Breastfeeding

13 Must-Read Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms

Breastfeeding tips for new moms are all over the internet. However, breastfeeding tips that leave everything on the table without making you feel judged or pressured to breastfeed are far in between.

Breastfeeding… the most natural and most beautiful thing in the world!”

Yeah! Until it isn’t.

breastfeeding Tips

Breastfeeding is hard.

Developing a breastfeeding routine that works for you and your baby takes time and patience.

Although it comes perfectly naturally for some moms, the truth is that a lot of new moms struggle through the beginning phases of the breastfeeding process.

As a result, they are more likely to give up on breastfeeding early on.

According to the CDC’s 2022 Breastfeeding Report Card, 83.2% of moms start breastfeeding, but only 55.8% exclusively breastfeed at six months (source).

I know how it feels because I have been on both sides of the coin when it comes to my breastfeeding stories.

Luckily for you, I have many breastfeeding tips here today that have proven effective for me and many other moms across the web.

After a lot of trial and error, late nights, crying spells, and one unsuccessful and one successful breastfeeding attempt, I am hoping to save you from most of the early days’ struggles of breastfeeding your little one.

Here are the top 13 breastfeeding tips I have narrowed it down to. These breastfeeding tips will help keep your sanity and embark on a happy and healthy breastfeeding journey.

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1. Be informed!

It begins with a good knowledge base on what to expect and what to do when the time comes.

Although it takes practice to be successful at breastfeeding, learning about the basics ensures you embark on a successful journey.

Latching, breastfeeding positions, what’s normal, what isn’t, baby cues, milk supply issues, pumping, and “troubleshooting” are all part of a good, knowledgeable foundation.

Take it from me: it will save you a lot of late nights and tears.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to attend breastfeeding college to increase your odds of breastfeeding long-term.

Many places will teach you all you need to know about breastfeeding.

Here are a few of my favorite resources:

Milkology Breastfeeding Courses

Milkology offers three incredible (and super inexpensive) eCourses for moms looking to learn all about breastfeeding from the comfort of their homes.

Milkology was founded and is instructed by Stacey Stewart, a Certified Lactation Educator through CAPPA and a mom of 3.

La Leche League 

La Leche League is another excellent resource.

They offer some local meet-ups and classes with great breastfeeding tips.

Online Childbirth Classes

Taking an Online Childbirth Class is one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of having your ideal birth and successfully breastfeeding. Not only are they incredibly informative and beneficial, but they save you time and money while learning from the comfort of your home while at the same time receiving continuous support from your instructors and other moms-to-be.

Hospital 

Contact your birthing or neighboring hospital.

Most birthing hospitals offer Lamaze (childbirth) and Breastfeeding Classes. The prizes range from $20 to $200 each.

I suggest you check with your health insurance to see if they cover costs.

2. It takes time for breastmilk to come down

Many new moms give up on breastfeeding early on because they believe that they are not making enough milk.

Rest assured that milk production from day one postpartum will not be the same as that from day five or month three.

Your body is designed to produce exactly what your baby needs to thrive at every stage of development.

Here are some parameters to consider when it comes to the baby’s stomach size maximum capacity (source):

  • 1-day-old: 5-7 ml
  • 3-day-old: 22-27 ml (0.75 oz)
  • 1-week-old: 45-60 ml (1.5-2 oz)
  • 1-month: 80-150 ml (2.5-5 oz)

In other words, if you only make a small amount the first few days per feeding, remember that is the exact amount the baby needs.

3. Breastfeeding Station

Although one of the best things about breastfeeding is that you can feed your baby anywhere and without anything, having a dedicated breastfeeding station makes a huge difference.

That proves true, especially in the early days when you are still trying to figure things out.

Having a designated breastfeeding station allows you to:

  • Feel more comfortable
  • Creates a sense of routine and confidence
  • It has all the essentials you need while breastfeeding

You are going to realize that as you sit down to breastfeed, you need someone to teach you a million things.

The phone charger, water, a burp rag, nipple ointment, a magazine, the remote control… you name it, you will need it.

4. Use a Boppy Pillow

The Bobby Nursing Pillow is my number one recommendation for some things you will need while breastfeeding.

I cannot stress enough the importance and ease of good breastfeeding support.

What I love most is that it is timeless because it serves many purposes, allowing you to take advantage of it for a long time.

Some of the uses of the Boppy Nursing Pillow include:

  • Breastfeeding support
  • Baby launch/recliner
  • Tummy time
  • Sitting support
  • Pillow cushion for older kids (my kids still use their Boppy to sit on while they play with their toys)

Related Article: My Breastfeeding Stories: Why One Failed and One Succeeded (Tips and Takeaways)

5. Pump out breastmilk if possible

When I breastfeed my kids, one of the hardest things for me was worrying that I didn’t have any milk put away in case I needed to step away.

There are many reasons as to why you would pump and create a milk stash:

  • Wanting your partner to feed the baby
  • If someone watches the baby part-time
  • Getting ready to go back to work
  • Wanting more flexibility in your schedule
  • Feeding the baby in a bottle if you are going out (some women are not comfortable breastfeeding in public. Although I must add that one of the great benefits of breastfeeding is not having to worry about packing water, formula, and bottles)

On either instance, here are some pumping tips that will help you make the process easier:

  • Pumping after a warm shower.
  • Pump at night (your milk supply is slightly higher due to increased prolactin levels).
  • Learn all you can about pumping ahead to prevent frustration and overwhelm.
  • Invest in a good breast pump (check with your health insurance: some cover the cost of your pump). This is the pump I used for the bother of my kids, and it is still around almost six years later, helping family and friends feed their little ones.


I must also add that the more you can delay pumping, the better.

In the first few days after birth, the direct contact of your baby’s mouth with your breasts is what triggers more milk production.

Although milk production is also activated with pumping, it isn’t nearly as effective as with the baby directly sucking.

6. Finish the first breast first

Although it is often recommended that you switch breasts during feedings, allowing the baby to finish one full breast is ideal.

Hindmilk is the high-fat, high-calorie breast milk that provides optimal nutrition and keeps breasts full longer. It is usually found at the end of one breast feeding.

The first, less dense breast milk is called foremilk.

7. Hair Tie on Wrist

Between the sleep deprivation and the continuous feedings, remembering what breast I used last was sometimes impossible.

A great trick I learned from other breastfeeding moms was to use a rubber band on my wrist. You can also use a hair tie, bracelet, or ribbon.

The rubber band represents the breast that the baby should be sucking from at the time of feeding.

All you must do is switch the rubber band to the opposite wrist once the baby is done feeding on one particular breast.

If the baby drank from both breasts, the second breast is likely the one they drank the least from, so the rubber band would go there.

8. Preventing and Treating Cracked Nipples

I cannot stress this enough.

Preventing cracked nipples will save you a lot of pain and frustration.

There a lot of things you can do from your end to ensure your nipples are happy and healthy.

With that said, even when you take the best precautions, you can still have some nipple irritation and soreness.

This is especially true in the first few weeks as your nipples and the surrounding skin get used to tugging and pulling.

But don’t worry! Next, we will cover great breastfeeding tips on preventing and treating sore/cracked nipples.

Ensure a proper latch

One of the best breastfeeding tips I could ever give you is ensuring the baby latches correctly.

With a proper latch, your:

  • nipples will be less likely to crack/bleed
  • milk production will increase
  • baby will drink more and be more satisfied
  • breasts will feel less engorged and painful

keep them moisturized

There are plenty of options (natural, over-the-counter, and products) for preventing and treating cracked nipples.

They all serve a different purpose and should be used depending on your needs.

For instance, despite my attempts to go natural, I found myself needing some reinforcement.

Thankfully, nowadays, there are many safe, organic products that are completely chemical—and toxic-free for both mom and baby.

Natural Remedies

Here are some natural alternatives that can get the job done without using any over-the-counter nipple creams:

  • Breast milk alone (around your nipple) is known to be a natural moisturizer
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Organic Coconut oil
  • Organic Shae butter

As a rule of thumb, I always tried to start with some breast milk first.

However, between the constant baby feedings and pumping, I found it hard to use breast milk alone.

That’s why I recommend having a nipple cream at your disposal, especially if you are planning on pumping.

Over the Counter Nipple Creams

My favorite over-the-counter nipple cream, which is organic, safe to use, toxic, and chemical-free, is the Mama Natural Organic Nipple Butter. Mama Natural is also the host of one of the best online childbirth courses, so if you haven’t yet taken a childbirth class, I highly recommend this one!

Nipple Care Products

Use one of the following if you are already experiencing cracked and irritated nipples or if you are more susceptible due to naturally dry skin:

  • Hydrogel pads: serve as a soothing and protective barrier between your nipple and your clothing while promoting healing
  • Nipple shields: Flexible silicone nipples worn over the mom’s nipple during a feeding (temporarily) to promote faster healing. They are also used in helping lactating moms with flat or inverted nipples

Relates Article: 5 Common Breastfeeding Problems (and How to Fix Them ASAP!)

9. Alleviate breast pain and discomfort

You are more likely to give up on breastfeeding if you are in constant pain and discomfort.

Although some discomfort is part of the process, it is a good idea to prevent it from escalating to significant pain.

In the first few days/weeks, your body will start producing more milk to meet the demands of your growing baby.

Until your body starts to regulate the supply your baby needs for each feeding, you might feel your breast full, warm, achy, and even tingly (during “let-down” as the baby sucks).

Here are some breastfeeding tips to help with breast discomfort and fullness:

  • Take a warm shower and slowly massage your breast to hand-express excess milk
  • After the shower, feed the baby or pump to decompress the breasts

If your breasts become extremely engorged and painful, you are unable to feed the baby, and you develop a fever… contact your healthcare provider.

10. Drink plenty of water

breastfeeding mom drinking water

Your breastmilk is composed of 90% water.

That is why you must stay well-hydrated throughout the day.

Drinking the recommended 6-8 glasses of water (or other fluids) a day will ensure that you:

  • are healthy and hydrated
  • make and maintain a good breast milk supply

Other fluids in your daily hydration plan include juices, low-fat milk, lemonades, black or green tea, and soups.

Avoiding fluids include sugary drinks (soda), caffeine, and alcohol.

Also, ensure that you eat healthy food that promotes milk production.

11. Keep a diaper count

One of the best indicators that the baby is breastfeeding successfully and sufficiently is by his/her diaper count.

This is especially true in the first few days/weeks as you establish a breastfeeding routine and become more comfortable with your new role.

Keeping a wet and soiled diaper log helps you track the effectiveness of your breastfeeding sessions.

Take the log to your first few pediatrician visits to ensure proper hydration and nourishment.

If, in the first few days at home with the baby, you feel your baby isn’t getting enough to drink from your breast, contact your healthcare provider for instructions.

 12. Go with the flow

It is tough to get overwhelmed with so much information.

If you have not yet started breastfeeding while you are reading this, or if you have started but feel overwhelmed, I want you to remember this:

  • Tackle one thing at a time: trying too much simultaneously can be challenging.
  • Take it day by day: it will allow you to practice your craft, and the more times you do it, the easier it should become.
  • You will know if the baby is drinking enough: if there are a sufficient number of wet and dirty diapers and if your baby is gaining weight consistently between pediatric weight checks.
  • Priorities only: Set aside anything that isn’t a priority and focus on breastfeeding on demand for the first few days. Breastfeeding can be very demanding, and adding more things to your packed schedule can become overwhelming.

13. Ask for help

When it all fails, ask for help!

Whether from your spouse to ease the process, from your doctor for reassurance, or to a lactation consultant for personalized breastfeeding tips and strategies.

Please understand you are not alone and that we are all in this together.

★ Related Articles: 

In conclusion 

It is ideal for you and the baby to breastfeed.

However, understand that breastfeeding does not define you as a mother. So whether you can’t or choose not to, the most important thing for your child is to have a happy, healthy, and sane mama.

So… enjoy the journey, try your best, rely on a good support system, focus on the baby, and the rest will follow.

Additional Breastfeeding Resources

What breastfeeding tips helped you keep your sanity?

If you haven’t started breastfeeding, what are you looking forward to/concerned about? 

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best breastfeeding tips for new moms

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