These are the Breastfeeding Tips Every New Mom Needs (2023)

Congratulations, Mama! Baby is finally HERE. And while you may have stocked your registry with every possible gadget and gizmo on the market, you’ll realize pretty quickly that newborns don’t need all that much. Just love, sleep, diaper changes, and of course… food!

First off, we’re firm believers in the idea that “fed is best.” Whatever route you choose to go with feeding your newborn—whether that’s by breast or by bottle, with breast milk or formula, know that you’re giving your precious bundle exactly what he or she needs.

In case you’ve decided to give breastfeeding a go, we’re chiming in with a few tips for new Moms on what to REALLY expect from the process. What’s natural isn’t always second nature (at least at first). Here are ten tips from experts and real-life new moms about how to make the process go a bit smoother.

1. Get started ASAP

You’ve just been through seemingly endless months of pregnancy capped off with a vaginal or c-section delivery, and the last thing you may feel like doing is latching that baby on to your breast. But it’s SO important to get the process started early. In the days right after delivery before your milk comes in, your body will produce a substance called colostrum (sometimes referred to as ”liquid gold” thanks to it’s shiny, yellow-ish sheen). This contains super-beneficial antibodies and is dense in calories to help kickstart your baby’s growth. Even if your baby requires medical attention or a stay in the NICU, you can still get the process started manually, or with the help of a hospital breast pump.

2. It’s ALL about the latch

Most moms consider a good latch the Holy Grail of breastfeeding. Make sure that baby has a wide open mouth when feeding and isn’t just attached to the nipple. You can help encourage your baby to open his or her mouth by brushing their top lip lightly with your nipple to jumpstart the process. Be sure to aim your nipple toward the top of his or her mouth and ensure that baby’s nose isn’t covered by your breast so they can breathe easily. Some moms even swear by doing a bit of gentle squeezing to your breast to ensure the milk is flowing. You should quickly be able to see your baby sucking (and swallowing) to ensure they are getting milk.

(Video) 7 SIMPLE BREAST FEEDING TIPS every new mom should know

3. Try different positions for breastfeeding

There are literally dozens of different ways to breastfeed your baby, so have patience and learn what works for you. Some moms swear by using a special nursing pillow (a regular pillow can work just fine, too). Some babies feel more comfortable in a “football hold” versus a traditional cradle. And some even love to be on their backs while mom places her breast above them (it may look strange, but it works!). Experiment with different positions to see what works best for the two of you.

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(Video) Tips for Breastfeeding for New Moms | How Often Should I Breastfeed | Signs Baby Wants to Breastfeed

Finding a bra can feel challenging, but here are a few great resources to help make your decision easier. Your breasts after breastfeeding will continue to change, so make sure to check that your bra is always comfortable and fits well!

5. Look out for these warning signs

Even though it may be uncomfortable at first, breastfeeding should never feel painful. If it is, be sure to ask a doctor, nurse, or lactation consultant for advice. Here are a few additional “watch-outs” to be aware of:

  • Clogged ducts

This is a fairly common issue for new moms, but that doesn’t make it any less painful. Clogged ducts occur when your milk gets backed up. You may feel a hard “lump” in your breast which is tender to the touch. It’s important to keep breastfeeding when this happens (expelling the milk is the best remedy). Hot showers can be a godsend, or try massaging the lump when breastfeeding (or pumping). One mama even swears by heating up a clean sock filled with rice in the microwave and using it to massage the lump when feeding or pumping (just make sure it isn’t too hot if baby is near).

  • Mastitis

Mastitis is an inflammation of breast tissue that often involves an infection. This results in breast pain, swelling, warmth, and redness, and flu-like symptoms like a fever and / or chills. It can happen from breasts not being drained properly during feeding (so it’s often to have a breast pump on hand as a backup, even if you plan on exclusively breastfeeding). If you think you may be experiencing this, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Your doctor will likely need to prescribe an antibiotic to clear up the infection (which is also safe for baby). Mastitis is a literal pain, but this doesn’t mean that your breastfeeding days are over.

(Video) Breastfeeding Tips 101 for New Moms: Latch, Positions, Pumping, Nipple Care, Colostrum

  • Cracked nipples

Ouch. Tender, dry, or cracked nipples are a common breastfeeding issue. Be sure to keep your breasts clean by showering (or sponging off) once a day with a mild soap. Dry nipples off after feeding with a lint-free towel, and be sure to have a purified lanolin nipple cream or organic nursing ointment on hand to help keep them hydrated. It often helps to give your breasts a “breather” by allowing them to air out between feedings.

  • Inverted nipples

An estimated 10-20% of women have “inverted” nipples, which is just a way of saying they are flatter in shape. Inverted nipples are usually nothing to worry about, but can cause some issues with breastfeeding (nipple shields can be a huge help here).

6. Breastfeeding and alcohol—the real deal

Most doctors agree that up to one standard drink per day is not harmful to baby. That said, it’s always best to wait at least two hours after enjoying that well-deserved glass of wine before nursing. If you do choose to imbibe, the best time for this is right after nursing to ensure the alcohol has long enough to dissipate in your system. Excessive alcohol consumption while breastfeeding isn’t good for baby’s development, and can also cause disturbances in sleep patterns (and we know you need all the sleep you can get, Mama). Along a similar vein, check with your doctor about foods to avoid while breastfeeding, as some (like garlic, onions, and other strong tastes) can upset baby’s tummy and digestion.

7. Stay hydrated

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not always at the top of a new Mom’s “To Do” list to drink water. Especially when you have a sleeping baby on your chest, laundry piling up, and cluster feeds to contend with. But remember that staying hydrated is a key component of happy breastfeeding. The water you drink becomes the milk you produce, so drink up to help keep your production levels high.

8. Breastfeeding in public

Chances are, you won’t always be in the privacy of your own home when hunger strikes. The first time you breastfeed in the wild may seem a little strange, but remember, there’s no shame in the breastfeeding game! Here’s a few tips from those in the know:

(Video) Breastfeeding: 10 things EVERY NEW MOM needs to know

  • Choose comfortable clothing. There are tons of options out there for nursing moms which can provide quick, easy, and discreet access to your breasts. Consider a button-front or loose-fitting top, or carry a cardigan or lightweight jacket or blanket to drape over baby while feeding.
  • Try it in a wrap or a sling. It may take a bit of practice, but it’s totally possible to nurse baby while they’re tucked close to your body. Just be sure to give it a test-run around the house first.

Breastfeeding is a natural occurrence, and one that should exist without ANY stigma or shame (not to mention, it’s totally within your legal right to breastfeed wherever and whenever you want. But just in case you’re feeling shy, consider a cover up.

9. Ask for help if you need it

Reading a book or taking a class in breastfeeding is one thing. But actually doing it… that’s another issue entirely. While many hospitals provide lactation consultants, nurses are also well equipped to help get you started and troubleshoot any issues. Ring that call button, Mama! Remember, you’ll be home soon enough… so don’t be shy to ask for help when you need it!

10. Relax. You’ve got this.

After you’re expecting, you can expect the unexpected. But just remember, you’ve got this. However long you keep on your breastfeeding journey—whether it’s two days, two weeks, or two years—every experience is unique and beautiful in its own right. Savor those newborn snuggles, and know that one day in the not-so-distant future, you may actually miss those nighttime feedings. You go, Mama.

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(Video) Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms from an Inspira Health Lactation Consultant
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These are the Breastfeeding Tips Every New Mom Needs? ›

Supporting their neck, shoulders and back should allow them to tilt their head back and swallow easily. Always bring your baby to the breast and let them latch themselves. Avoid leaning your breast forward into your baby's mouth, as this can lead to poor attachment. Your baby needs to get a big mouthful of breast.

What are the tips for breastfeeding babies? ›

Supporting their neck, shoulders and back should allow them to tilt their head back and swallow easily. Always bring your baby to the breast and let them latch themselves. Avoid leaning your breast forward into your baby's mouth, as this can lead to poor attachment. Your baby needs to get a big mouthful of breast.

What are the 5 steps to successful breastfeeding? ›

  • Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff. ...
  • Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy. ...
  • Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding. ...
  • Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within an hour of birth.

What is step 7 in successful breastfeeding? ›

Step 7 of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding states: Practise rooming-in – allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day. Routine separation should be avoided. Separation should only occur for an individual clinical need.

Would you recommend breast feeding to a new mother explain your answer? ›

Breastfeeding can help protect babies against some short- and long-term illnesses and diseases. Breastfed babies have a lower risk of asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Breastfed babies are also less likely to have ear infections and stomach bugs.

What is the best feeding breastfeeding? ›

It's best to feed your baby only breast milk for at least 6 months. This means no water, formula, other liquids or solid food — just breast milk. But any amount of breastfeeding is good for your baby's health and development. Even breastfeeding for a short time is good for your baby.

What are three recommendations for breastfeeding? ›

Breastfeeding. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans [PDF-30.6MB] recommend that infants be exclusively breastfed for about the first 6 months, and then continuing breastfeeding while introducing appropriate complementary foods until your child is 12 months old or older.

What is 10 steps to successful breastfeeding? ›

Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated. Practice rooming-in - allow mothers and infants to remain together - 24 hours a day. Encourage breastfeeding on demand. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.

What makes breastfeeding successful? ›

Breastfed babies should feed 8 to 12 times each day during the first 6 weeks of life. This means they will nurse every 1 to 3 hours except for one longer stretch of sleep during each 24-hour period. More frequent nursing sessions during the first hours and weeks after birth help increase your milk supply.

What is the 5 5 3 rule breastfeeding? ›

"Something I recommend to moms is the 5-5-5 rule," Pawlowski says. "Try and use milk within five hours at room temperature, five days if in the refrigerator, and five months if in the freezer."

What is the golden rule for breastfeeding? ›

For the correct suckling position, your baby's mouth must be wide open, lips must be turned outwards and the areola must almost fill the mouth of the baby.

What is the Magic 8 rule in breastfeeding? ›

As a starting point, consider this your “magic number.” For example, if the answer is 8 (which seems to be average), assume that to keep your milk production steady long-term you will need to continue to drain your breasts well at least 8 times each day.

What are the 9 stages of breastfeeding? ›

The behaviors described as the 9 Stages – the birth cry, relaxation, awakening, activity, rest, crawling, familiarization, suckling, and sleeping – have been developed and practiced in utero, in the same specific order.

Do babies get more milk from breast or pump? ›

It's important to remember that your baby is much more effective at getting milk from your breasts than a pump will ever be. A healthy, thriving baby will get more milk than you a capable of pumping.

What are three of the benefits of breastfeeding for the new mother? ›

Hormones released during breastfeeding help the uterus to its regular size more quickly and can reduce postpartum bleeding. Likely because of hormonal changes, breastfeeding protects you against diabetes, high blood pressure and cancers of the breast and ovaries.

What should you not do while breastfeeding? ›

Don't drink alcohol when you're breastfeeding. Alcohol includes beer, wine, wine coolers and liquor. If you do drink alcohol, don't have more than two drinks a week. Wait at least 2 hours after each drink before you breastfeed.

What fruits help produce breast milk? ›

Calcium-rich dried fruits like figs, apricots, and dates are also thought to help with milk production. Take note: apricots also contain tryptophan. Salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, trout, mackerel and tuna are great sources of essential fatty acids and omega- 3 fatty acids.

What milk is closest to breast? ›

Goat's milk, by nature, is closer to human breast milk than cow's milk or soy, which means less processing and more natural goodness. It is high in oligosaccharides, similar in protein levels to human breastmilk, and is low in lactose, which makes it perfect for babies and toddlers with sensitive tummies.

What is Step 3 of successful breastfeeding? ›

3. Discuss the importance and management of breastfeeding with pregnant women and their families. 4. Facilitate immediate and uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact and support mothers to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth.

How can I increase my milk supply fast? ›

Increasing Your Milk Supply
  1. Breastfeed every time your baby is hungry. ...
  2. Make sure your baby is latching well.
  3. Offer both breasts at each feeding. ...
  4. Empty your breasts at each feeding. ...
  5. Avoid bottles and pacifiers in the early weeks. ...
  6. Get plenty of sleep, and eat a healthy diet.
  7. Pump or express your milk. ...
  8. Relax and massage.

At what age should breastfeeding stop? ›

Health professionals recommend exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, with a gradual introduction of appropriate foods in the second 6 months and ongoing breastfeeding for 2 years or beyond. Babies show they are ready to start solids when they: start showing interest when others are eating.

How do you get a good latch? ›

Steps to a Good Latch

Make sure your baby's chin isn't tucked into their chest. Aim your baby's lower lip away from the base of your nipple. Baby's lips should be turned outward like a fish. Your baby should lead into the breast chin first and then latch onto your breast.

How often should I be pumping? ›

Ideally, you would pump as often as your baby would nurse. This may not be possible with your work/ school schedule. Most mothers find that pumping every 2-3 hours maintains their milk supply and does not cause them to become uncomfortably full.

What are 5 advantages of breastfeeding? ›

5 Benefits of Breastfeeding
  • Breastmilk is the best milk. The nutrients in breastmilk are unmatched by any other first food your baby can receive. ...
  • It boosts baby's immune system. Breastmilk is a strong illness-inhibiting food. ...
  • It balances baby's belly. ...
  • Breastmilk is easily digestible. ...
  • Breastfeeding benefits mom, too!
Aug 11, 2017

What is the 4 4 6 rule for breast milk? ›

Freshly expressed or pumped milk can be stored: At room temperature (77°F or colder) for up to 4 hours. In the refrigerator for up to 4 days. In the freezer for about 6 months is best; up to 12 months is acceptable.

Will my milk dry up if I only pump once a day? ›

Will my milk dry up if I only nurse once or twice per day? Most moms find that they can wean down to a few feedings a day (or even just one) and maintain their supplies at this level for extended periods of time.

What are the 4 stages of lactation? ›

The hormonal control of lactation can be described in relation to five major stages in the development of the mammary gland. (1) embryogenesis; (2) mammogenesis or mammary growth; (3) Lactogenesis or initiation of milk secretion; (4) lactation or full milk secretion; and (5) involution when the infant is weaned.

Does a 5 minute breastfeed count? ›

If your baby is healthy, gaining weight, and seems content after most breastfeeds, they're getting what they need. Babies who are feeding well can take anywhere between five minutes and 40 minutes at each feed. Another guide to how well your baby is feeding is what comes out!

Should I pump while breastfeeding? ›

Breastfeed first.

It's generally best to pump after breastfeeding. That way your little one can have their fill first, you'll be able to empty your breasts fully after, and your breasts will have maximum time to refill before the next feed!

Should I wake my newborn to feed? ›

Newborns who sleep for longer stretches should be awakened to feed. Wake your baby every 3–4 hours to eat until he or she shows good weight gain, which usually happens within the first couple of weeks. After that, it's OK to let your baby sleep for longer periods of time at night.

What is the basic breastfeeding schedule? ›

On average, most exclusively breastfed babies will feed about every 2 to 4 hours. Some babies may feed as often as every hour at times, often called cluster feeding. Or may have a longer sleep interval of 4 to 5 hours. How often your baby feeds might change depending on the time of day.

How long does a baby need milk? ›

Breast milk is the only food or drink babies need in the first 6 months of their life. It should continue to be given alongside an increasingly varied diet once you introduce solid foods from around 6 months. The World Health Organization recommends that all babies are breastfed for up to 2 years or longer.

What is a 3 month breastfeeding crisis? ›

A growth spurt, also sometimes called a breastfeeding crisis, is a response by the baby to a clear increase in milk demand. Your baby will now ask to breastfeed at all times and may be nervous, irritable, and seemingly insatiable. Coincidentally, these demand increases occur around the same time for all babies.

How much breast milk is worth it? ›

In fact, there is some research that indicates that even as little as 50 ml of breastmilk per day may help prevent disease in breastfed babies. Additionally, our body recognizes the importance of this protection and increases the concentration of SigA as our milk supply begins to decrease.

Can I put Vaseline on my nipples while breastfeeding? ›

Products like Vaseline or lanolin can help with dry or cracked nipples (although there's little evidence to show what really works well). After each feed, let your nipples dry before getting dressed – change your breast pads after every feed. Avoid using soap, as this can dry out your skin.

How quickly do breasts refill? ›

Despite views to the contrary, breasts are never truly empty. Milk is actually produced nonstop—before, during, and after feedings—so there's no need to wait between feedings for your breasts to refill.

Why am I only pumping 1 oz? ›

Pumping just 1 or 2 oz of breast milk in a few hours is normal. This includes pumping both breasts. The amount you can pump depends on many factors, including the number of attempts you make, your hydration status, how much your baby is drinking, and the type of pump you use.

Does pumping longer mean more milk? ›

Increase pumping frequency

Pumping more often can help stimulate breasts to produce more milk. Moms can try pumping both breasts for 15 minutes every two hours for 48-72 hours. Then moms can return to their normal pumping routine. Pumping for longer than 30 minutes may not be beneficial.

What are 10 benefits of breastfeeding? ›

  • Perfect nutrition. Breast milk is the best food to help your baby grow and develop. ...
  • Protection. Breast milk helps your baby fight off sickness and disease. ...
  • Brain power. ...
  • Ready and portable. ...
  • Size does not matter. ...
  • Good for mothers too. ...
  • Builds a special bond. ...
  • Advantages continue as baby grows.

Why breastfeeding is better than pumping? ›

Less mess. Exclusive breastfeeding means not having a lot of bottles or pump parts to clean after each feeding session. Improved milk nutrition. Breast milk nutrients match your baby's needs especially well when your body is interacting with your baby in the close way that breastfeeding requires.

Why is breast milk so important? ›

Breast milk helps keep your baby healthy.

It protects against diseases, like diabetes and cancer. It protects against infections, like ear infections. It is easily digested – no constipation, diarrhea or upset stomach. Babies have healthier weights as they grow.

What should you not eat while breastfeeding? ›

What Not to Eat While Breastfeeding
  • Coffee and tea. Some of the caffeine in the coffee and tea you drink will end up in your breast milk and may make it harder for your baby to sleep. ...
  • Cabbage, broccoli, and other “gassy” foods. ...
  • Fish. ...
  • Chocolate. ...
  • Garlic. ...
  • Peppermint, sage, and parsley.
Aug 29, 2020

How long should I breastfeed my baby each time? ›

How Long Does Nursing Take? Newborns may nurse for up to 20 minutes or longer on one or both breasts. As babies get older and more skilled at breastfeeding, they may take about 5–10 minutes on each side.

How long should a breastfeeding session last for a newborn? ›

During the newborn period, most breastfeeding sessions take 20 to 45 minutes. However, because newborn babies are often sleepy, this length of time may require patience and persistence. Feed on the first side until your baby stops suckling, hands are no longer fisted, and your baby appears sleepy and relaxed.

What foods affect breast milk? ›

Foods like beans, broccoli, cauliflower, or some dairy products can cause fussiness, gassiness, or colicky behavior in some babies. Foods like cow's milk, soy, wheat, corn, oats, eggs, nuts and peanuts, and fish or shellfish are common allergy-causing foods.

What foods upset a breastfed baby? ›

Common Foods that Make Breastfeeding Babies Fussy
  • Dairy. Dairy is the most likely culprit behind fussiness. ...
  • Soy. Soy is another common allergen that babies react to. ...
  • Wheat and Corn. ...
  • Caffeine. ...
  • Spicy Foods. ...
  • High-fiber Foods. ...
  • Chocolate. ...
  • Citrus Fruits.
Jul 23, 2020

Which fruits increase breast milk? ›

If you love eating fruits, then check out our list of delicious fruits that have amazing benefits for breastfeeding mummies.
  • Green papaya. Yup, not just any papaya. ...
  • Avocado. This superfood is great for many things, and breastfeeding is one of them. ...
  • Strawberries. ...
  • Bananas. ...
  • Sapodilla (chiku) ...
  • Blueberries. ...
  • Rockmelon. ...
  • Mango.
Jul 18, 2019

Does popcorn increase breast milk? ›

Air-popped popcorn is high in fiber (to keep you feeling full) and low in calories. If your milk supply needs a boost, consider sprinkling the popcorn with brewer's yeast!

Can I eat pizza while breastfeeding? ›

Yes! You can enjoy pizza while breastfeeding. Just pay attention to cues from your baby to make sure they're not sensitive to dairy. It's generally recommended that you can eat whatever you like unless you notice a clear reaction in your baby to a particular food you ate.

Should I pump after nursing? ›

It's generally best to pump after breastfeeding. That way your little one can have their fill first, you'll be able to empty your breasts fully after, and your breasts will have maximum time to refill before the next feed!

What formula is closest to breast milk? ›

Best Baby Formula Most Like Breast Milk

Enfamil's Enspire is the brand's closest formula to breast milk, thanks to the inclusion of proteins found in colostrum, like lactoferrin. (In fact, Enspire is the first and only infant formula in the U.S. to include lactoferrin as an ingredient, according to the brand.)


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