Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms

When I first began breastfeeding one year ago, I was totally unprepared to deal with how hard it was.  I thought it was a no brainer: food + hungry baby = success.  Not exactly!  I read several books, but nursing is just one of those things, like giving birth, that you have to experience before you understand it.  I look with envy admire those sweet babies and mommas who have no problem at all getting it figured out – maybe my next baby will be easier!

I’m no expert, but I just want to share with you the things that worked for me. I’m not a professional. I’m just a mom who’s been there, done that. And is still doing it!

Although I’m a breastfeeding advocate, I do not and never plan to put women down who choose to formula feed their babies. You have to do what works for you! Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone, but if you are planning to b-feed or are currently b-feeding, here are some breastfeeding tips for you!

Breastfeeding Tips

  • Milk Supply: If you are concerned with not having enough milk or if you are like me and your milk doesn’t come in for four days, then I highly recommend these two products…
    PhotobucketPhotobucket

Mother’s Milk Tea by Traditional Medicinals. I love this tea!  It has such a good comforting flavor.  I sometimes add honey to it, but it’s totally fine without the sweetener.

Solaray’s Fenugreek is an herb to help with lactation.  I found it very helpful to stimulate my milk to come in and then to maintain a good supply.

  • Nursing Tanks and Nipple Shields: I bought my nursing tanks at Target.  I love them!  They make b-feeding more comfortable and modest.  Nipple shields are wonderful to help newborns if they are struggling with latching on.  Also, the shields help with ouchies, if you know what I mean.  My fabulous lactation consultant suggested that I use a syringe with (baby) sugar water to “tempt” the baby to latch. It really helped!
  • Lansinoh Lanolin and Nursing Pads: Lansinoh’s Lanolin is the only topical cream endorsed by the La Leche League!  Believe me, it helps and soothes the ouchies!  You definitely will need nursing pads as well to catch leaks and deter any embarrassing moments. Ha!
  • Positions, Posture and a Boppy: Don’t hesitate to use different nursing positions, especially at the beginning because you have to figure out what is most comfortable for you and your baby.  For your posture, try to relax!  Your baby can sense when you are stressed, so sit in a comfortable chair, use lots of pillows and take a deep breath!  I loved using a Boppy especially when Ridley was really little.  It definitely helped with positioning and posture – a must-have!
  • Eat well and Drink a lot of Water! It is incredibly important for moms to eat well balanced meals and snacks!  Breastfeeding increases your metabolism, so snack nutritiously.  I think it’s pretty much a no-brainer why you need to drink tons of water, so be sure you do!
  • Keep at it! Nursing for a lot of women is hard.  It was hard for me.  I “hollered” for 6 weeks when Ridley latched on because of the pain.  The b-feeding learning curve is different for each baby and momma.  If you get discouraged, call your lactation consultant, the LLL or even a friend who has nursing experience to get help and to verbalize your frustrations.

I love to talk to new moms or moms-to-be about this topic, so if you have any questions or (sweet) comments leave a comment or send me an e-mail!  If you have more b-feeding tips, be sure to leave a comment too!

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Comments

  1. I love your site Myra! It is always uplifting, inspiring, and yet so down to earth.

    I am currently breastfeeding out third child – and each had their own challenges. I think I struggle more each time because it is hard to sit still and just relax on the couch, while the boys (ages 4 and 2) run around and play.

    I agree with that Lansinoh — purple tube = GOOD STUFF!
    .-= Ann Marie @ Household6Diva´s last blog ..Our Cookie-dog =-.

  2. Great post! I breastfed my first child and plan to nurse my second, due in March. :)
    .-= Christina´s last blog ..Family Circle – 15 issues for $3.66 =-.

  3. Love this post, Myra! I absolutely *love* nursing my baby girl. Like a lot of moms & babies, we got off to a rough start, but 11 months later, we’re still going strong and I’m definitely a breastfeeding advocate. :)

  4. Great post and wonderful tips! After having not so much success nursing my first baby, the second two were much easier. Totally agree that nursing pads are an absolute MUST!! I think with as many as I bought I should have been a company rep…
    .-= Charissa @ MiMi’s Babies´s last blog ..Chocolate Brown Striped Crochet Beanie Hat – Size Newborn, 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, 12 month, Toddler, and Child Available – Great Photography Prop =-.

  5. I thought nursing my second would be easier, but it still took me 3 weeks before it didn’t feel like a garage door slamming on my boob. I also LOVED LOVED LOVED my Brestfriend Pillow. I got one for every friend that I know is going to new nurse. I liked the Boppy for holding and the Brestfriend for nursing.

  6. Love this post! I’m a huge breastfeeding advocate even though my kids are way past the breastfeeding stage. :-) My advice to moms who plan to breastfeed is to contact La Leche League *before* the give birth. It’s a great way to learn a lot, become aware of potential problems before they start so that you’ll recognize them sooner (when they are easier to solve) and get a support system in place befor ethe baby arrives. :-)
    .-= Teresa´s last blog ..Pan Roasted Sausage, Peppers, Onions, and Potatoes =-.

  7. Great tips Myra!!

    I want to 2nd, 3rd & 4th the Boppy recommendation:)

    After lots of backache I finally started using mine regularly(which I received while pg with my 1st) with my 3rd son. It made such a huge difference. I wish I had used it the whole time. It was also a lifesaver while nursing twins.
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..Free Green Giant Veggies at Publix =-.

  8. I was very blessed and Molly was an instant nurser. We still had issues some days,but overall she did great. However, for the first 6 months she ate every hour and a half, so I never had time to pump, and felt trapped in my house. I think next time I will try harder to get the baby to go longer between feedings and also not feel so embarrassed to nurse, modestly in public. I was so worried that if we fed her a bottle she would never nurse again, but that wasn’t true at all. I think like you said, Myra, you just have to figure out what works for you and your baby.
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..The story to go along with the picture… =-.

  9. Thanks for sharing these tips! I never ever expected breastfeeding to be such a bear! Hopefully we’ll get it down here pretty soon. Also, thanks for all your encouragement and hands-on help! You’re amazing!!! :)
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..WW: Meeting Memaw =-.

  10. Myra,

    This is an encouraging post! Since I’ve got 3 months to go until my little one arrives I have time to be prepared with the helpful breastfeeding items you mentioned as well as preparing myself emotionally that it might not be easy!

  11. WOW….I totally could have used this post 3 months ago when I quit nursing twins.
    Great tips, though!! Great post!!

  12. My first and I struggled for 6 weeks to even latch. We eventually got it figured out but I never felt like I had enough milk. It was so hard. At 4 months I broke down and gave her solids and she had them a LOT from a young age. She’s still breastfeeding now, she’ll be 2 very soon.

    My second baby latched on within minutes of his birth and we’ve never looked back. Totally easy. It really was hungry baby + food = success from day 1. (And yes, we’re tandem nursing.) Hopefully your second will be easy too!

  13. By the way, great tips for moms who are struggling!
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Water Kefir Update =-.

  14. Thanks for sharing these tips!! I have 6-ish weeks to go until our 1st arrives, so this is super helpful :)
    .-= Miriam´s last blog ..Weekly Grocery Trip 1/12/10 =-.

  15. Thanks for the tips and advice, I’m planning on breastfeeding and looking for all helpful advice I can get.
    .-= Angie´s last blog ..Christmas past =-.

  16. Lansinoh Lanolin is a must, I have three bottles already and 5 more months to go before birth with number 5. Everyone was diffrent. I must say the last was the easiest as he latched right away and eat without playing. I gave up on the 1st at 4 months, 2nd at 5 months, and the 3rd was a premi and we never did get it down well. I lived a hour from hospital so even when I pumped and took it to him in the NICU, they still needed to feed him formula as I could not pump enough or be there for every feeding. He was a half and half baby and that worked till he was about 7 months and prefered the bottle.

  17. I am nursing my second son, who is now 7 weeks old. We are STILL struggling with latching and nursing, but I am determined not to give up. Something I learned with my first is that you MUST seek out SUPPORT! This time around I’ve been to LLL, I’ve reconnected with an old friend who is a Lactation Specialist, and I’ve gone to two consultations with a professional as well. The greatest thing she taught me was this remedy for very sore, cracked or bleeding nipples: after each feed, rinse with saline. Next apply a mixture of one part triple antibiotic ointment and one part hydrocortisone 1% cream. This mixture in combination with taking a day off from breastfeeding (pumping an bottling) allowed my nipples to heal in only a day! Otherwise, I would have given up!

  18. Great tips! I just finished nursing my daughter a few months ago, and am about to go for round #2 in March when I deliver my second – thanks for the reminders. A lot of the products you listed also worked great for me. But I didn’t know Target carried nursing tanks – I’ll have to check there!!

  19. Great tips! I’ve nursed two so far with 43 months under my belt (thank you, Lord!) and am gearing up for #3 in a few weeks.

    My lifesaver has been kellymom.com and the fabulous info and support there (run by a board-certified consultant). It has researched info about EVERY bf topic imaginable. Check out the message boards, too. It’s been so reassuring to me that moms with similar-age babes are going through the same struggles.

    Oh, and for the cutest nursing cover ever, check out moboleez.com Their very-wide brimmed baby hats are one purchase I’m going to make for babe #3.

  20. Great post! Nursing was incredibly hard. I have two additional product recs:

    The Nursing Mother’s Companion (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Nursing-Mothers-Companion/Kathleen-Huggins/e/9781558323049/?itm=1&USRI=the+nursing+mother%27s+companion) – This book was absolutely indispensible to me, especially during those first weeks of trying to nail down a routine and make sure you’re doing everything to allow your milk supply to become well-established.

    Soothies Gel Pads by Lansinoh (http://www.lansinoh.com/products/soothies-by-lansinoh-gel-pads) – Buy two sets and always keep one in the fridge to wear between feedings. As you start to nurse, your nipples can get pretty irritated, and I found these helped greatly.

    I nursed my son for 9 months, 7 of which were after I went back to work FT, so I’d be glad to offer tips on pumping, making breastfeeding and a FT schedule work together, etc. It’s so hard. Support is so necessary!
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Haiti =-.

  21. Breastfeeding was BY FAR the hardest part of having a baby (for me). Before I had my 1st, my cousin told me the first 6 weeks was like boot camp (I swore she said “boob camp”) – it’s brutal but after 6 weeks it’s usually pretty easy. She was right!
    .-= Kristin Gentry´s last blog ..Do you have Momnesia too? =-.

  22. Love, love, love Mother’s Milk Tea. I was skeptical, I have to be honest, but it made all the difference in the world. I was struggling in the beginning, worried I would be able to last even 6 weeks- now we’re approaching a year! These tips are a fantastic resource for a new mom. Also, LLL and lactation consultants are a girl’s best friend :)
    .-= Ashley@ Just Another Mom of 2´s last blog ..Things I Love Thursday- My son’s preschool =-.

  23. I was told when I started out breastfeeding that using a nipple shield was bad and I shouldn’t do it because my son would not get enough milk. Well, it was the only way in the beginning that I could get my son to latch on, and I was determined not to switch to formula! He grew like a little weed and the doctor said he was definitely getting plenty! At three months he refused the nipple shield and we have had perfect latching ever since! Yay breastfeeding!

  24. Wonderful tips, Myra! Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

    I agree that Lansinoh’s Lanolin is a “new mom necessity.” I went through 3-4 tubes of that in those first few [painful] weeks!

    Two other great breastfeeding books are: The ABCs of Breastfeeding and Mama Knows Breast.

    As far as breastfeeding clothes go, I love my Milkstars tee for daytime and my Majamas pjs for nighttime.

    And the Boppy is great! I actually prefer the My Brest Friend, but both products serve the same purpose – to help moms relax and get comfortable as they nurse their itty bitty babies in the early days.
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: Just Me and My Daddy =-.

  25. Oh, I almost forgot! I also don’t know what I would do without my Bebe au Lait nursing cover. I feel comfortable nursing anytime, anywhere…because I can slip that cover over my head and blissfully nurse without having to worry about showing too much skin. Love it.
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: Just Me and My Daddy =-.

  26. After throwing up for 9 months in pregnancy and a 48 hour labor…nursing was the only thing that came easily to me. I was so blessed and thankful. I live in a hippy town and when I went to nurse, he latched on right away, the lactation consultant asked if I had ever done it before… I said no, I’ve just watched my mom nurse the 6 children after me. She went on and on about how wonderful it was when mammals nursed in front of eachother and blah blah blah:-) It cracked me up.
    I absolutely LOVED nursing. Unfortunately at 10 months, my extremely active baby refused to nurse. I takes his bottle standing up while playing. It made me so sad to stop so suddenly and for no “good” reason. But every baby is different and mine just wont sit still. I still try now and again…but I think I’ll just have to wait for another baby.
    Great advise by the way. My advice is not to worry:-)
    .-= Helen Joy´s last blog ..The Long Journey…from you know where Part 1 =-.

  27. Wow, what a great post and great information. I just weaned my 2 year old. I am so glad I breastfed her. Beautiful, clean, blog. I love it. Blessings!

  28. Great post on Breastfeeding! I nursed my daughter for almost 13 months & she was a pro! I loved Lanisoh products the best too & I read Womanly Art of Breastfeeding & it helped alot! I have never heard of the tea! I may have to try that with my next baby, Lord willing! Love your blog! :)
    .-= Stacy ´s last blog ..Heart of Hope =-.

  29. Thanks for posting these tips! They are good reminders for me. I am on my second child, and I am very thankful she is a wonderful nurser, which I can’t say about my first. She latched on from the first time she was put on me and is a great feeder in that way. However, since she has been born, she has been feeding every 2 hours throughout the day, and about four weeks ago, she went from feeding every 3-4 hours to every two hours throughout the night. Some women are saying its “just a phase” and she is just growing. However, its been a month now and I am REALLY TIRED. She has grown rapidly this past month, but now she is starting to get really cranky and wanting to chew on things all the time. One word comes to mind. Teething. Could teething be the cause of her wanting to nurse so often? What are your thoughts on this? Thanks! :)
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..Christmas Day and More =-.

  30. These are definitely some great tips, Myra!

    For me, having a great, quality nursing bra is also essential, especially in the beginning. I go from being smallish-average (32D) to well-endowed (34F) when nursing and it’s so important to have really good support. I love the Medela bras because they provide great support without an underwire.

    Also, more than anything, the most important “thing” to have when taking on nursing is a supportive partner! I couldn’t have done it without my hubby. Especially with my first daughter– my preemie, for whom I pumped exclusively for 7 months– I could never have established a good pumping routine without his unending and willing support. Some people may think men have nothing to do with breastfeeding but they do! Your husband’s attitude can make or break your breastfeeding experience.
    .-= JessieLeigh´s last blog ..Having An Epiphany =-.

  31. BAM is 6 months, and I still use our boppy when we BF. I recently made a new slip cover for it, to match a quilt I made before his was born :)
    and, while I love the comfort and ease of using the nursing tanks, I think it doesn’t provide enough support (or the exact fit) for me. I went from being small/extra small to small with medium or large sized boobs. talk about a drastic change! so I do prefer nursing bras, but I still (even after 6 months) found ones I like that I’ll buy for the next PG.
    and I like your new design/page! i knew you had moved, but I hadn’t been able to get to it until now. I do the lazy thing and follow in my reader, occasionally clicking to comment 8)
    .-= Krystina´s last blog ..Brendon’s First Christmas =-.

  32. I hate to tell you that I am one of those women whose babies are easy nursers and figure it out right away. But I will give a big shout out for nursing tanks. An absolute must have. And if you got some extra money to spend, splurge for the Yummie Tummie nursing tank. BEST THING EVER!!

  33. I have been nursing my little girl for 5 months, now, and just last night I started on fenugreek because she keeps waking up hungry during the night, and when I pump I’m only getting 3 ounces each time. I’m also going to increase the amount of water I take. I really hope this works because I don’t want to supplement with formula!
    .-= Tiffany´s last blog ..Drool Happens (Etsy GIVEAWAY!!!) =-.

  34. Great tips! I forgot about the nursing tanks. Yes to good nursing tanks and bras. You need a good nighttime bra, too!
    oh amanda´s last blog post ..The Reluctant Breastfeeder- Top Ten Tuesday

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  3. [...] or dealing with frustration has become a passion of mine. Two months ago, I posted several practical breastfeeding tips that worked for me. The response was fantastic and the comments were very helpful.So how can [...]

  4. [...] Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms – (Including resources for increasing milk supply.) …Nursing Tanks and Nipple Shields: I bought my nursing tanks at Target.  I love them!  They make b-feeding more comfortable and modest.  Nipple shields are wonderful to help newborns if they are struggling with latching on.  Also, the shields help with ouchies, if you know what I mean.  My fabulous lactation consultant suggested that I use a syringe with (baby) sugar water to “tempt” the baby to latch. It really helped!… [...]

  5. [...] I could to prepare myself: books, magazine articles, and blog posts (one of my favorites: Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms). I talked to moms who had successfully breastfed their babies for months. I also took a [...]

  6. [...] first year – or even beyond!Breastfeeding Related Posts:My Breastfeeding Experience (So Far)Breastfeeding Tips For New MomsBreastfeeding Survival TipBreastfeeding: It’s Not as Easy as Falling off a LogPreparing for [...]

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