Hey, mamas! You are probably here because you want some breastfeeding tips right? Well, you’re in the right place because I am going to share all of my tips and I plan on updating this post when I find new things to add. First, here’s a little about my breastfeeding journey. I had my first daughter in March of 2016 and knew I wanted to breastfeed so I was determined to do it. We started off a little rough and the first 6 weeks were pretty much terrible for me mostly, but I kept on going. After the first few weeks, things got easier and easier and we ended our journey at 14 months (my goal was a year). Fast forward to today, I now have a 3-month-old and we’re doing amazing, she is the best little breastfeeder ever and has been since birth, literally, she ate for 45 minutes about a half hour after she was born. With all of that being said, I’ve learned SO much about this amazing journey and want to share it all! Here we go.
Tips from a Successful Breastfeeding Mama
- Wear lots of loose button down shirts or henleys, these make feeding in public SO much easier.
- There are millions of cute cover-ups but I just use a swaddle blanket. Tie two corners together, throw it over your head, and your good to go!
- Buy a breastfeeding nightgown for the first couple of weeks, you will thank me later.
- Make sure to have nursing bras. I will link mine below.
- I also have a couple of nursing tank tops which are super handy.
Tips for Mama
- Water water water, you HAVE TO DRINK LOTS OF WATER. This is my number one tip and the most important thing in this entire post. Have cute water bottles all over the house and keep them filled up so you can always have a drink near when you need it.
- If you want a little boost in supply, try making some lactation snacks. I use the oat mama brewer’s yeast powder and it does work, I just use the cookie recipe on the back of the bag and they’re delish.
- Take postnatal vitamins and prebiotics, I will link the ones I take below.
- Track your feedings at first on an app, I used Sprout. After a few weeks you’ll just get the hang of things and won’t need it anymore but it really helps at first.
Tips on Baby
- I’m a believer in baby-led feeding and napping. I have done this with both babies and not worried so much about a “schedule” and their schedule just works itself out. Listen to your baby.
- On-demand feeding, this is simple and goes with the first tip. Feed baby when she’s hungry (hands to mouth, crying, rooting, etc.) Search on Pinterest for hunger cues if you aren’t familiar.
- Start cluster feeding in the evening. This is something that I fought with Emery and have learned to embrace with Zara. Babies will naturally eat a lot more at night (this can be called the witching hour or cluster feeding) so they load up on milk just before bed and then sleep for a longer stretch at night. Zara eats every hour from 6-10 then sleeps all night (she started this at about week 10-12).
- Try wearing baby when your not feeding her, I’ll link my favorite sling below. There are tons of benefits of babywearing and you can even learn to nurse in one when baby gets bigger.
- Try a pacifier around the 4 week mark if you can wait that long. There are benefits to pacis along with cons so look them up!
- Remember all babies are different, and you will know what’s best for your baby. Slow down, listen to her/him, try to relax, and embrace the littleness that flies by in the blink of an eye.
Things Worth Buying
- Comfy rocking chair, we had a cheap one the first time around and getting a nicer/comfier one this time has made all the difference.
- Boppy Best Latch™ breastfeeding pillow, I will link this below, it’s different from the original boppy. It straps on so it stays put. I also love that it has two sides to use, a soft cushioned side or a more firm side so you can decide what you like best.
- Breastfriend, if your struggling with getting the positioning just right this pillow is very helpful and supportive. It’s on the smaller side though, and not as thick so when baby gets bigger the Boppy is better.
Tips on Pumping
- Don’t start pumping until you need to
- Pump 10 min to start
- Change valves, tubing, and membranes every few months
- Sanitize parts after each time you use them, there are super easy sanitizing microwave bags I’ll link below
- Start your pump on the lowest setting and be patient, it’s not going to flow out as you think, it’s a very slow drip process
- If you’re pumping to boost your milk supply search “How To Power Pump” on Pinterest. It’s basically: pump for 20 min, rest for 10 min, pump for 10 min, rest for 10 min and pump again for 10 min. You do this for 3 days for a super boost in supply. (I haven’t had to do this but I’m sure it helps)
- Pump after your morning feed if you plan to pump like once a day to build up a freezer stash.
- When you sit down to pump, first take a few deep breaths and relax (this seriously helps).
Tips on Storage
- I once read something that said when it comes to freshness/storage treat your milk like a sandwich so keep that in mind.
- Room temp for 3-4 hours
- Fridge 4-7 days
- Freezer 6 months-ish
- Warm the milk and smell it, you’ll know if it’s gone bad. Make sure to keep a tight seal on your freezer or invest in a deep freezer for storage.
- I use the Kiinde brand bags and storage accessories, I’ll link them below. I also use the Kiinde bottle/milk warmer.
- It’s going to hurt no matter what at first, remind yourself of all the AMAZING benefits of breastfeeding to not only your baby but yourself as well to help you get through it.
- Make sure you start off with a good latch or consistently work towards that so it’s only painful for a little while. Get in touch with lactation specialists, you will need them and they are so helpful.
- Get a good nipple cream/butter/ointment. I found the ones with lanolin are the most helpful, if you don’t want to use lanolin there are lots of other natural and organic options.
- Apply a warm washcloth or some breast heating gel pads (I’ll link below) to ease the pain.
- If you have engorgement pain take a hot shower before feeding, it’ll help you and baby.
- If you get sore spots/clogged ducts apply a warm compress to that area, try to massage, feed baby lots on that side, and drink lots of water.
Thanks so much for reading, I hope you found some tips helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions or want to add any tips in the comments below.
You might also like my Guidebook for First-time Parents.
I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27