Breastfeeding Tips for New Mothers

Skin-to-skin contact can help initiate breastfeeding. It also helps regulate your baby's temperature and heart rate, making them feel safe.

newborn baby
Mother and Child
Breastfeeding Tips - Audio

Embarking on a breastfeeding journey can be rewarding and challenging for new mothers. With numerous health benefits for both mom and baby, it's essential to overcome obstacles that may arise during this crucial newborn phase. We've compiled a few essential breastfeeding tips and additional advice for support.

Breastfeeding Tips

Know Your Baby's Hunger Cues

One common mistake mothers make is waiting for their babies to cry for milk. Learn your baby’s hunger cues to help you anticipate them more efficiently. Waiting until your baby is over-hungry and miserable will lead to unnecessary stress for you and your little one. If you wait too long, your baby might also struggle to latch properly due to engorgement.

Common hunger signals include puckering their lips, sucking their hands or repeatedly opening and closing their mouth, moving their heads from side to side, and rapid eye movement while sleeping. Once you see these signs, offer your breast immediately.

hungry baby, bay wants food
Hungry baby

Feed on Demand

One way to increase your breastmilk supply is to breastfeed often. Feed your baby whenever they’re hungry, and don’t rush the process. Avoid timing your baby when nursing, and wait for them to unlatch on their own. Allow them to nurse as long as they want. Remember that every baby’s nutrition needs and nursing frequency vary, so let your child dictate the duration of your breastfeeding sessions.

Interesting Fact - Oxytocin, often referred to as the "love hormone," is released during breastfeeding. This hormone facilitates milk flow, helps the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size, and strengthens the bond between mother and baby. When a mother breastfeeds, oxytocin levels rise, leading to feelings of relaxation, warmth, and closeness. 

Try Different Positions

Since you’ll be breastfeeding often, you and your little one must be comfortable in your positions. Breastfeeding in an awkward manner can place unnecessary stress on your neck and back, which could progress into something more serious. Your baby, in turn, will become irritable. The side-lying position is one of the most comfortable breastfeeding positions, especially for mothers who delivered their babies through Cesarean section (C-section).

breastfeeding while lying down, breastfeeding positions
Breastfeeding Lying Down

Watch Your Diet

Good nutrition is essential to breastfeeding success. Your body needs more calories, an additional 300 to 400 per day, to produce enough breast milk for your little one, so eating healthily is necessary. Choose protein-rich food, such as dairy, eggs, beans, and lean meat. Increase your fruit and vegetable intake and limit your processed foods. Stay hydrated and avoid sugary drinks, which can significantly affect your child’s cognitive development.

Interesting Fact - Breast milk adapts to a baby's needs, changing in composition over time. Right after birth, it provides the nutrient-rich colostrum, full of antibodies. As the baby grows, milk adjusts in nutrient and calorie content, even varying throughout the day. When a baby is exposed to illnesses, the milk can produce specific antibodies to combat them. Essentially, breast milk is nature's personalized medicine for the baby.

Manage Stress

Stress can influence breast milk supply, so reducing stress must be a priority when breastfeeding. Some stress reduction strategies include taking a warm shower, minimizing distractions, getting adequate sleep, staying active, and connecting with loved ones.

Once you’ve established an efficient breastfeeding routine, consider taking on a new hobby or revisiting your old passions.

Thinking of switching careers and pursuing a higher degree as a family nurse?  Choose from various FNP program online courses.

Ask for help

Breastfeeding can be challenging, so surrounding yourself with the right support system is essential. Consult with a lactation consultant or a related expert before giving birth, as they can provide valuable breastfeeding tips. They can also assist you at the hospital after delivery and check if your baby is latching correctly. If you have loved ones who are also breastfeeding, ask them for help too. Alternatively, opt for a Milkology breastfeeding course and equip yourself with the comprehensive knowledge necessary for a successful breastfeeding experience.

skin to skin contact, kangaroo care
Skin-to-skin contact

A Few More Important Tips

  1. Practice Skin-to-Skin Contact: Skin-to-skin contact promotes bonding and can help initiate breastfeeding sooner. It also helps regulate your baby's temperature and heart rate, making them feel safe and calm.
  2. Utilize Breast Compression: Gently compressing your breast while nursing can help stimulate milk flow, allowing your baby to get more milk during each feeding session.
  3. Take Care of Your Nipples: Keep your nipples clean and dry to prevent soreness or infections. Apply a lanolin-based nipple cream or use breast milk to moisturize and heal cracked nipples.
  4. Stay Informed: Educate yourself about breastfeeding by reading books, attending workshops, or joining support groups. Knowledge is power, and understanding the process can help you overcome challenges and feel more confident.
  5. Be Patient and Persistent: Breastfeeding can take time to establish, and it's normal to experience some difficulties along the way.

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Remember that each journey is unique, so be kind to yourself and trust your instincts as you nurture and cherish this special time with your little one. As you master these tips and embrace the beauty of breastfeeding, you'll be laying the foundation for a lifelong bond and a healthy start for your baby.

If you have concerns, consult your pediatrician or a lactation consultant.

Breastfeeding Class for Moms

Many mothers worry about breastfeeding not working for them, the pain and struggles associated with latching, and concerns about milk supply. The course tackles these fears head-on.

The course offers 13 easy-to-watch lessons, providing a step-by-step guide to breastfeeding.

Sign Up