14 Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms

Are you planning on breastfeeding for the first time and don’t know how to begin? Here are 14 super helpful breastfeeding tips for new moms to help you have a successful breastfeeding experience.

Breastfeeding is a great bonding experience for you and your baby. There are many pros to breastfeeding vs. pumping. For example, breastmilk provides antibodies that can help reduce the risk of ear infections in newborns. Even though we know the benefits of breast milk, we could all use some extra tips on breastfeeding for the first time.

Tips for Successful Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is hard. It takes some time to get used to both you and the baby the first time and can get a little overwhelming sometimes. These breastfeeding tips for new moms helped me as a first-time mom and can help you too.

breastfeeding tips for first time moms

1. Take a breastfeeding class.

Learn all you can about breastfeeding during your pregnancy. The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class by Milkology is amazing. It is an online class, so you can take it whenever you want. And then you have access to it whenever you need to reference it.

This class tells you everything you need to know about breastfeeding and milk production. For example, breast milk changes as the needs of your baby change. The class also has a lot of tips for getting a good breastfeeding latch.

For example, the baby’s mouth should cover almost all your areola, not just your nipple. This is important to know because a good latch is what prevents sore nipples. Be sure to check it out; it is well worth it!

2. Nurse during the golden hour.

Doing the first breastfeeding after birth during the golden hour would be best. The golden hour is the first and most crucial time to bond with your baby after delivery. Your baby is awake and alert following delivery. This is when skin-to-skin contact is very important.

Skin-to-skin contact with your baby during the first hour is great for both you and your baby. It will help their body with thermoregulation, and it also helps reduce stress for you. This is also the best time to initiate breastfeeding for the first time.

Your baby’s instinct is to try to nurse. They will try to root around until they contact your nipple. This first bonding hour also helps stimulate milk production.

3. Make sure the latch is right.

The latch is the most essential technique to get right. The latch is how your baby fastens onto your breast during feeding. A good latch ensures you minimize sore nipples and promotes good milk flow, so your baby gets enough milk.

You will initially experience some nipple discomfort until you get used to nursing, but you should not be feeling intense pain. Most of the pain will go away within the first few weeks as you become accustomed to nursing.

Breastfeeding Tips for a Good Latch

  • Your baby’s mouth should be opened wide over both the nipple and your breast.
  • Your baby’s lips should be turned out when latched.
  • Compress your breast slightly as you bring the baby’s mouth to your breast.
  • You shouldn’t feel pain when your baby latches correctly.
  • Use a breastfeeding position that is comfortable for you. (see below)

4. Try different positions until you find one you are comfortable with.

Five different positions are great for breastfeeding. Try them all out until you find one comfortable for you and the baby.

Cradle Hold Breastfeeding Position

breastfeeding positions

Your baby’s head lies in the elbow’s bend on the side you are nursing from. The baby’s body should be facing you.

Crossover Cradle Hold Breastfeeding Position

breastfeeding latch tips

The baby’s head is held in the hand opposite of the breast you are nursing from instead of the elbow. Your arm and wrist are under the baby.

Football Hold Breastfeeding Position

Baby is at your side with their body facing you. Baby’s legs are under your arm on the side you are nursing from.

Side-lying Breastfeeding Position

Usually used for ‘Dream feeding.’ Both of you are lying on your sides, tummy to tummy.

Laid-back Breastfeeding Position

Lean back in a semi-reclined position, making sure you are well supported. Put baby on you, so you’re tummy to tummy, and their head is near your breast.

When I first started nursing, I liked the football hold. But, once I got more comfortable with nursing, and my babies grew, the cradle hold was what I liked best. If you at first have trouble breastfeeding, don’t be afraid to switch positions to find the position best for you.

5. Nurse on-demand.

Breastfeeding on demand is when you respond to your baby’s hunger cues to ensure your baby is getting enough milk. You nurse when your baby is hungry or showing hunger cues and continue nursing until your baby is satisfied. A baby’s stomach is very small at first, so in the first few days, it doesn’t take much time for them to get as much milk as they need.

This allows you to keep up your breast milk supply with the demands of your baby’s needs. Your body adjusts your milk supply for more breast milk as your baby needs more. Nursing on-demand may mean that it may be in public sometimes. If you are looking for the perfect nursing cover on the go, check out the ultimate buying guide for nursing covers.

6. Don’t let more than 3 hours go between feedings.

Ensure you feed your baby at least every 3 hours during the first few days. Your body produces colostrum for your baby, and then your mature milk comes in within a week or so. As your mature milk supply is still coming in, feeding on demand can ensure you continue making enough milk.

This means you may need to wake your baby those first few days so that they nurse every 3 hours. Please continue to do this until the baby’s weight increases to where it needs to be.

7. Make sure you eat.

While breastfeeding, you need, on average, 500 more calories than normal. Make sure you are getting the right nutrients for you and your baby. The superfoods important during pregnancy are perfect for including in your balanced diet during breastfeeding to get just what your body needs.

Your body needs calories and nutrients to make the milk your baby requires.

8. Stay hydrated.

Breastfeeding can make you very thirsty. After all, you are not only hydrating yourself but your baby too. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking the recommended 12 glasses of water.

A good water bottle is a first-time mom breastfeeding essential. I had a few different water cups to ensure I had one everywhere I went.

At the very least, make sure you never feel thirsty. Breastfeeding and staying hydrated are also great tips to help get rid of the postpartum pooch.

9. Learn the baby’s hunger cues.

The first sign your baby gives when hungry is licking their lips or smacking/sucking noises. They will then start to suck or try to suck on anything nearby.

A baby’s second hunger cue is to begin their rooting reflex, and you will see them turning their head and opening their mouth, ready to accept a breast. They then will start to bring their hands to their mouths.

If they are still not fed by now, they tend to get squirmy and fidgety.

If they start fussing and crying, this hunger indicates they are starving. You will need to calm them first before attempting to nurse them.

10. Get a breastfeeding tracker.

A breastfeeding tracker allows you to see how much breast milk your baby eats each day and whether there are any issues you need to talk to the doctor about. You can also keep track of wet diapers and bowel movements your baby has. At the end of the first week, your baby should have about three bowel movements daily and at least six wet diapers.

It also lets you know which side you nursed with last so you can start with the other breast for the next feeding, and you don’t make more milk in only one breast. There are a lot of great apps available, or a simple breastfeeding chart works too. Check out this App; it has everything you need.

11. Have a nursing station or nursing supplies handy.

A dedicated nursing station makes it more relaxing for you and your baby. It would be best if you had all your essentials nearby and available. That is why it is important to Pack the Perfect Hospital Bag so you can start off breastfeeding while still in the hospital like a pro.

Once you start to nurse, you don’t want to have to get up for anything. So, next to your comfy nursing chair, ensure you have a basket of the following items.

First Time Mom Breastfeeding Essentials

1. Nursing Pillow

Sale
My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow
  • MADE FOR SUPPORT Essential nursing pillow for breastfeeding and bottle...
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN Wrap around design and backrest with adjustable...
  • FIRM FLAT CUSHION Superior cushion technology eliminates the gap...

2. Nipple Cream or Coconut Oil

Organic Nipple Cream
  • CERTIFIED ORGANIC: Made with premium organic ingredients that are...
  • SOOTHES ON CONTACT: Soothes and protects hardworking nipples on...
  • BUTTERY SOFT: Our lightweight formula spreads on easily and doesn’t...
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • ✔️ Naturally Nourishing Coconut Oil for Hair - With its unique...
  • ✔️ Hydrate Naturally With Coconut Oil for Skin - Coconut oil...
  • ✔️ Perfect Coconut Oil for Cooking and Baking - An unrefined...

3. Haakaa

Haakaa Manual Breast Pump
  • The award-winning and best-selling Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump,...
  • The Haakaa Silicone Breastpump lets you express milk using the power...
  • Our Haakaa Manual Breast Pump is lightweight, portable and the perfect...

4. Snacks

Boobie Bar Superfood Lactation Bar
  • MILK-BOOSTING LACTATION BARS – Our Milk to the Max Bars are expertly...
  • 6 POWERFUL SUPERFOODS – made with Moringa, Turmeric, Cinnamon,...
  • BREASTFEEDING ESSENTIALS – Our lactation bars for breastfeeding...

5. Water

Simple Modern Tumbler with Flip Lid and Straw
  • Double Wall Insulated: Tumbler keeps beverages at ideal temperature...
  • BPA Free: Includes our splash proof flip lid and two reusable, plastic...
  • Travel Friendly: Designed to fit most cupholders

6. Nipple Shield

Sale
Medela Nipple Shield for Latch Difficulties
  • DESIGNED FOR SPECIAL BREASTFEEDING: The Medela Contact Nipple Shields...
  • INNOVATIVE DESIGN FOR MORE CONTACT: Made of 100% ultra-thin and soft...
  • USE UNDER DIRECTION OF MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL: Medela’s Contact Nipple...

7. Burp Cloths

Sale
Muslin Extra Absorbent Large Burp Cloths
  • Pure Cotton Muslin Burp Cloths – no parent can ever have too many...
  • Multi-purpose Essential For Babies – our muslin cloths are so...
  • Excellent Quality Pure Cotton – made from 100% breathable cotton,...

8. Book or Magazine

9. Breastfeeding Log

10. Nightlight

Nursery Touch Sensor Nightlight, Dimmable
  • [Touch Activated] A simple short touch on the top of this LED...

  • [Brightness Memory Setting] You can adjust the brightness to suit...

  • [Must-Have Versatile Night Light Lamp] A night lamp suits all. For...

12. Relax and don’t stress.

Stress can affect your breast milk supply. It could cause the flow to slow down. Make sure you enjoy the bonding time with your baby and relax as much as possible. A great way to encourage the let-down reflex is to take a warm bath or shower with your baby.

By having a dedicated nursing station, you are already allowing yourself to be more relaxed. Stressed from a fussy crying baby? Your baby could have uncomfortable gas; get your baby relief from gas with these easy tips.

13. Get plenty of rest.

Your body is hard at work producing more milk constantly. It can take a toll on you during the first few weeks. This can lead to more stress if you aren’t careful. Keep stress away by ensuring you get the rest your body needs.

14. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

If you are having trouble breastfeeding, don’t hesitate to ask for help, especially during the first few weeks. At the same time, you are still in the hospital after birth; set up a time to talk to the lactation consultant if you have any concerns.

If you are feeling intense pain or have sore nipples during breastfeeding, make sure you immediately talk to your doctor or lactation consultant. You may have a clogged milk duct or mastitis if any breast tissue is sore or hot to the touch. Be sure to get any concerns checked out.

FAQs When Breastfeeding for the First Time

1. What should you not do while breastfeeding?

Things from your body get passed to your baby through your breast milk. Therefore, you should not be doing drugs, smoking, or drinking alcohol while breastfeeding. Any of these can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

Don’t forget to eat enough. Make sure you eat a healthy balanced diet to produce a good breast milk supply for your newborn baby. Hydration is also essential. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water.

2. How long should a breastfeeding session last?

A typical nursing session lasts anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes for a newborn. Watch for your baby’s cues to ensure they get enough milk. A hungry newborn tends to have a closed fist; once full, their hand relaxes and opens. A newborn will usually nurse for 10-15 minutes on each breast.

Don’t forget to burp your baby when you pause to switch breasts. As your baby gets older, they will become more efficient, and the time per breast will decrease. In addition, you will get to know their cues and understand when they are satisfied.

3. What foods help produce breast milk?

Eating a balanced meal is key to producing breast milk. Some foods can increase your production of breast milk. Oats are perfect for helping produce more breast milk.

You should include other foods in your diet while breastfeeding: Barley, Whole Grains, Fennel, Fenugreek, Brewer’s Yeast, and Apricots.

Conclusion

Your breastfeeding journey will differ from other mothers, but one thing is universal, breastfeeding is hard work! Some of the best breastfeeding tips to remember are to ensure you get the baby’s latch right to avoid sore or cracked nipples. You also want to have a good position for yourself and your baby.

Additional best breastfeeding tips for new moms include getting enough rest, watching your baby’s hunger cues, and staying hydrated. Don’t forget to set yourself up for breastfeeding success by having all your breastfeeding essentials in a convenient place, ideally next to a comfortable nursing chair.

Get a few key pieces of a nursing wardrobe, like nursing tanks, so you can feel comfortable breastfeeding. If you have engorged breasts, take advantage of the oversupply of milk and use the Haakaa breast pump on the breast you aren’t nursing on to get any letdown that would normally leak into a nursing pad. The milk you collect can later be used for a bottle feeding on the go.

Most importantly, Don’t Stress. You and your newborn baby are learning together, and you will figure out the ways that best work for both of you. If something doesn’t work or doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to try something new or ask a lactation consultant for help.

14 Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms14 Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms
618 Shares

14 thoughts on “14 Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms”

  1. I love breastfeeding. And I still breastfeed my 7 month old daughter at night. Its super beneficial for both of us especially for her. Yes, the lacth must be well otherwise it can be painful and nursing as often as baby wants keeps the supply up.

    1. Hi Leana,
      Great job mama! It is so beneficial for you both! Especially during flu season. Breastmilk is great for baby’s immune system and helping to get over a cold faster.

  2. I loved this article! Sometimes we don’t know where to even start or breastfeeding does not come naturally. Really appreciated this article

    1. Hi Julie,
      Thank you! Glad you like it. So true too, you would think breastfeeding would come naturally but it is definitely a learning curve for mom and baby.

  3. I felt like it was important for me to breastfeed my little one. I didn’t take any classes or ask for help and it was rough and at times discouraging. After awhile we eventually got it right. I love that there are so many resources and classes that you can take advantage of to make sure it is not a struggle.

    1. Hi Tina,
      I felt the same with both mine. I wanted to go a full year with both, but wasn’t able to due to mainly supply reasons. I tried all I could at the time, but I was still devastated when I couldn’t complete my goal for them. I am glad more mother’s are realizing all the resources and support there is available so it doesn’t have to be so hard.

  4. I will definitely be taking a class or reading a book the next time I breastfeed. Looking back I think I didn’t have enough support which was partially my fault. Another issue was that I was trying to get back to who I was before and merge motherhood and to me breastfeeding took a lot of time for me. I was resentful that my husband got to do everything he used to do but it was me who had to get up with the baby, feed the baby and be this different person. Plus she had issues latching because she was in NICU for a week and I wasn’t able to breastfeed her so I was mostly pumping. It was a mess of a situation BUT for my second child I know for sure I am going to do everything I can and get the support I need.

    1. Hi Vicki,
      Thank you for sharing your story. It can be so hard without the support. I went through the same resentment for my spouse in the beginning, especially the middle of the night feedings. I knew there was nothing he could really do but it still made me mad. For my second I was able to get the support I needed elsewhere and with more knowledge I was in a different mindset from the beginning which helped a lot.

  5. These are all amazing tips I wish I knew when I needed them. I did not take a breastfeeding class or learn much about it, but I knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby for a year. I struggled for the first couple of weeks. I would do things differently to avoid the unnecessary struggle.

    1. Hi Raina,
      I did the same with my first, it was such a struggle since I was learning as I went. I was definitely more prepared for my second.

  6. When I had my daughter we struggled with breastfeeding but I think that is mostly because we missed the “golden hour”. After I gave birth I was really not good so they took her away and gave her back to me a few hours later… I she never really accepted the whole breastfeeding. I think things would have been different if we were able to breastfeed as soon as I gave birth.

    1. Hi Karmen,
      It’s crazy how much that first hour matters. Although like in your case sometimes it is not always possible. Sometimes all we can do is try and go with a different plan when it doesn’t work out.

  7. I did not know there were breastfeeding classes, Heather. I do know that most of the time, new moms are supposed to automatically know how to do it—and of course that’s silly. So many Moms end up feeling inadequate and terrible about themselves. Yes, nursing during the hour after delivery is perhaps the most important for baby for bonding. New moms also struggle to find the right position for latching. I think it is the stress that usually gets mommy down, especially because she is so focused on baby that she might forget to look after her own needs. I breastfed my son for almost two years and I am glad I did! Lovely post!
    P.S.: The photo of that baby is so sweet!

    1. Hi Vidya,
      Yes that first hour is so important. I didn’t know about breastfeeding classes at first either, but definitely nice to have. I struggled in the hospital at first since I just didn’t know all the positions and how to get a latch. My second time was so much easier since I had more knowledge on what to expect and the different options. Great job on doing two years! That’s awesome!

Comments are closed.

618 Shares
Pin
Share
Tweet