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) Labor & Delivery: Breastfeeding Tips for New Mothers | UCLA Health

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 Tips for New Moms from an Inspira Health Lactation Consultant

  • 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: 10 things EVERY NEW MOM needs to know
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These are the Breastfeeding Tips Every New Mom Needs? ›

So… the rule of three refers to time - ie 3 hours, 3 days or 3 months. 3 hours: If you pump and plan to use your breastmilk straight away, you can leave it out at room temperature for 3 hours.

What all do breastfeeding moms need? ›

Ten Must-Have Items for Breastfeeding Moms
  • Nipple shields. ...
  • Nipple cream or lanolin. ...
  • Nursing pads and nursing soothies. ...
  • Boppy/My Brest Friend. ...
  • Breast pump. ...
  • Breast pump steam cleaning bags and quick clean wipes. ...
  • Breast milk storage bags. ...
  • Nursing cover.
Aug 6, 2021

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 the rule of 3 breastfeeding? ›

So… the rule of three refers to time - ie 3 hours, 3 days or 3 months. 3 hours: If you pump and plan to use your breastmilk straight away, you can leave it out at room temperature for 3 hours.

What are tips for helping breastfeeding? ›

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 not to do while breastfeeding? ›

Indulging in too much caffeine, alcohol or smoking: All your vices might definitely give you a temporary high but will harm your breastfeeding routine irreparably. This is because caffeine, alcohol and tobacco can all affect your milk supply adversely.

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 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 are the 4 key point breastfeeding? ›

Point out to the mother the same four key points about the baby's position: in line, close, facing, supported. She can support her baby's back with her lower arm. She can support her breast if necessary with her upper hand. If she does not support her breast, she can hold her baby with her upper arm.

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.

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.

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 120 breastfeeding rule? ›

The 120 minute rule is that, generally speaking, when you are exclusively pumping, you want to spend at least 120 minutes (2 hours) per day pumping. How many sessions you would spread that 120 minutes across depends on how old your baby is. With a newborn baby, you might want to do eight 15 minute sessions.

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.

How long does it take for baby stomach to empty? ›

A newborns stomach does not stretch. Science reports it takes 4-5 hours for milk to leave a newborns stomach – their digestive process is slower than adults in the stomach. This innate human biology actually then tells us that newborns do not require 'small feeds frequently' like is widely taught.

How long should I breastfeed my newborn? ›

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding up to 2 years or more. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that moms feed their babies only breastmilk for the first six months. Then they say to keep breastfeeding for at least one year.

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

What is the hardest time of breastfeeding? ›

The first four to six weeks are the toughest, then it starts to settle down,” says Cathy. “And when you get to three months, breastfeeding gets really easy – way easier than cleaning and making up a bottle.

What is lacking in breast milk? ›

Overall, human breast milk has been found to be low in certain nutrients in developed countries: vitamin D, iodine, iron, and vitamin K. Additional nutrient deficiencies have been documented in resource-poor countries: vitamin A, vitamin B 12, zinc, and vitamin B 1/thiamin.

What foods make breast milk thicker? ›

Consider Eating More Protein

This means more milk and more protein for your baby, which can then help to make your breast milk fattier. The best way to incorporate protein into your diet is through chicken, lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, and seeds.

Which fruits to avoid while breastfeeding? ›

To prevent adverse reactions in the baby while breastfeeding, it's recommended to avoid consuming citrus fruits, cherries, and prunes. Citrus fruits have been associated with digestive problems, fussy behavior, vomiting, and diaper rash in breastfed babies.

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.

How long are most babies breastfed? ›

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization also recommend exclusive breastfeeding for about the first 6 months with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods for up to 2 years of age or older.

How many times a day do I need to breastfeed to keep my supply? ›

If you aim to nurse every hour and a-half to two hours during the day and no less than every three hours at night, you will easily achieve the frequency that will help you establish your milk supply and ensure your baby gets enough to help stimulate weight gain.In fact, with frequent and effective nursing during the ...

What are three 3 barriers to breastfeeding? ›

  • Lack of Knowledge.
  • Social Norms.
  • Poor Family and Social Support.
  • Embarrassment.
  • Lactation Problems.
  • Employment and Child Care.
  • Barriers Related to Health Services.

What is dangle feeding? ›

Dangle feeding

Lay your baby on their back with their face towards the ceiling. Kneeling up and resting on your elbows, lean over your baby and position your nipple directly above their mouth. Feed in this position with your breast dangling. Gravity can help release the blockage.

What is the Flipple technique? ›

Use the “flipple” technique to get as much of your breast tissue into your baby's mouth as possible. Point your nipple very high towards their nose, try to get as much of the bottom part of your areola into your baby's mouth and use your finger to flip their top lip up after they have latched on.

Is 7 minutes breastfeeding enough? ›

It depends on your baby. As babies get more experience breastfeeding, they become more efficient and take less time to eat. Older babies may take five to 10 minutes, or less, on each side. Short nursing sessions are normal – and perfectly fine unless your baby is having trouble gaining weight.

What are the 3 important stages of lactation? ›

Breast milk has three different and distinct stages: colostrum, transitional milk, and mature milk.

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 is Magic 8 pumping? ›

Your “magic number” is the number of times you need to empty your breasts per 24 hours in order to keep your supply robust. On average, your magic number is 8 (hence the recommendation to breastfeed every 3 hours).

What makes up 55% of breast milk? ›

Human breast milk is a complex matrix with a general composition of 87% water, 3.8% fat, 1.0% protein, and 7% lactose. The fat and lactose, respectively, provide 50% and 40% of the total energy of the milk [11].

What is the minimum time for breastfeeding benefits? ›

6 months. The benefits of breastfeeding continue even with the addition of table foods, which doctors recommend at 6 months of age. Breast milk can continue to provide energy and protein, as well as vitamin A, iron, and other key nutrients.

How do I pass the time breastfeeding? ›

Take a nap with your baby while they are nursing. Napping with your baby is an excellent way to spend the afternoon. Continue to follow safe sleep guidelines, such as making sure you don't have a lot of pillows around the baby and reclining on a firm surface (not a couch).

What is the minimum time that a baby needs to be breastfed for to halve the risk of SIDS? ›

Breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS. Breastfeeding for at least 2 months halves the risk of SIDS but the longer you can continue the more protection it will give your baby. Breast milk is all the nutrition your baby needs for their first 6 months of life. At 6 months you can then introduce other foods as well.

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!

Does power pumping increase supply? ›

One week of power pumping sessions can be enough to help boost your milk supply, allowing you to get those extra ounces. Repeat as needed. Once a week – If you are exclusively pumping, power pumping once a week can be enough to stay ahead of any potential supply dips and stand in for times a baby might cluster feed.

How much milk can a woman produce in 24 hours? ›

Full milk production is typically 25-35 oz. (750-1,035 mL) per 24 hours. Once you have reached full milk production, maintain a schedule that continues producing about 25-35oz of breastmilk in a 24 hour period. Each mom and baby are different, plan your pumping sessions around what works best for the two of you.

Can I go 8 hours without pumping at night? ›

Ultimately, if your baby has reached its birth weight and you're pumping enough milk during the day, it's okay to sleep eight hours without pumping at night. Keep in mind there is an adjustment period for your body as it begins to acclimate to the decrease in overnight milk removal.

How long does it take for breasts to refill with milk after pumping? ›

If you're pumping for a freezer stash or to store milk for a future separation from your baby, try pumping shortly after you finish nursing – maybe 15 to 30 minutes. That way, your body will have an hour and a half or so to replenish breast milk for your next nursing session.

How do I build my milk stash while breastfeeding? ›

Stick to a schedule
  1. Exclusively pumping. Pump for 10-15 minutes at 2-3 hour intervals.
  2. Pumping for work/nursing at home. Pump three times daily AFTER you've nursed your baby. Once back at work, pumping at 2-3 hour intervals. Nurse on demand at home.
  3. Increasing your supply. Pump once a day AFTER you've nursed your baby.

What is the first color a baby sees? ›

The first primary color your baby can see is red, and this happens a few weeks into life. When choosing visual materials, toys, and books for your child, look for high contrast prints in bold colors.

Does spit up mean baby is full? ›

Is spitting up a sign of overfeeding? Yes, spitting up often happens when a baby is fed too much. Feeding your baby too quickly may also lead to baby spitting up more often after or during a feeding. Try to opt for smaller feedings more frequently throughout the day to help prevent your baby from spitting up too much.

Does spit up mean overfeeding? ›

Overfeeding always makes spitting up worse. If the stomach is completely full, spitting up is more likely. If your baby is gaining well, give him smaller amounts (at least 1 ounce less than you have been giving). Wait at least 2 and 1/2 hours between feedings.

What formula is closest to breast milk? ›

Enfamil Enspire

Enfamil's Enspire Opens a new window 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.)

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.

Do you have to wash breast pump parts after every use? ›

The CDC and most breast pump manufacturers recommend cleaning pump parts thoroughly after every use to help protect babies from germs.

What are the 5 components of breastfeeding assessment? ›

The LATCH tool (Jensen et al., 1994) was modelled on the Apgar score with five parameters (latch, audible swallowing, nipple type, comfort, hold) each scoring 0–2, and total scores have been shown to correlate positively with duration of breast feeding (Riordan et al., 2001).

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.

How many steps are successful in breastfeeding? ›

The "Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding" are the foundation of BFHI and summarize the maternity practices necessary to support breastfeeding.

How does a mother breastfeed step by step? ›

Breastfeeding positions
  • Lie your baby across your lap, facing you.
  • Place your baby's head on your forearm – nose towards your nipple. Your hand should support the length of their body.
  • Place your baby's lower arm under yours.
  • Check to make sure your baby's ear, shoulder and hip are in a straight line.

What are the 4 components of breast milk? ›

Human Milk Composition. Breast milk is the best food for the newborn. Human milk consists of 87% water, 1% protein, 4% lipid, and 7% carbohydrate (including 1 to 2.4% oligosaccharides) (Figure 1).

What are the core competencies in breastfeeding care? ›

The USBC core competencies address three specific categories of breastfeeding ed- ucation, support, and care: knowledge, skills, and at- titudes.

What is breastfeeding assessment? ›

A breastfeeding assessment of the newborn includes assessing the infant's ability to latch and coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing. Monitoring infant output, behaviour and weight must be conducted regularly as the newborn develops.

What are the 3 golden hours of breastfeeding? ›

What are the “3 Golden Hours”? The 3 Golden Hours refer to the immediate hours after a mother gives birth. It's so important that mothers are given the opportunity to be skin to skin with their babies during these 3 hours to breastfeed their baby and form that immediate bond.

What is the golden period for breastfeeding? ›

The first hour after birth when a mother has uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact with her newborn is referred to as the “golden hour.” This period of time is critical for a newborn baby who spent the past nine months in a controlled environment.

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.

What is the hardest stage of breastfeeding? ›

The first four to six weeks are the toughest, then it starts to settle down,” says Cathy. “And when you get to three months, breastfeeding gets really easy – way easier than cleaning and making up a bottle.

How long do mothers produce breastmilk for? ›

Once lactation is established from about 2 weeks postpartum, milk production remains relatively constant up to 6 months of lactation for infants that are exclusively breastfed 1. Milk synthesis is not limited by the capacity of the mother to synthesize milk but rather by the infant's appetite 67.

Do I need to burp baby after side lying breastfeeding? ›

Should I burp my baby after breastfeeding while lying down? Whether feeding in a reclining position or lying, burping the baby is essential to release trapped air from their tummy (5). Generally, there's no set rule as to when you should burp your baby. Some babies need burping during the feeding and some after (6).

How long should newborns nurse? ›

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.


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