moms
- Breastfeeding tips FAQs
Breastfeeding 101: tips on how to breastfeed
Let’s start with the breastfeeding essentials.
Here’s a host of breastfeeding newborn tips ‒ breastfeeding for beginners!
1. Get the help you need
First things first ‒ the only thing you need to know for breastfeeding tips: 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.
2. Breastfeed ASAP
Our next top breastfeeding tip: 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.
3. 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.
4. Bond, baby, bond!
Here’s a breastfeeding tip 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.
5. 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.
You know the drill ‒ 20 seconds with soap, then rinse, dry, and you’re good to go!
6. Keep yourself nourished so that you can nourish in return
This is a favorite of our tips for successful breastfeeding: three good meals a day. Lots of fluids.
Staying hydrated and nourished is fundamental to you feeding baby the good stuff and keeping them healthy.
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.
To help ensure that you’re getting all of the key nutrients you need at this important time, turn to the nutrition experts at Vitabiotics.
Their Pregnacare Breast-feeding formula brings together the key nutrients needed specifically for the breastfeeding period, helping to safeguard your diet when it matters most.
Pregnacare Breast-feeding has been developed based on scientific research to provide maximum ‘after pregnancy’ support, it includes calcium which contributes to normal bones, and an Omega-3 capsule with DHA (maternal intake of DHA contributes to the normal brain and eye development of breast-fed infants).
7. Chuck the pacifier
One of the lesser-known tips on breastfeeding, getting rid of pacifiers can work wonders.
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.
8. 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?
9. Find your people
A breastfeeding must-have: a supportive community.
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.
10. Take the time you need
One of the most important things to know about breastfeeding is that 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.
Latching-on breastfeeding tips
When it comes to breastfeeding for beginners, latching-on is one of the tricker things to master.
It’s not just you ‒ it’s baby, too.
If latching isn’t your little one’s thing just yet, try these top latching-on breastfeeding tips:
11. Tickle, aim, latch
Our mamas on Peanut swear by this breastfeeding tip for latching.
After all, 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.
12. 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.
Preparing for breastfeeding tips
One of the best breastfeeding tips we can offer is to get prepared.
But how do go about preparing for breastfeeding?
Let’s break it down into some more breastfeeding tips:
13. Stock up on breastfeeding essentials
Find a corner of your home that you can set up with all the things you need for a good feed.
What are some breastfeeding must-haves? Well:
- Comfy nursing seat
- Breastfeeding pillow
- Nursing pads for when you’re not actively feeding baby (to prevent leaks)
- Breast milk storage, whether that’s bags or bottles.
- Burp cloths for that inevitable regurgitation (yum)
- Creature comforts (book, snacks, puzzle…)
14. Places, everyone!
Your breastfeeding position really matters.
When it comes to preparing for breastfeeding, one thing that helps is to think baby-belly-to-mama-belly ‒ it’s a favorite position of our mamas on Peanut.
15. Position those sweet feet
File this under “things to know about breastfeeding that no-one 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.
16. Breastfeeding word of the day: 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.
17. Diaper change before feeding
Another little-known breastfeeding tip: some of our mamas on Peanut swear by changing baby’s diaper before feeding to encourage them to drink more and latch on properly.
While they haven’t been any studies on this, they say that baby is more comfortable with a clean diaper, so more likely to feed better.
Breastfeeding tips for pain
Breastfeeding isn’t always a walk in the park.
Sometimes it does hurt ‒ either while baby’s breastfeeding or afterward.
You don’t have to suffer in silence, mama.
Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt.
But if it does, try these breastfeeding tips for pain relief and prevention:
The first of our breastfeeding tips for pain covers nipples.
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.
19. Cold compresses
People don’t often talk about this when covering “everything you need to know about breastfeeding”, but it actually affects a lot of mamas each year.
If you’re experiencing any soreness from engorged breasts (like mastitis), a cold compress can provide some much-needed pain relief.
To make a cold compress, simply get your hands on some ice (frozen veggies can also work), dampen a towel with cold water, wrap it around the ice and gently place it over the swollen area for up to 20 minutes.
If your skin is feeling painful with the cold compress, that’s a sign that you’ve had it on for too long.
20. Rest your nipples
Breastfeeding can really take its toll on your nipples.
If they’re feeling sore or chapped, try simply letting them breathe.
Baring it all is one of our Peanut mama’s top breastfeeding tips ‒ going topless for a little while can prevent further rubbing to your nipples from clothing, so if you’re able to, give your nipples a rest!
21. Clean out the clogs
Our next breastfeeding tip covers another topic that isn’t talked about enough: clogged milk ducts.
If your flow is restricted in some way, clogged milk ducts 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 breast massage can do wonders, as can a wipe with a warm, damp cloth.
22. Warm baths to increase milk flow
This is a two-in-one breastfeeding tip ‒ not only can warm baths help with your milk flow, they’re also a chance for you to have some much-needed time to relax.
If you’re having some difficulty with milk flow, and you’ve made sure you don’t have clogged milk ducts, try having a warm bath to help your milk flow a little more freely.
Another top tip? Try taking sunflower lecithin to prevent clogged ducts.
Breastfeeding with inverted nipples tips
Inverted nipples are nipples that point inward or are flat ‒ that is, not sticking out.
Some women have inverted nipples before the birth of their baby, and some develop inverted nipples after birth.
Inverted nipples can make things a little trickier, so here are our tried-and-tested breastfeeding with inverted nipples tips:
23. 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.
24. Get pumping
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.
25. Ask about nipple shields
It can be worth chatting with your doctor or a lactation specialist if you think you have inverted nipples.
They might recommend nipple shields, which can help keep your nipples in a baby-ready position when you’re feeding, and make things a bit easier.
Breastfeeding twins tips
Mama of multiples? First off, congratulations! You’re doing amazingly!
26. Invest in a nursing pillow
A specially-designed twins nursing pillow can work wonders when breastfeeding twins.
After all, you’ve only got so many hands, mama!
27. Bottlefeeding can be an option
Twins (triplets, quadruplets, or quintuplets…) come with their own unique challenges when it comes to breastfeeding.
Another top breastfeeding twins tip: pumping or using formula to help supplement (or even replace) breastfeeding can be useful to mamas of multiples, according to our moms on Peanut.
Breastfeeding at night tips
When nighttime comes, a mama’s work is never done!
Here are our top breastfeeding at night tips for the midnight hour:
28. Keep baby close
Whether you decide to co-sleep or share a bedroom with baby, that can make breastfeeding at night a little bit easier.
For breastfeeding made simple, rather than waking up fully and walking down the hall to baby’s room, you can simply roll over or shuffle to the other side of the room.
29. Switch on a night light
Another unique breastfeeding at night tip to save you from switching on the lights and messing up your own circadian rhythm, is to invest in a night light in your bedroom so you can see what you need to breastfeed baby.
30. Buttoned pyjamas
Other than looking super-cute, buttoned pyjamas, like nightshirts, can make breastfeeding at night a little easier ‒ add a comfy pair of PJs to your breastfeeding must-haves list.
We like these ones on Amazon ‒ fashionable and functional!
No need to take off your PJs completely, or tug them up or down to feed baby ‒ simply undo a few buttons and you’re good to go!
31. Keep a clean towel close by
Okay, so this one might be a page straight out of Breastfeeding for Dummies, but it might just slip your mind.
In case of any spillages (hey, it happens), you don’t want to be lying in soggy bedclothes or sheets after a late-night (or early morning) feed.
Having a clean towel on hand to mop up any stray milk can make all the difference!
Breastfeeding do’s and don’ts
There’s a lot of information to read ‒ lots of breastfeeding tips from our mamas on Peanut for you to peruse.
But we’re all about making things easier for you on your motherhood journey, mama, so here are some quickfire do’s and don’ts of breastfeeding:
- Start breastfeeding as soon as you can.
- Try to breastfeed or pump every two hours.
- Speak up if you want privacy when breastfeeding in public.
- Keep your breasts clean ‒ wiping and cleaning before and after each feed is vital for yours and baby’s health.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat a healthy breastfeeding diet.
- Ask for help if baby’s not feeding or if you’re in pain while breastfeeding.
- Listen to baby for a feeding schedule ‒ how often and how long.
- Listen to your body as well ‒ if breastfeeding isn’t for you, then stop! There are alternatives, like pumping, bottle-feeding, and formula.
- Talk with your employer if you’re planning to return to work while breastfeeding.
- Shrug off nipple pain ‒ if it’s causing you pain, your healthcare provider can help.
- Take painkillers before checking with your doctor.
- Drink more than one unit per day of alcohol.
- Drink too much caffeine (coffee, tea, and some sodas) ‒ two cups a day is the maximum, or you’ll have a wide-awake baby!
- Eat more than one portion per week of fish with high levels of mercury.
- Introduce a pacifier to baby until they’re used to feeding.
Questions to ask about breastfeeding
There’s no way you can research everything you need to know about breastfeeding by yourself.
It’s okay to ask for help, mama.
And some of our top breastfeeding tips may not be applicable to you, so it’s best to ask some questions to your healthcare provider or lactation consultant.
Not sure what to ask? Here are a few questions to ask about breastfeeding:
- How do I know if I’m feeding my baby enough? Or too much?
- How often should I breastfeed my baby and how long for each feeding?
- Does my baby need any supplements, like vitamin D or iron?
- When should I introduce solids to baby’s diet?
- How can I treat my sore, chapped nipples?
- Can I take my medication while breastfeeding?
- Can I use painkillers while breastfeeding?
- When can I stop breastfeeding?
- Can I breastfeed with implants?
Best breastfeeding books for first-time moms
- Latch Baby: Illustrated Guide to Breastfeeding Success by Tracey Jedrzejek. Available on Amazon.
- Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin. Available on Amazon.
- Making More Milk: The Breastfeeding Guide to Increasing Your Milk Production by Lisa Marasco. Available on Amazon.
- The Breastfeeding Blueprint: How to Get Started and Keep It Flowing for a Year by Barbara L. Philipp. Available on Amazon.
- 101 Boobilicious Moments by Michelle F. Creeden and Kaitlin Rim. Available on Amazon.
- Lactivate!: A User’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Jill Krause. Available on Amazon.
- The First-Time Mom’s Breastfeeding Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide from First Latch to Weaning by Chrisie Rosenthal IBCLC. Available on Amazon.
- The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk by Diana West. Available on Amazon.
- Latch: A Handbook for Breastfeeding with Confidence at Every Stage by Robin Kaplan M.Ed. IBCLC. Available on Amazon.
- The Nursing Mother’s Companion Paperback by Kathleen Huggins. Available on Amazon.
Breastfeeding tips FAQs
Breastfeeding can be a tricky journey to navigate, but we’re here on-hand to help guide you with some answers to your most pressing breastfeeding tips questions:
What foods help produce breast milk?
There are some foods that can help boost your breast milk production (known as galactagogues).
- Specially-made lactation cookies
What can I do to successfully breastfeed?
Our top breastfeeding tip? Do what feels right for you and baby.
We can share all the breastfeeding tips from our community of mamas on Peanut, but in the end, only you know what’s best for you and your baby.
How long should I breastfeed on each breast?
Generally speaking, allowing 10-15 minutes of breastfeeding on each breast per feeding session should be plenty ‒ totaling about 20-30 minutes per feed.
What should you not do while breastfeeding?
Essentially, the same things that you wouldn’t do while pregnant are on the list of “things to avoid while breastfeeding”.
- Drinking alcohol
- Using harmful substances
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.