34 Breastfeeding Tips from Real Moms

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Breastfeeding, or nursing, can be a tough challenge. Whether you're a new mom or seasoned at this nursing game, each child and each experience can be very different. We polled some of our BabySteals moms and community for some of the best tips they had to offer when it came to nursing their precious baby.

Here are 34 breastfeeding tips from real life moms just like you:

  1. Take a nursing class from the hospital before baby arrives. And, yes, you will want an entire class. It’s hard to find time to read books after baby arrives.


  2. Call your doctor at first sign of mastitis!


  3. Drink a glass of water every time you nurse.


  4. Always, and I mean always, break the suction without fail! If you don’t, it might not hurt now, but it will kill soon enough!


  5. Yes, you really want to wake your baby up to nurse the first couple months. While your milk is getting established it is so helpful when you nurse through the night. If you sleep through those early feedings, you will quickly learn to regret it.   

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  6. Always keep your scheduled checkups so your doctor can monitor weight gain, even if you’ve had multiple children, those 10 month appointments are still very important.


  7. Request a lactation specialist meet with you before you go home from the hospital. They can verify your baby’s suction.  A good suction will prevent so many problems!  


  8. Once home, take advantage of your hospital. Many hospitals offer free phone consults with their lactation specialist. I’ve used this each time with all four of my babies within the first week of being home. Each time they have helped lead me to successful nursing. In addition, many hospitals also offer an in-person consultant for a small fee.


  9. The first few weeks are rough and the first few months are hard. To add to this, there are few things (if any) that I have enjoyed more than nursing my babies. It just gets more fun with time and it makes all of the hard work worth it.


  10. Patience. It isn't always easy. Take your time and learn with baby.

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  11. Reminding myself that anything I was able to do was more than not trying at all, and setting mini goals: first, just until hospital discharge. Then one week, then another week, then to 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, etc.


  12. Don't let others put you down or influence your decision regarding breastfeeding. Do what makes you comfortable. Also, look up local laws regarding breastfeeding and pumping (like at work) as you have more rights than you think.


  13. Just because it's natural, it doesn't mean it's easy. Don't mistake the two! Also, if it hurts, get help. Your doctor, midwife, or hospital should be able to get you connected with an IBCLC.


  14. Don't be afraid to use help! My daughter wouldn't latch properly until we started using a nipple shield. Once we got the hang of things and we both knew what to do, we didn't need it anymore, but it definitely saved us!


  15. The support of my husband, My Breast Friend pillow and Newman's Nipple Cream! I could not have done it without those three things!

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  16. I wish, wish, WISH I would have known about lip ties with my first. Even the lactation consultant I met with on multiple occasions didn't know about them. That knowledge would have saved us so much pain, grief and regret.


  17. Set mini goals in the beginning when it is so hard, and try to find a supportive friend who has done it before. People who haven't breastfed mean well, but I found they often encourage you to stop and it's hard to explain how you want to continue and how it's important to you.


  18. See a lactation consultant if you need help. Go more than once. There is no shame in getting help whether it is your first or your fourth child. Each child is different and each experience will be different.


  19. Knowing that it is not as big of a deal as you think it is in the moment and that you'll find a great way to feed your baby... even if it means it's not via breastfeeding.


  20. If you are unable or choose not to breastfeed, you should not feel shame or allow anyone to influence your decision and mindset. As long as your baby is fed, healthy and happy, and you're feeling the same, that's all that matters.

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  21. I breastfed all four of my kids. Firstly, it hurts! It will hurt for about the first six weeks. Don't believe anyone who says it shouldn't hurt. If you can get past the first six weeks then it becomes much easier. Use lots of nipple cream and soothies pads. I promise it does get better. Secondly, drink LOTS of water. Like a gallon a day. Lastly, you need to do what's right for you and your baby. If that's breastfeeding, great. If it's pumping and bottle feeding, great. If it's formula feeding, great.


  22. You think, because it's what's supposed to happen, it'll be easy, but it may not be and that's okay. Every nursing relationship, just like every child, is different. Take a breastfeeding class before baby is born and bring your support with you to the class. Have support from friends, family, your partner and know what professional support is available in your area. A lactation consultant should be as important as choosing a pediatrician. Select a ped that is truly breastfeeding friendly, not just one who says they are. Stay hydrated!


  23. Lanolin!!! And knowing that it WILL get easier!


  24. Stand up for yourself and your baby at work! Put 15 minute private meetings on your schedule if you have to. Don't be bulldozed by the uninformed. It is difficult to take time at first, but the calendar reminder will ease your mind and your coworkers will learn to respect your space and schedule. (It's the law!) Then lock the door and look at sweet baby pics on your phone.

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  25. Some of the best advice I got ahead of time was to stick it out for six weeks (barring any sort of real need to stop on either mom or baby's part, of course). If you can make it to six weeks, chances are you'll mostly have the hang of it at that point, and having that goal in mind helped me through the tough times. Also, make use of a LC! Find a pediatrician who has one on staff, if possible.


  26. First: if it doesn't work, formula is not the devil people make it out to be. I had twins that were 5 weeks early. Breastfeeding didn't work out as I hoped. I was pressured by Lactation Consultants, La Leche and people who didn't understand it didn't just come "naturally". It was a horrible experience that caused a lot of postpartum depression. Three years later I had a singleton baby. He's 2 weeks old now and breastfeeding is going awesome. Every baby and every situation is different. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about how your baby is fed. I have come to hate the phrase "breastfeeding" because of my first experience. It's silly but I use the old school "nursing" term instead!


  27. Your body will adjust to the demands of your baby. It may take a bit of time. It took a full 3 months with my 2nd child for my milk to come in. It’s not always immediate. It took 3 or 4 days with each of my 3 kids. Also, if you do plan to pump, check with your health insurance provider, many will either reimburse the cost of a pump or pay for renting one from the hospital!


  28. Triple Nipple ointment and Netflix.


  29. Do the best you can for as long as you can! I dried up with both kids around the 9 month mark and was heartbroken, but looking back on it, I know I did the best I could for my kids and they are okay.



  30. I knew it was going to be an adjustment and that it would likely be painful, but it had never occurred to me that the pain would stop! When it did, at 10-14 days, I was amazed and understood how women nursed long-term. (Hence my nursing for over 2 years.) Another friend said to nurse for at least 6 weeks. Get the support you need, and don't give up before that. You can do anything if you can nurse for 6 weeks!

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  31. Don't feel bad if you need to supplement. My youngest two are slow weight gainers. I supplement and honestly, it helps me mentally. I know they are fed. I continue to pump and freeze when they get feedings from a bottle.


  32. I forgot to inform my husband how the pump worked. He thought he was helping when he cranked it up to high. I almost hit the roof! Communication is always key.


  33. Short goals. Don't assume you'll make it x-long. Make it past week two, then week six, then 3 months, 6 months, etc. Reevaluate the relationship at each goal and decide then if you are going to continue. It's hard work, but shorter goals allowed me to go way longer than I ever assumed I would. Have a glass/bottle of water always by your regular nursing areas, especially in the beginning. Nothing worse than having the nursing thirst hit you when baby is so close to being asleep. You don't dare risk getting up right then!


  34. It takes a lot longer to get the hang of it then one might think. Be patient, keep trying, don't give up after just a couple of times trying. I had another mom tell me that it took her several months before it became easy. It really put things in perspective and reminded me to stay calm.

    If you're in need of nursing covers, pads, clothes and more, check out our nursing section today.

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Posted in: Mom Tips Pregnancy & Delivery Babies

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