best breastfeeding tips for newborns

16 of the Best Breastfeeding Tips for Newborns: Master the Art of the Boob

Navigating the world of breastfeeding as a new parent can feel overwhelming and, let’s face it, a bit messy! But fear not, because I’m here to help you master the art of nourishing your little one with ease and confidence.

In this article, I’ll share some of the best breastfeeding tips for newborns that have helped countless parents like you establish a successful breastfeeding routine. So, grab a cup of tea, put your feet up, and let’s embark on this breastfeeding journey together, making breastfeeding a more enjoyable and rewarding experience for both you and your baby.

Short on time? Check out these quick breastfeeding tips for newborns:

  • Initially, your breasts may be quite soft for a few days after your baby is born, then as breast milk changes from highly nutritious colostrum to mature milk, your breasts can become quite full and firm.

  • Make sure you have a comfortable breastfeeding or nursing pillow to support your baby and help you maintain good posture.

  • Try to breastfeed your baby on demand, rather than on a strict schedule. This will help ensure that your baby is getting the right amount of breast milk.

  • If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, consider consulting with a lactation consultant. They can provide valuable guidance and support.

  • Make sure you’re drinking enough water and eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of healthy fats.

  • Try letting your nipples air dry if you are experiencing sore nipples and use a good quality nipple cream to soothe them.

  • Remember that your baby’s weight gain and wet diapers are good indicators that they are getting enough breast milk.

  • Most important: don’t tie yourself up in knots! if you need support just ask for it – there is no shame I promise! Breastfeeding is one of those times when it is totally ok, and expected, to ask for help and guidance – make sure you know who your nearest lactation consultant is for when you need them.

The best breastfeeding tips for newborns

Now read on for more in-depth breastfeeding tips for new breastfeeding mothers.

1. Gather your breastfeeding essentials

best breastfeeding tips for newborns

It may come as a surprise but breastfeeding requires more than just breasts!! Taking a prenatal vitamin is great for providing the nutrients required for excellent breast milk but there are a few other items on the list too.

Be ready for anything :

Read my post: 16 Breastfeeding essentials: Must-have products for your nursing journey

2. Attend a breastfeeding class or read some books

It may seem like attending a breastfeeding class before the baby arrives is like taking driving lessons without a car but actually these classes are really helpful! The educator will be able to answer any initial questions you may have and it is useful to share your concerns before the baby arrives. A great confidence builder and a class can be quite inspirational if you are worried or struggling with self-doubt.

A good supply of books about breastfeeding can be very handy when you need super quick answers.

Read my post here: The 11 Best Books About Breastfeeding To Guide You Through Every Nursing Challenge

3. Get in the right mindset

If you have decided to breastfeed your baby then that’s an important personal decision. You will have heard the ‘it’s really hard’ phrase a hundred times (yep it is in some ways but reaching out to an expert for help, guidance and advice can be a game-changer).

You will have also heard the phrase ‘gave up breastfeeding’. It’s worth, at this stage, getting into a positive mindset. ‘Giving up breastfeeding’ is a negative phrase that often leads to feelings of guilt and shame. Societally we must change this language and instead use phrases like ‘made a different decision’ or explored other feeding options’.

A positive mental attitude is vital before your baby is born so don’t think of breastfeeding as a measure of how good a mother you are.

Read more about this important subject here: We Need To Talk About “Giving Up Breastfeeding” Guilt. 5 Points To Remember

4. Get your baby’s head and mouth positioning right

When your baby latches onto your breast, he/she should have a wide open mouth with lips flanged out.

This helps ensure that they are able to latch onto both the nipple and areola. It’s also important to make sure that your baby’s mouth, nose, head and neck are aligned with their body, as this will help them swallow more easily. Additionally, make sure your baby’s mouth is wide open before latching on to your breast.

5. Experiment with breastfeeding positions

breastfeeding positions

There are a variety of breastfeeding positions that you can try, depending on what feels most comfortable for you and your baby.

Some popular positions include:

  • the cradle position,

  • the football hold,

  • the side-lying breastfeeding position.

It’s important to experiment with different positions until you find one that works best for you and your baby. Make sure that your baby’s stomach is touching yours, so they do not have to turn their head to latch.

It’s essential to find a comfortable position for breastfeeding. Whether you prefer sitting up in a breastfeeding chair or lying down supported by a breastfeeding pillow, make sure your baby’s head is well-supported and their body is facing yours.

You can try different positions until you find the one that works best for you and your baby.

6. Learn hunger cues

Feeding your baby is an important part of their growth and development. During the first few weeks of life, your baby will likely want to feed every 2-3 hours. As they get older, they may be able to go longer between feeds.

It’s important to pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues and feed them on demand.

According to BabyCenter, some signs that your baby is hungry include:

  • Rooting (turning their head toward your breast or a bottle)

  • Sucking on their hands or fingers

  • Making smacking or sucking noises

Crying is a late sign of hunger, and it’s best to feed your baby before they become too fussy.

Keep in mind that every baby is different, and some may want to feed more frequently than others. As long as your baby is gaining weight and seems satisfied after feedings, they’re probably getting enough to eat.

By responding to your baby’s hunger cues promptly, you can establish a healthy feeding routine and promote their growth and development.

7. Understand ‘let down’

In the first few weeks of breastfeeding, it’s common for milk to leak from your breasts before a feeding session. Don’t be alarmed; this is completely natural and is called let down. It is your body preparing for a feed and is designed to stimulate milk production. It can happen when you hear your baby cry, when your baby hasn’t breastfed for several hours, when you think about your baby, or even when you feel a strong emotion.

This leaking will eventually lessen or disappear completely as your baby continues to nurse. (Even just looking at a picture of him/her is enough to stimulate let down for some moms!)

In the meantime, simply place nursing pads in your bra to absorb the leaks.

8. Increase milk supply

Another common challenge of breastfeeding is low milk supply. This can be caused by stress, dehydration, or not breastfeeding often enough. There are a few ways to increase breast milk supply including:

  • Breastfeed frequently. The more you breastfeed, the more milk your body will produce. Make sure to feed your baby on demand, whenever they show signs of hunger.

  • Don’t limit the time you let your baby nurse. It may keep your milk ducts from completely emptying. This can decrease your milk flow and make it harder for your baby to latch it on, plus it can lead to engorgement or mastitis.

  • You can also try pumping after feeds to signal to your body and stimulate it to produce more milk.

  • Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated can help with producing milk. Make sure to drink plenty of water by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day and eating foods high in protein and healthy fats.

  • Some moms choose to add a breastfeeding-approved protein powder to their diet to aid the production of milk.Find my recommendations for the 5 best protein powders here and more about protein powders for breastfeeding moms here.

  • You can also try taking supplements like fenugreek or blessed thistle to increase your milk supply. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

Remember, every mother and baby is different, and it may take some time to establish a good milk supply. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

Learn more about this here: How to Increase Milk Supply Quickly: Tips and Tricks for Breastfeeding Moms

9. Learn how to tell if your baby has had enough milk

It can be difficult to know if your baby is getting enough milk, but there are some signs you can look for. If your baby is gaining weight and has at least six wet diapers and three or more bowel movements a day, they are likely getting enough milk.

If you are concerned about your milk supply, you can try using a breast pump to measure how much milk you are producing. This can help you determine if you need to increase your milk yield.

10. Perfect latch to prevent sore or cracked nipples

One of the most common challenges of breastfeeding is sore nipples. This is very often due to poor latch.

Signs of a poor latch:

  • Your nipples are sore during the whole feeding

  • Nipple fissures or bleeding nipples.

  • Nipples are creased or slanted when the baby comes off the breast

  • When your baby sucks you hear clicking or smacking sounds

  • Your baby is coming off the breast repeatedly after only a few sucks

  • Your baby’s cheeks are dimpling in with each suck

  • Your baby acts hungry all the time after nursing

To prevent sore or cracked nipples, make sure your baby is latching on correctly. You can also try using lanolin cream or another nipple cream to soothe your sore nipples too.

Bonus tip: at the first sign of pain try to correct the latch or ask someone to help you. And slap on plenty of nipple cream! Don’t be afraid to pump to rest your nipples – your baby won’t develop nipple confusion and forget how to latch in a few hours.

11. Seek help straight away for painful breasts

Painful breasts are another common challenge of breastfeeding. This can be caused by engorgement, mastitis, or a blocked milk duct.

To relieve painful breasts, try using a warm compress or taking a warm shower – warmth can help the milk flow. You can also try massaging your breasts regularly or using a breast pump to relieve engorgement or to help clear blocked milk ducts.

Read my post: Successful breastfeeding: a comprehensive guide

12. Keep an eye on your baby’s weight

One of the most important indicators of your baby’s growth is their weight. During the first few days of life, it’s normal for babies to lose a little weight. However, after the first week, they should start gaining weight steadily.

According to Mayo Clinic, most babies will double their birth weight by 5 to 6 months of age.

It’s important to monitor the weight of your baby regularly, but try not to obsess over the numbers.

As long as your baby is gaining weight steadily and meeting their developmental milestones, they’re probably doing just fine.

13. Expect increased milk demand during a growth spurt

During the first year of life, your baby will undergo several growth spurts. These are periods of time when they may seem hungrier than usual and want to feed more frequently.

According to What to Expect, growth spurts typically occur around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months of age. During these times, it’s important to feed your baby on demand and not worry too much about sticking to a strict schedule.

Remember, every baby is unique and will grow and develop at their own pace. By paying attention to your baby’s general weight, feeding sessions, and growth spurts, you can help ensure that they’re getting the nutrition they need to thrive.

14. Plan when to give your baby solid foods

When it comes to introducing solid foods, it’s important to start slowly and pay attention to your baby’s cues. Some babies are ready to start eating solids as early as 4 months, while others may not be ready until 6 months or later.

  • Start with single-ingredient purees, such as mashed bananas or sweet potatoes.

  • Introduce new foods one at a time, waiting a few days in between to watch for any signs of allergies or digestive issues.

  • Offer a variety of foods to expose your baby to different tastes and textures.

  • Don’t force your baby to eat if they’re not interested. It’s okay if they only take a few bites at first.

15. Know when to give cow’s milk

While breast milk will still be an important part of your baby’s diet, you may be wondering when it’s safe to introduce cow’s milk. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s best to wait until your baby is at least 12 months old before offering cow’s milk as a beverage.

Cow’s milk can be introduced with food in small amounts, such as in mashed potatoes or other recipes. However, it should not replace breast milk or formula as the main source of nutrition until your baby is at least 12 months old.

When you do introduce cow’s milk, make sure it’s whole milk, as your baby needs the extra fat for brain development. You can gradually transition to lower-fat milk as your baby gets older.

16. Understand what is and isn’t normal for your body

Over the past few months you will have become much more attune with your body during pregnancy. Continue to be aware of how your body changes postpartum. Note any questions down in a diary or planner and take them along when you see your doctor for your post partum check.

Post: Is spotting while breastfeeding normal? Here’s what you need to know

Breastfeeding benefits

  • Breastfed babies are able to form a special bond with their mother regardless of how long they are fed. Read more about this in my posts: Are Breastfed Babies More Attached to Their Mothers? Exploring the Bond and Should I Continue Breastfeeding After 12 months?
  • Breast milk provides all the necessary nutrients for your newborn and can help the baby’s immune system protect against infections and illnesses.

  • Reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding for at least six months can reduce the risk of SIDS by about 50%. While the exact reason for this is unknown, it may be due to the antibodies and immune factors found in breast milk that help protect against infections and inflammation.

  • Reduced risk of ovarian cancer. Studies have shown that women who breastfeed for at least a year over their lifetime have a lower risk of developing many cancers, including ovarian, compared to those who do not breastfeed. While the exact reason for this is unclear, it may be due to the hormonal changes that occur during breastfeeding.

  • Reduced risk of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, breastfeeding for a total of one year or more can slightly lower the risk of breast cancer. This may be due to the fact that breastfeeding can delay the return of menstrual periods, which can reduce lifetime exposure to estrogen, a hormone that can promote the growth of some types of cancer.

Should you learn how to breastfeed during pregnancy?

Learning about preparing for breastfeeding while pregnant can be beneficial for expectant mothers. While it is not necessary to master breastfeeding before the baby arrives, gaining knowledge and understanding can help ease the process. Educating oneself about breastfeeding techniques and potential challenges can provide a smoother transition after birth.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first few weeks of breastfeeding your newborn! Remember, it’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it. You’re giving your baby the best possible start in life with the perfect combination of nutrients and immune-boosting properties that only breast milk can provide.

Breastfeeding helps create a special bond between you and your baby. Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time to get the hang of it. Breastfeeding success relies on a number of factors.

If breastfeeding isn’t possible or you need to give baby formula to supplement, make sure you choose a high-quality baby or infant formula, that meets your baby’s nutritional needs.

Establishing a good mental health mindset is essential for successful breastfeeding.

Some mothers choose to end their breastfeeding journey early for a number of reasons, others go way past 12 months! It is important to not be judgy – every breastfeeding journey is unique to that mother and child.

You’ve got this, new mom! Keep up the good work and enjoy this special time with your little one.

FAQ’s

Have questions? I have answers.

A breastfeeding session for just one breast of a newborn typically lasts 15-20 minutes per breast, but it can vary depending on the baby.

A 10-minute feed may be enough for some newborns, but it’s best to observe your baby’s hunger cues and ensure they’re getting enough milk.

While breastfeeding, avoid smoking, consuming excessive caffeine or alcohol, and taking certain medications without consulting a doctor.

The 5 steps to successful breastfeeding: (a) initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth, (b) practice proper latch and positioning, (c) feed on demand, (d) exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, and (e) seek support from healthcare professionals or support groups.

<!– /wp:kadence/rowlayout –Nipples are creased or slanted when the baby comes off the breast. Check if you have elastic nipples if this is happening. world of breastfeeding as a new parent can feel overwhelming and, let’s face it, a bit messy! But fear not, because I’m here to help you master the art of nourishing your little one with ease and confidence.

In this article, I’ll share some of the best breastfeeding tips for newborns that have helped countless parents like you establish a successful breastfeeding routine. So, grab a cup of tea, put your feet up, and let’s embark on this breastfeeding journey together, making breastfeeding a more enjoyable and rewarding experience for both you and your baby.

Short on time? Check out these quick breastfeeding tips for newborns:

  • Initially, your breasts may be quite soft for a few days after your baby is born, then as breast milk changes from highly nutritious colostrum to mature milk, your breasts can become quite full and firm.

  • Make sure you have a comfortable breastfeeding or nursing pillow to support your baby and help you maintain good posture.

  • Try to breastfeed your baby on demand, rather than on a strict schedule. This will help ensure that your baby is getting the right amount of breast milk.

  • If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, consider consulting with a lactation consultant. They can provide valuable guidance and support.

  • Make sure you’re drinking enough water and eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of healthy fats.

  • Try letting your nipples air dry if you are experiencing sore nipples and use a good quality nipple cream to soothe them.

  • Remember that your baby’s weight gain and wet diapers are good indicators that they are getting enough breast milk.

  • Most important: don’t tie yourself up in knots! if you need support just ask for it – there is no shame I promise! Breastfeeding is one of those times when it is totally ok, and expected, to ask for help and guidance – make sure you know who your nearest lactation consultant is for when you need them.

The best breastfeeding tips for newborns

Now read on for more in-depth breastfeeding tips for new breastfeeding mothers.

1. Gather your breastfeeding essentials

best breastfeeding tips for newborns

It may come as a surprise but breastfeeding requires more than just breasts!! Taking a prenatal vitamin is great for providing the nutrients required for excellent breast milk but there are a few other items on the list too.

Be ready for anything :

Read my post: 16 Breastfeeding essentials: Must-have products for your nursing journey

2. Attend a breastfeeding class or read some books

It may seem like attending a breastfeeding class before the baby arrives is like taking driving lessons without a car but actually these classes are really helpful! The educator will be able to answer any initial questions you may have and it is useful to share your concerns before the baby arrives. A great confidence builder and a class can be quite inspirational if you are worried or struggling with self-doubt.

A good supply of books about breastfeeding can be very handy when you need super quick answers.

Read my post here: The 11 Best Books About Breastfeeding To Guide You Through Every Nursing Challenge

3. Get in the right mindset

If you have decided to breastfeed your baby then that’s an important personal decision. You will have heard the ‘it’s really hard’ phrase a hundred times (yep it is in some ways but reaching out to an expert for help, guidance and advice can be a game-changer).

You will have also heard the phrase ‘gave up breastfeeding’. It’s worth, at this stage, getting into a positive mindset. ‘Giving up breastfeeding’ is a negative phrase that often leads to feelings of guilt and shame. Societally we must change this language and instead use phrases like ‘made a different decision’ or explored other feeding options’.

A positive mental attitude is vital before your baby is born so don’t think of breastfeeding as a measure of how good a mother you are.

Read more about this important subject here: We Need To Talk About “Giving Up Breastfeeding” Guilt. 5 Points To Remember

4. Get your baby’s head and mouth positioning right

When your baby latches onto your breast, he/she should have a wide open mouth with lips flanged out.

This helps ensure that they are able to latch onto both the nipple and areola. It’s also important to make sure that your baby’s mouth, nose, head and neck are aligned with their body, as this will help them swallow more easily. Additionally, make sure your baby’s mouth is wide open before latching on to your breast.

5. Experiment with breastfeeding positions

breastfeeding positions

There are a variety of breastfeeding positions that you can try, depending on what feels most comfortable for you and your baby.

Some popular positions include:

  • the cradle position,

  • the football hold,

  • the side-lying breastfeeding position.

It’s important to experiment with different positions until you find one that works best for you and your baby. Make sure that your baby’s stomach is touching yours, so they do not have to turn their head to latch.

It’s essential to find a comfortable position for breastfeeding. Whether you prefer sitting up in a breastfeeding chair or lying down supported by a breastfeeding pillow, make sure your baby’s head is well-supported and their body is facing yours.

You can try different positions until you find the one that works best for you and your baby.

6. Learn hunger cues

Feeding your baby is an important part of their growth and development. During the first few weeks of life, your baby will likely want to feed every 2-3 hours. As they get older, they may be able to go longer between feeds.

It’s important to pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues and feed them on demand.

According to BabyCenter, some signs that your baby is hungry include:

  • Rooting (turning their head toward your breast or a bottle)

  • Sucking on their hands or fingers

  • Making smacking or sucking noises

Crying is a late sign of hunger, and it’s best to feed your baby before they become too fussy.

Keep in mind that every baby is different, and some may want to feed more frequently than others. As long as your baby is gaining weight and seems satisfied after feedings, they’re probably getting enough to eat.

By responding to your baby’s hunger cues promptly, you can establish a healthy feeding routine and promote their growth and development.

7. Understand ‘let down’

In the first few weeks of breastfeeding, it’s common for milk to leak from your breasts before a feeding session. Don’t be alarmed; this is completely natural and is called let down. It is your body preparing for a feed and is designed to stimulate milk production. It can happen when you hear your baby cry, when your baby hasn’t breastfed for several hours, when you think about your baby, or even when you feel a strong emotion.

This leaking will eventually lessen or disappear completely as your baby continues to nurse. (Even just looking at a picture of him/her is enough to stimulate let down for some moms!)

In the meantime, simply place nursing pads in your bra to absorb the leaks.

8. Increase milk supply

Another common challenge of breastfeeding is low milk supply. This can be caused by stress, dehydration, or not breastfeeding often enough. There are a few ways to increase breast milk supply including:

  • Breastfeed frequently. The more you breastfeed, the more milk your body will produce. Make sure to feed your baby on demand, whenever they show signs of hunger.

  • Don’t limit the time you let your baby nurse. It may keep your milk ducts from completely emptying. This can decrease your milk flow and make it harder for your baby to latch it on, plus it can lead to engorgement or mastitis.

  • You can also try pumping after feeds to signal to your body and stimulate it to produce more milk.

  • Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated can help with producing milk. Make sure to drink plenty of water by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day and eating foods high in protein and healthy fats.

  • Some moms choose to add a breastfeeding-approved protein powder to their diet to aid the production of milk.Find my recommendations for the 5 best protein powders here and more about protein powders for breastfeeding moms here.

  • You can also try taking supplements like fenugreek or blessed thistle to increase your milk supply. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

Remember, every mother and baby is different, and it may take some time to establish a good milk supply. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

Learn more about this here: How to Increase Milk Supply Quickly: Tips and Tricks for Breastfeeding Moms

9. Learn how to tell if your baby has had enough milk

It can be difficult to know if your baby is getting enough milk, but there are some signs you can look for. If your baby is gaining weight and has at least six wet diapers and three or more bowel movements a day, they are likely getting enough milk.

If you are concerned about your milk supply, you can try using a breast pump to measure how much milk you are producing. This can help you determine if you need to increase your milk yield.

10. Perfect latch to prevent sore or cracked nipples

One of the most common challenges of breastfeeding is sore nipples. This is very often due to poor latch.

Signs of a poor latch:

  • Your nipples are sore during the whole feeding

  • Nipple fissures or bleeding nipples.

  • Nipples are creased or slanted when the baby comes off the breast

  • When your baby sucks you hear clicking or smacking sounds

  • Your baby is coming off the breast repeatedly after only a few sucks

  • Your baby’s cheeks are dimpling in with each suck

  • Your baby acts hungry all the time after nursing

To prevent sore or cracked nipples, make sure your baby is latching on correctly. You can also try using lanolin cream or another nipple cream to soothe your sore nipples too.

Bonus tip: at the first sign of pain try to correct the latch or ask someone to help you. And slap on plenty of nipple cream! Don’t be afraid to pump to rest your nipples – your baby won’t develop nipple confusion and forget how to latch in a few hours.

11. Seek help straight away for painful breasts

Painful breasts are another common challenge of breastfeeding. This can be caused by engorgement, mastitis, or a blocked milk duct.

To relieve painful breasts, try using a warm compress or taking a warm shower – warmth can help the milk flow. You can also try massaging your breasts regularly or using a breast pump to relieve engorgement or to help clear blocked milk ducts.

Read my post: Successful breastfeeding: a comprehensive guide

12. Keep an eye on your baby’s weight

One of the most important indicators of your baby’s growth is their weight. During the first few days of life, it’s normal for babies to lose a little weight. However, after the first week, they should start gaining weight steadily.

According to Mayo Clinic, most babies will double their birth weight by 5 to 6 months of age.

It’s important to monitor the weight of your baby regularly, but try not to obsess over the numbers.

As long as your baby is gaining weight steadily and meeting their developmental milestones, they’re probably doing just fine.

13. Expect increased milk demand during a growth spurt

During the first year of life, your baby will undergo several growth spurts. These are periods of time when they may seem hungrier than usual and want to feed more frequently.

According to What to Expect, growth spurts typically occur around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months of age. During these times, it’s important to feed your baby on demand and not worry too much about sticking to a strict schedule.

Remember, every baby is unique and will grow and develop at their own pace. By paying attention to your baby’s general weight, feeding sessions, and growth spurts, you can help ensure that they’re getting the nutrition they need to thrive.

14. Plan when to give your baby solid foods

When it comes to introducing solid foods, it’s important to start slowly and pay attention to your baby’s cues. Some babies are ready to start eating solids as early as 4 months, while others may not be ready until 6 months or later.

  • Start with single-ingredient purees, such as mashed bananas or sweet potatoes.

  • Introduce new foods one at a time, waiting a few days in between to watch for any signs of allergies or digestive issues.

  • Offer a variety of foods to expose your baby to different tastes and textures.

  • Don’t force your baby to eat if they’re not interested. It’s okay if they only take a few bites at first.

15. Know when to give cow’s milk

While breast milk will still be an important part of your baby’s diet, you may be wondering when it’s safe to introduce cow’s milk. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s best to wait until your baby is at least 12 months old before offering cow’s milk as a beverage.

Cow’s milk can be introduced with food in small amounts, such as in mashed potatoes or other recipes. However, it should not replace breast milk or formula as the main source of nutrition until your baby is at least 12 months old.

When you do introduce cow’s milk, make sure it’s whole milk, as your baby needs the extra fat for brain development. You can gradually transition to lower-fat milk as your baby gets older.

16. Understand what is and isn’t normal for your body

Over the past few months you will have become much more attune with your body during pregnancy. Continue to be aware of how your body changes postpartum. Note any questions down in a diary or planner and take them along when you see your doctor for your post partum check.

Post: Is spotting while breastfeeding normal? Here’s what you need to know

Breastfeeding benefits

  • Breastfed babies are able to form a special bond with their mother regardless of how long they are fed. Read more about this in my posts: Are Breastfed Babies More Attached to Their Mothers? Exploring the Bond and Should I Continue Breastfeeding After 12 months?
  • Breast milk provides all the necessary nutrients for your newborn and can help the baby’s immune system protect against infections and illnesses.

  • Reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding for at least six months can reduce the risk of SIDS by about 50%. While the exact reason for this is unknown, it may be due to the antibodies and immune factors found in breast milk that help protect against infections and inflammation.

  • Reduced risk of ovarian cancer. Studies have shown that women who breastfeed for at least a year over their lifetime have a lower risk of developing many cancers, including ovarian, compared to those who do not breastfeed. While the exact reason for this is unclear, it may be due to the hormonal changes that occur during breastfeeding.

  • Reduced risk of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, breastfeeding for a total of one year or more can slightly lower the risk of breast cancer. This may be due to the fact that breastfeeding can delay the return of menstrual periods, which can reduce lifetime exposure to estrogen, a hormone that can promote the growth of some types of cancer.

Should you learn how to breastfeed during pregnancy?

Learning about preparing for breastfeeding while pregnant can be beneficial for expectant mothers. While it is not necessary to master breastfeeding before the baby arrives, gaining knowledge and understanding can help ease the process. Educating oneself about breastfeeding techniques and potential challenges can provide a smoother transition after birth.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first few weeks of breastfeeding your newborn! Remember, it’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it. You’re giving your baby the best possible start in life with the perfect combination of nutrients and immune-boosting properties that only breast milk can provide.

Breastfeeding helps create a special bond between you and your baby. Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time to get the hang of it. Breastfeeding success relies on a number of factors.

If breastfeeding isn’t possible or you need to give baby formula to supplement, make sure you choose a high-quality baby or infant formula, that meets your baby’s nutritional needs.

Establishing a good mental health mindset is essential for successful breastfeeding.

Some mothers choose to end their breastfeeding journey early for a number of reasons, others go way past 12 months! It is important to not be judgy – every breastfeeding journey is unique to that mother and child.

You’ve got this, new mom! Keep up the good work and enjoy this special time with your little one.

FAQ’s

Have questions? I have answers.

A breastfeeding session for just one breast of a newborn typically lasts 15-20 minutes per breast, but it can vary depending on the baby.

A 10-minute feed may be enough for some newborns, but it’s best to observe your baby’s hunger cues and ensure they’re getting enough milk.

While breastfeeding, avoid smoking, consuming excessive caffeine or alcohol, and taking certain medications without consulting a doctor.

The 5 steps to successful breastfeeding: (a) initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth, (b) practice proper latch and positioning, (c) feed on demand, (d) exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, and (e) seek support from healthcare professionals or support groups.

<!– /wp:kadence/rowlayout –Nipples are creased or slanted when the baby comes off the breast (elastic nipples can do this) world of breastfeeding as a new parent can feel overwhelming and, let’s face it, a bit messy! But fear not, because I’m here to help you master the art of nourishing your little one with ease and confidence.

In this article, I’ll share some of the best breastfeeding tips for newborns that have helped countless parents like you establish a successful breastfeeding routine. So, grab a cup of tea, put your feet up, and let’s embark on this breastfeeding journey together, making breastfeeding a more enjoyable and rewarding experience for both you and your baby.

Short on time? Check out these quick breastfeeding tips for newborns:

  • Initially, your breasts may be quite soft for a few days after your baby is born, then as breast milk changes from highly nutritious colostrum to mature milk, your breasts can become quite full and firm.

  • Make sure you have a comfortable breastfeeding or nursing pillow to support your baby and help you maintain good posture.

  • Try to breastfeed your baby on demand, rather than on a strict schedule. This will help ensure that your baby is getting the right amount of breast milk.

  • If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, consider consulting with a lactation consultant. They can provide valuable guidance and support.

  • Make sure you’re drinking enough water and eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of healthy fats.

  • Try letting your nipples air dry if you are experiencing sore nipples and use a good quality nipple cream to soothe them.

  • Remember that your baby’s weight gain and wet diapers are good indicators that they are getting enough breast milk.

  • Most important: don’t tie yourself up in knots! if you need support just ask for it – there is no shame I promise! Breastfeeding is one of those times when it is totally ok, and expected, to ask for help and guidance – make sure you know who your nearest lactation consultant is for when you need them.

The best breastfeeding tips for newborns

Now read on for more in-depth breastfeeding tips for new breastfeeding mothers.

1. Gather your breastfeeding essentials

best breastfeeding tips for newborns

It may come as a surprise but breastfeeding requires more than just breasts!! Taking a prenatal vitamin is great for providing the nutrients required for excellent breast milk but there are a few other items on the list too.

Be ready for anything :

Read my post: 16 Breastfeeding essentials: Must-have products for your nursing journey

2. Attend a breastfeeding class or read some books

It may seem like attending a breastfeeding class before the baby arrives is like taking driving lessons without a car but actually these classes are really helpful! The educator will be able to answer any initial questions you may have and it is useful to share your concerns before the baby arrives. A great confidence builder and a class can be quite inspirational if you are worried or struggling with self-doubt.

A good supply of books about breastfeeding can be very handy when you need super quick answers.

Read my post here: The 11 Best Books About Breastfeeding To Guide You Through Every Nursing Challenge

3. Get in the right mindset

If you have decided to breastfeed your baby then that’s an important personal decision. You will have heard the ‘it’s really hard’ phrase a hundred times (yep it is in some ways but reaching out to an expert for help, guidance and advice can be a game-changer).

You will have also heard the phrase ‘gave up breastfeeding’. It’s worth, at this stage, getting into a positive mindset. ‘Giving up breastfeeding’ is a negative phrase that often leads to feelings of guilt and shame. Societally we must change this language and instead use phrases like ‘made a different decision’ or explored other feeding options’.

A positive mental attitude is vital before your baby is born so don’t think of breastfeeding as a measure of how good a mother you are.

Read more about this important subject here: We Need To Talk About “Giving Up Breastfeeding” Guilt. 5 Points To Remember

4. Get your baby’s head and mouth positioning right

When your baby latches onto your breast, he/she should have a wide open mouth with lips flanged out.

This helps ensure that they are able to latch onto both the nipple and areola. It’s also important to make sure that your baby’s mouth, nose, head and neck are aligned with their body, as this will help them swallow more easily. Additionally, make sure your baby’s mouth is wide open before latching on to your breast.

5. Experiment with breastfeeding positions

breastfeeding positions

There are a variety of breastfeeding positions that you can try, depending on what feels most comfortable for you and your baby.

Some popular positions include:

  • the cradle position,

  • the football hold,

  • the side-lying breastfeeding position.

It’s important to experiment with different positions until you find one that works best for you and your baby. Make sure that your baby’s stomach is touching yours, so they do not have to turn their head to latch.

It’s essential to find a comfortable position for breastfeeding. Whether you prefer sitting up in a breastfeeding chair or lying down supported by a breastfeeding pillow, make sure your baby’s head is well-supported and their body is facing yours.

You can try different positions until you find the one that works best for you and your baby.

6. Learn hunger cues

Feeding your baby is an important part of their growth and development. During the first few weeks of life, your baby will likely want to feed every 2-3 hours. As they get older, they may be able to go longer between feeds.

It’s important to pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues and feed them on demand.

According to BabyCenter, some signs that your baby is hungry include:

  • Rooting (turning their head toward your breast or a bottle)

  • Sucking on their hands or fingers

  • Making smacking or sucking noises

Crying is a late sign of hunger, and it’s best to feed your baby before they become too fussy.

Keep in mind that every baby is different, and some may want to feed more frequently than others. As long as your baby is gaining weight and seems satisfied after feedings, they’re probably getting enough to eat.

By responding to your baby’s hunger cues promptly, you can establish a healthy feeding routine and promote their growth and development.

7. Understand ‘let down’

In the first few weeks of breastfeeding, it’s common for milk to leak from your breasts before a feeding session. Don’t be alarmed; this is completely natural and is called let down. It is your body preparing for a feed and is designed to stimulate milk production. It can happen when you hear your baby cry, when your baby hasn’t breastfed for several hours, when you think about your baby, or even when you feel a strong emotion.

This leaking will eventually lessen or disappear completely as your baby continues to nurse. (Even just looking at a picture of him/her is enough to stimulate let down for some moms!)

In the meantime, simply place nursing pads in your bra to absorb the leaks.

8. Increase milk supply

Another common challenge of breastfeeding is low milk supply. This can be caused by stress, dehydration, or not breastfeeding often enough. There are a few ways to increase breast milk supply including:

  • Breastfeed frequently. The more you breastfeed, the more milk your body will produce. Make sure to feed your baby on demand, whenever they show signs of hunger.

  • Don’t limit the time you let your baby nurse. It may keep your milk ducts from completely emptying. This can decrease your milk flow and make it harder for your baby to latch it on, plus it can lead to engorgement or mastitis.

  • You can also try pumping after feeds to signal to your body and stimulate it to produce more milk.

  • Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated can help with producing milk. Make sure to drink plenty of water by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day and eating foods high in protein and healthy fats.

  • Some moms choose to add a breastfeeding-approved protein powder to their diet to aid the production of milk.Find my recommendations for the 5 best protein powders here and more about protein powders for breastfeeding moms here.

  • You can also try taking supplements like fenugreek or blessed thistle to increase your milk supply. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

Remember, every mother and baby is different, and it may take some time to establish a good milk supply. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

Learn more about this here: How to Increase Milk Supply Quickly: Tips and Tricks for Breastfeeding Moms

9. Learn how to tell if your baby has had enough milk

It can be difficult to know if your baby is getting enough milk, but there are some signs you can look for. If your baby is gaining weight and has at least six wet diapers and three or more bowel movements a day, they are likely getting enough milk.

If you are concerned about your milk supply, you can try using a breast pump to measure how much milk you are producing. This can help you determine if you need to increase your milk yield.

10. Perfect latch to prevent sore or cracked nipples

One of the most common challenges of breastfeeding is sore nipples. This is very often due to poor latch.

Signs of a poor latch:

  • Your nipples are sore during the whole feeding

  • Nipple fissures or bleeding nipples.

  • Nipples are creased or slanted when the baby comes off the breast

  • When your baby sucks you hear clicking or smacking sounds

  • Your baby is coming off the breast repeatedly after only a few sucks

  • Your baby’s cheeks are dimpling in with each suck

  • Your baby acts hungry all the time after nursing

To prevent sore or cracked nipples, make sure your baby is latching on correctly. You can also try using lanolin cream or another nipple cream to soothe your sore nipples too.

Bonus tip: at the first sign of pain try to correct the latch or ask someone to help you. And slap on plenty of nipple cream! Don’t be afraid to pump to rest your nipples – your baby won’t develop nipple confusion and forget how to latch in a few hours.

11. Seek help straight away for painful breasts

Painful breasts are another common challenge of breastfeeding. This can be caused by engorgement, mastitis, or a blocked milk duct.

To relieve painful breasts, try using a warm compress or taking a warm shower – warmth can help the milk flow. You can also try massaging your breasts regularly or using a breast pump to relieve engorgement or to help clear blocked milk ducts.

Read my post: Successful breastfeeding: a comprehensive guide

12. Keep an eye on your baby’s weight

One of the most important indicators of your baby’s growth is their weight. During the first few days of life, it’s normal for babies to lose a little weight. However, after the first week, they should start gaining weight steadily.

According to Mayo Clinic, most babies will double their birth weight by 5 to 6 months of age.

It’s important to monitor the weight of your baby regularly, but try not to obsess over the numbers.

As long as your baby is gaining weight steadily and meeting their developmental milestones, they’re probably doing just fine.

13. Expect increased milk demand during a growth spurt

During the first year of life, your baby will undergo several growth spurts. These are periods of time when they may seem hungrier than usual and want to feed more frequently.

According to What to Expect, growth spurts typically occur around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months of age. During these times, it’s important to feed your baby on demand and not worry too much about sticking to a strict schedule.

Remember, every baby is unique and will grow and develop at their own pace. By paying attention to your baby’s general weight, feeding sessions, and growth spurts, you can help ensure that they’re getting the nutrition they need to thrive.

14. Plan when to give your baby solid foods

When it comes to introducing solid foods, it’s important to start slowly and pay attention to your baby’s cues. Some babies are ready to start eating solids as early as 4 months, while others may not be ready until 6 months or later.

  • Start with single-ingredient purees, such as mashed bananas or sweet potatoes.

  • Introduce new foods one at a time, waiting a few days in between to watch for any signs of allergies or digestive issues.

  • Offer a variety of foods to expose your baby to different tastes and textures.

  • Don’t force your baby to eat if they’re not interested. It’s okay if they only take a few bites at first.

15. Know when to give cow’s milk

While breast milk will still be an important part of your baby’s diet, you may be wondering when it’s safe to introduce cow’s milk. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s best to wait until your baby is at least 12 months old before offering cow’s milk as a beverage.

Cow’s milk can be introduced with food in small amounts, such as in mashed potatoes or other recipes. However, it should not replace breast milk or formula as the main source of nutrition until your baby is at least 12 months old.

When you do introduce cow’s milk, make sure it’s whole milk, as your baby needs the extra fat for brain development. You can gradually transition to lower-fat milk as your baby gets older.

16. Understand what is and isn’t normal for your body

Over the past few months you will have become much more attune with your body during pregnancy. Continue to be aware of how your body changes postpartum. Note any questions down in a diary or planner and take them along when you see your doctor for your post partum check.

Post: Is spotting while breastfeeding normal? Here’s what you need to know

Breastfeeding benefits

  • Breastfed babies are able to form a special bond with their mother regardless of how long they are fed. Read more about this in my posts: Are Breastfed Babies More Attached to Their Mothers? Exploring the Bond and Should I Continue Breastfeeding After 12 months?
  • Breast milk provides all the necessary nutrients for your newborn and can help the baby’s immune system protect against infections and illnesses.

  • Reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding for at least six months can reduce the risk of SIDS by about 50%. While the exact reason for this is unknown, it may be due to the antibodies and immune factors found in breast milk that help protect against infections and inflammation.

  • Reduced risk of ovarian cancer. Studies have shown that women who breastfeed for at least a year over their lifetime have a lower risk of developing many cancers, including ovarian, compared to those who do not breastfeed. While the exact reason for this is unclear, it may be due to the hormonal changes that occur during breastfeeding.

  • Reduced risk of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, breastfeeding for a total of one year or more can slightly lower the risk of breast cancer. This may be due to the fact that breastfeeding can delay the return of menstrual periods, which can reduce lifetime exposure to estrogen, a hormone that can promote the growth of some types of cancer.

Should you learn how to breastfeed during pregnancy?

Learning about preparing for breastfeeding while pregnant can be beneficial for expectant mothers. While it is not necessary to master breastfeeding before the baby arrives, gaining knowledge and understanding can help ease the process. Educating oneself about breastfeeding techniques and potential challenges can provide a smoother transition after birth.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first few weeks of breastfeeding your newborn! Remember, it’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it. You’re giving your baby the best possible start in life with the perfect combination of nutrients and immune-boosting properties that only breast milk can provide.

Breastfeeding helps create a special bond between you and your baby. Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time to get the hang of it. Breastfeeding success relies on a number of factors.

If breastfeeding isn’t possible or you need to give baby formula to supplement, make sure you choose a high-quality baby or infant formula, that meets your baby’s nutritional needs.

Establishing a good mental health mindset is essential for successful breastfeeding.

Some mothers choose to end their breastfeeding journey early for a number of reasons, others go way past 12 months! It is important to not be judgy – every breastfeeding journey is unique to that mother and child.

You’ve got this, new mom! Keep up the good work and enjoy this special time with your little one.

FAQ’s

Have questions? I have answers.

A breastfeeding session for just one breast of a newborn typically lasts 15-20 minutes per breast, but it can vary depending on the baby.

A 10-minute feed may be enough for some newborns, but it’s best to observe your baby’s hunger cues and ensure they’re getting enough milk.

While breastfeeding, avoid smoking, consuming excessive caffeine or alcohol, and taking certain medications without consulting a doctor.

The 5 steps to successful breastfeeding: (a) initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth, (b) practice proper latch and positioning, (c) feed on demand, (d) exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, and (e) seek support from healthcare professionals or support groups.

<!– /wp:kadence/rowlayout –Nipples are creased or slanted when the baby comes off the breast. Check if you have elastic nipples if this is happening. world of breastfeeding as a new parent can feel overwhelming and, let’s face it, a bit messy! But fear not, because I’m here to help you master the art of nourishing your little one with ease and confidence.

In this article, I’ll share some of the best breastfeeding tips for newborns that have helped countless parents like you establish a successful breastfeeding routine. So, grab a cup of tea, put your feet up, and let’s embark on this breastfeeding journey together, making breastfeeding a more enjoyable and rewarding experience for both you and your baby.

Short on time? Check out these quick breastfeeding tips for newborns:

  • Initially, your breasts may be quite soft for a few days after your baby is born, then as breast milk changes from highly nutritious colostrum to mature milk, your breasts can become quite full and firm.

  • Make sure you have a comfortable breastfeeding or nursing pillow to support your baby and help you maintain good posture.

  • Try to breastfeed your baby on demand, rather than on a strict schedule. This will help ensure that your baby is getting the right amount of breast milk.

  • If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, consider consulting with a lactation consultant. They can provide valuable guidance and support.

  • Make sure you’re drinking enough water and eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of healthy fats.

  • Try letting your nipples air dry if you are experiencing sore nipples and use a good quality nipple cream to soothe them.

  • Remember that your baby’s weight gain and wet diapers are good indicators that they are getting enough breast milk.

  • Most important: don’t tie yourself up in knots! if you need support just ask for it – there is no shame I promise! Breastfeeding is one of those times when it is totally ok, and expected, to ask for help and guidance – make sure you know who your nearest lactation consultant is for when you need them.

The best breastfeeding tips for newborns

Now read on for more in-depth breastfeeding tips for new breastfeeding mothers.

1. Gather your breastfeeding essentials

best breastfeeding tips for newborns

It may come as a surprise but breastfeeding requires more than just breasts!! Taking a prenatal vitamin is great for providing the nutrients required for excellent breast milk but there are a few other items on the list too.

Be ready for anything :

Read my post: 16 Breastfeeding essentials: Must-have products for your nursing journey

2. Attend a breastfeeding class or read some books

It may seem like attending a breastfeeding class before the baby arrives is like taking driving lessons without a car but actually these classes are really helpful! The educator will be able to answer any initial questions you may have and it is useful to share your concerns before the baby arrives. A great confidence builder and a class can be quite inspirational if you are worried or struggling with self-doubt.

A good supply of books about breastfeeding can be very handy when you need super quick answers.

Read my post here: The 11 Best Books About Breastfeeding To Guide You Through Every Nursing Challenge

3. Get in the right mindset

If you have decided to breastfeed your baby then that’s an important personal decision. You will have heard the ‘it’s really hard’ phrase a hundred times (yep it is in some ways but reaching out to an expert for help, guidance and advice can be a game-changer).

You will have also heard the phrase ‘gave up breastfeeding’. It’s worth, at this stage, getting into a positive mindset. ‘Giving up breastfeeding’ is a negative phrase that often leads to feelings of guilt and shame. Societally we must change this language and instead use phrases like ‘made a different decision’ or explored other feeding options’.

A positive mental attitude is vital before your baby is born so don’t think of breastfeeding as a measure of how good a mother you are.

Read more about this important subject here: We Need To Talk About “Giving Up Breastfeeding” Guilt. 5 Points To Remember

4. Get your baby’s head and mouth positioning right

When your baby latches onto your breast, he/she should have a wide open mouth with lips flanged out.

This helps ensure that they are able to latch onto both the nipple and areola. It’s also important to make sure that your baby’s mouth, nose, head and neck are aligned with their body, as this will help them swallow more easily. Additionally, make sure your baby’s mouth is wide open before latching on to your breast.

5. Experiment with breastfeeding positions

breastfeeding positions

There are a variety of breastfeeding positions that you can try, depending on what feels most comfortable for you and your baby.

Some popular positions include:

  • the cradle position,

  • the football hold,

  • the side-lying breastfeeding position.

It’s important to experiment with different positions until you find one that works best for you and your baby. Make sure that your baby’s stomach is touching yours, so they do not have to turn their head to latch.

It’s essential to find a comfortable position for breastfeeding. Whether you prefer sitting up in a breastfeeding chair or lying down supported by a breastfeeding pillow, make sure your baby’s head is well-supported and their body is facing yours.

You can try different positions until you find the one that works best for you and your baby.

6. Learn hunger cues

Feeding your baby is an important part of their growth and development. During the first few weeks of life, your baby will likely want to feed every 2-3 hours. As they get older, they may be able to go longer between feeds.

It’s important to pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues and feed them on demand.

According to BabyCenter, some signs that your baby is hungry include:

  • Rooting (turning their head toward your breast or a bottle)

  • Sucking on their hands or fingers

  • Making smacking or sucking noises

Crying is a late sign of hunger, and it’s best to feed your baby before they become too fussy.

Keep in mind that every baby is different, and some may want to feed more frequently than others. As long as your baby is gaining weight and seems satisfied after feedings, they’re probably getting enough to eat.

By responding to your baby’s hunger cues promptly, you can establish a healthy feeding routine and promote their growth and development.

7. Understand ‘let down’

In the first few weeks of breastfeeding, it’s common for milk to leak from your breasts before a feeding session. Don’t be alarmed; this is completely natural and is called let down. It is your body preparing for a feed and is designed to stimulate milk production. It can happen when you hear your baby cry, when your baby hasn’t breastfed for several hours, when you think about your baby, or even when you feel a strong emotion.

This leaking will eventually lessen or disappear completely as your baby continues to nurse. (Even just looking at a picture of him/her is enough to stimulate let down for some moms!)

In the meantime, simply place nursing pads in your bra to absorb the leaks.

8. Increase milk supply

Another common challenge of breastfeeding is low milk supply. This can be caused by stress, dehydration, or not breastfeeding often enough. There are a few ways to increase breast milk supply including:

  • Breastfeed frequently. The more you breastfeed, the more milk your body will produce. Make sure to feed your baby on demand, whenever they show signs of hunger.

  • Don’t limit the time you let your baby nurse. It may keep your milk ducts from completely emptying. This can decrease your milk flow and make it harder for your baby to latch it on, plus it can lead to engorgement or mastitis.

  • You can also try pumping after feeds to signal to your body and stimulate it to produce more milk.

  • Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated can help with producing milk. Make sure to drink plenty of water by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day and eating foods high in protein and healthy fats.

  • Some moms choose to add a breastfeeding-approved protein powder to their diet to aid the production of milk.Find my recommendations for the 5 best protein powders here and more about protein powders for breastfeeding moms here.

  • You can also try taking supplements like fenugreek or blessed thistle to increase your milk supply. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

Remember, every mother and baby is different, and it may take some time to establish a good milk supply. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

Learn more about this here: How to Increase Milk Supply Quickly: Tips and Tricks for Breastfeeding Moms

9. Learn how to tell if your baby has had enough milk

It can be difficult to know if your baby is getting enough milk, but there are some signs you can look for. If your baby is gaining weight and has at least six wet diapers and three or more bowel movements a day, they are likely getting enough milk.

If you are concerned about your milk supply, you can try using a breast pump to measure how much milk you are producing. This can help you determine if you need to increase your milk yield.

10. Perfect latch to prevent sore or cracked nipples

One of the most common challenges of breastfeeding is sore nipples. This is very often due to poor latch.

Signs of a poor latch:

  • Your nipples are sore during the whole feeding

  • Nipple fissures or bleeding nipples.

  • Nipples are creased or slanted when the baby comes off the breast

  • When your baby sucks you hear clicking or smacking sounds

  • Your baby is coming off the breast repeatedly after only a few sucks

  • Your baby’s cheeks are dimpling in with each suck

  • Your baby acts hungry all the time after nursing

To prevent sore or cracked nipples, make sure your baby is latching on correctly. You can also try using lanolin cream or another nipple cream to soothe your sore nipples too.

Bonus tip: at the first sign of pain try to correct the latch or ask someone to help you. And slap on plenty of nipple cream! Don’t be afraid to pump to rest your nipples – your baby won’t develop nipple confusion and forget how to latch in a few hours.

11. Seek help straight away for painful breasts

Painful breasts are another common challenge of breastfeeding. This can be caused by engorgement, mastitis, or a blocked milk duct.

To relieve painful breasts, try using a warm compress or taking a warm shower – warmth can help the milk flow. You can also try massaging your breasts regularly or using a breast pump to relieve engorgement or to help clear blocked milk ducts.

Read my post: Successful breastfeeding: a comprehensive guide

12. Keep an eye on your baby’s weight

One of the most important indicators of your baby’s growth is their weight. During the first few days of life, it’s normal for babies to lose a little weight. However, after the first week, they should start gaining weight steadily.

According to Mayo Clinic, most babies will double their birth weight by 5 to 6 months of age.

It’s important to monitor the weight of your baby regularly, but try not to obsess over the numbers.

As long as your baby is gaining weight steadily and meeting their developmental milestones, they’re probably doing just fine.

13. Expect increased milk demand during a growth spurt

During the first year of life, your baby will undergo several growth spurts. These are periods of time when they may seem hungrier than usual and want to feed more frequently.

According to What to Expect, growth spurts typically occur around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months of age. During these times, it’s important to feed your baby on demand and not worry too much about sticking to a strict schedule.

Remember, every baby is unique and will grow and develop at their own pace. By paying attention to your baby’s general weight, feeding sessions, and growth spurts, you can help ensure that they’re getting the nutrition they need to thrive.

14. Plan when to give your baby solid foods

When it comes to introducing solid foods, it’s important to start slowly and pay attention to your baby’s cues. Some babies are ready to start eating solids as early as 4 months, while others may not be ready until 6 months or later.

  • Start with single-ingredient purees, such as mashed bananas or sweet potatoes.

  • Introduce new foods one at a time, waiting a few days in between to watch for any signs of allergies or digestive issues.

  • Offer a variety of foods to expose your baby to different tastes and textures.

  • Don’t force your baby to eat if they’re not interested. It’s okay if they only take a few bites at first.

15. Know when to give cow’s milk

While breast milk will still be an important part of your baby’s diet, you may be wondering when it’s safe to introduce cow’s milk. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s best to wait until your baby is at least 12 months old before offering cow’s milk as a beverage.

Cow’s milk can be introduced with food in small amounts, such as in mashed potatoes or other recipes. However, it should not replace breast milk or formula as the main source of nutrition until your baby is at least 12 months old.

When you do introduce cow’s milk, make sure it’s whole milk, as your baby needs the extra fat for brain development. You can gradually transition to lower-fat milk as your baby gets older.

16. Understand what is and isn’t normal for your body

Over the past few months you will have become much more attune with your body during pregnancy. Continue to be aware of how your body changes postpartum. Note any questions down in a diary or planner and take them along when you see your doctor for your post partum check.

Post: Is spotting while breastfeeding normal? Here’s what you need to know

Breastfeeding benefits

  • Breastfed babies are able to form a special bond with their mother regardless of how long they are fed. Read more about this in my posts: Are Breastfed Babies More Attached to Their Mothers? Exploring the Bond and Should I Continue Breastfeeding After 12 months?
  • Breast milk provides all the necessary nutrients for your newborn and can help the baby’s immune system protect against infections and illnesses.

  • Reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding for at least six months can reduce the risk of SIDS by about 50%. While the exact reason for this is unknown, it may be due to the antibodies and immune factors found in breast milk that help protect against infections and inflammation.

  • Reduced risk of ovarian cancer. Studies have shown that women who breastfeed for at least a year over their lifetime have a lower risk of developing many cancers, including ovarian, compared to those who do not breastfeed. While the exact reason for this is unclear, it may be due to the hormonal changes that occur during breastfeeding.

  • Reduced risk of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, breastfeeding for a total of one year or more can slightly lower the risk of breast cancer. This may be due to the fact that breastfeeding can delay the return of menstrual periods, which can reduce lifetime exposure to estrogen, a hormone that can promote the growth of some types of cancer.

Should you learn how to breastfeed during pregnancy?

Learning about preparing for breastfeeding while pregnant can be beneficial for expectant mothers. While it is not necessary to master breastfeeding before the baby arrives, gaining knowledge and understanding can help ease the process. Educating oneself about breastfeeding techniques and potential challenges can provide a smoother transition after birth.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first few weeks of breastfeeding your newborn! Remember, it’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it. You’re giving your baby the best possible start in life with the perfect combination of nutrients and immune-boosting properties that only breast milk can provide.

Breastfeeding helps create a special bond between you and your baby. Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time to get the hang of it. Breastfeeding success relies on a number of factors.

If breastfeeding isn’t possible or you need to give baby formula to supplement, make sure you choose a high-quality baby or infant formula, that meets your baby’s nutritional needs.

Establishing a good mental health mindset is essential for successful breastfeeding.

Some mothers choose to end their breastfeeding journey early for a number of reasons, others go way past 12 months! It is important to not be judgy – every breastfeeding journey is unique to that mother and child.

You’ve got this, new mom! Keep up the good work and enjoy this special time with your little one.

FAQ’s

Have questions? I have answers.

A breastfeeding session for just one breast of a newborn typically lasts 15-20 minutes per breast, but it can vary depending on the baby.

A 10-minute feed may be enough for some newborns, but it’s best to observe your baby’s hunger cues and ensure they’re getting enough milk.

While breastfeeding, avoid smoking, consuming excessive caffeine or alcohol, and taking certain medications without consulting a doctor.

The 5 steps to successful breastfeeding: (a) initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth, (b) practice proper latch and positioning, (c) feed on demand, (d) exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, and (e) seek support from healthcare professionals or support groups.

<!– /wp:kadence/rowlayout –Nipples are creased or slanted when the baby comes off the breast (this is especially true of elastic nipples) world of breastfeeding as a new parent can feel overwhelming and, let’s face it, a bit messy! But fear not, because I’m here to help you master the art of nourishing your little one with ease and confidence.

In this article, I’ll share some of the best breastfeeding tips for newborns that have helped countless parents like you establish a successful breastfeeding routine. So, grab a cup of tea, put your feet up, and let’s embark on this breastfeeding journey together, making breastfeeding a more enjoyable and rewarding experience for both you and your baby.

Short on time? Check out these quick breastfeeding tips for newborns:

  • Initially, your breasts may be quite soft for a few days after your baby is born, then as breast milk changes from highly nutritious colostrum to mature milk, your breasts can become quite full and firm.

  • Make sure you have a comfortable breastfeeding or nursing pillow to support your baby and help you maintain good posture.

  • Try to breastfeed your baby on demand, rather than on a strict schedule. This will help ensure that your baby is getting the right amount of breast milk.

  • If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, consider consulting with a lactation consultant. They can provide valuable guidance and support.

  • Make sure you’re drinking enough water and eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of healthy fats.

  • Try letting your nipples air dry if you are experiencing sore nipples and use a good quality nipple cream to soothe them.

  • Remember that your baby’s weight gain and wet diapers are good indicators that they are getting enough breast milk.

  • Most important: don’t tie yourself up in knots! if you need support just ask for it – there is no shame I promise! Breastfeeding is one of those times when it is totally ok, and expected, to ask for help and guidance – make sure you know who your nearest lactation consultant is for when you need them.

The best breastfeeding tips for newborns

Now read on for more in-depth breastfeeding tips for new breastfeeding mothers.

1. Gather your breastfeeding essentials

best breastfeeding tips for newborns

It may come as a surprise but breastfeeding requires more than just breasts!! Taking a prenatal vitamin is great for providing the nutrients required for excellent breast milk but there are a few other items on the list too.

Be ready for anything :

Read my post: 16 Breastfeeding essentials: Must-have products for your nursing journey

2. Attend a breastfeeding class or read some books

It may seem like attending a breastfeeding class before the baby arrives is like taking driving lessons without a car but actually these classes are really helpful! The educator will be able to answer any initial questions you may have and it is useful to share your concerns before the baby arrives. A great confidence builder and a class can be quite inspirational if you are worried or struggling with self-doubt.

A good supply of books about breastfeeding can be very handy when you need super quick answers.

Read my post here: The 11 Best Books About Breastfeeding To Guide You Through Every Nursing Challenge

3. Get in the right mindset

If you have decided to breastfeed your baby then that’s an important personal decision. You will have heard the ‘it’s really hard’ phrase a hundred times (yep it is in some ways but reaching out to an expert for help, guidance and advice can be a game-changer).

You will have also heard the phrase ‘gave up breastfeeding’. It’s worth, at this stage, getting into a positive mindset. ‘Giving up breastfeeding’ is a negative phrase that often leads to feelings of guilt and shame. Societally we must change this language and instead use phrases like ‘made a different decision’ or explored other feeding options’.

A positive mental attitude is vital before your baby is born so don’t think of breastfeeding as a measure of how good a mother you are.

Read more about this important subject here: We Need To Talk About “Giving Up Breastfeeding” Guilt. 5 Points To Remember

4. Get your baby’s head and mouth positioning right

When your baby latches onto your breast, he/she should have a wide open mouth with lips flanged out.

This helps ensure that they are able to latch onto both the nipple and areola. It’s also important to make sure that your baby’s mouth, nose, head and neck are aligned with their body, as this will help them swallow more easily. Additionally, make sure your baby’s mouth is wide open before latching on to your breast.

5. Experiment with breastfeeding positions

breastfeeding positions

There are a variety of breastfeeding positions that you can try, depending on what feels most comfortable for you and your baby.

Some popular positions include:

  • the cradle position,

  • the football hold,

  • the side-lying breastfeeding position.

It’s important to experiment with different positions until you find one that works best for you and your baby. Make sure that your baby’s stomach is touching yours, so they do not have to turn their head to latch.

It’s essential to find a comfortable position for breastfeeding. Whether you prefer sitting up in a breastfeeding chair or lying down supported by a breastfeeding pillow, make sure your baby’s head is well-supported and their body is facing yours.

You can try different positions until you find the one that works best for you and your baby.

6. Learn hunger cues

Feeding your baby is an important part of their growth and development. During the first few weeks of life, your baby will likely want to feed every 2-3 hours. As they get older, they may be able to go longer between feeds.

It’s important to pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues and feed them on demand.

According to BabyCenter, some signs that your baby is hungry include:

  • Rooting (turning their head toward your breast or a bottle)

  • Sucking on their hands or fingers

  • Making smacking or sucking noises

Crying is a late sign of hunger, and it’s best to feed your baby before they become too fussy.

Keep in mind that every baby is different, and some may want to feed more frequently than others. As long as your baby is gaining weight and seems satisfied after feedings, they’re probably getting enough to eat.

By responding to your baby’s hunger cues promptly, you can establish a healthy feeding routine and promote their growth and development.

7. Understand ‘let down’

In the first few weeks of breastfeeding, it’s common for milk to leak from your breasts before a feeding session. Don’t be alarmed; this is completely natural and is called let down. It is your body preparing for a feed and is designed to stimulate milk production. It can happen when you hear your baby cry, when your baby hasn’t breastfed for several hours, when you think about your baby, or even when you feel a strong emotion.

This leaking will eventually lessen or disappear completely as your baby continues to nurse. (Even just looking at a picture of him/her is enough to stimulate let down for some moms!)

In the meantime, simply place nursing pads in your bra to absorb the leaks.

8. Increase milk supply

Another common challenge of breastfeeding is low milk supply. This can be caused by stress, dehydration, or not breastfeeding often enough. There are a few ways to increase breast milk supply including:

  • Breastfeed frequently. The more you breastfeed, the more milk your body will produce. Make sure to feed your baby on demand, whenever they show signs of hunger.

  • Don’t limit the time you let your baby nurse. It may keep your milk ducts from completely emptying. This can decrease your milk flow and make it harder for your baby to latch it on, plus it can lead to engorgement or mastitis.

  • You can also try pumping after feeds to signal to your body and stimulate it to produce more milk.

  • Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated can help with producing milk. Make sure to drink plenty of water by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day and eating foods high in protein and healthy fats.

  • Some moms choose to add a breastfeeding-approved protein powder to their diet to aid the production of milk.Find my recommendations for the 5 best protein powders here and more about protein powders for breastfeeding moms here.

  • You can also try taking supplements like fenugreek or blessed thistle to increase your milk supply. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

Remember, every mother and baby is different, and it may take some time to establish a good milk supply. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

Learn more about this here: How to Increase Milk Supply Quickly: Tips and Tricks for Breastfeeding Moms

9. Learn how to tell if your baby has had enough milk

It can be difficult to know if your baby is getting enough milk, but there are some signs you can look for. If your baby is gaining weight and has at least six wet diapers and three or more bowel movements a day, they are likely getting enough milk.

If you are concerned about your milk supply, you can try using a breast pump to measure how much milk you are producing. This can help you determine if you need to increase your milk yield.

10. Perfect latch to prevent sore or cracked nipples

One of the most common challenges of breastfeeding is sore nipples. This is very often due to poor latch.

Signs of a poor latch:

  • Your nipples are sore during the whole feeding

  • Nipple fissures or bleeding nipples.

  • Nipples are creased or slanted when the baby comes off the breast

  • When your baby sucks you hear clicking or smacking sounds

  • Your baby is coming off the breast repeatedly after only a few sucks

  • Your baby’s cheeks are dimpling in with each suck

  • Your baby acts hungry all the time after nursing

To prevent sore or cracked nipples, make sure your baby is latching on correctly. You can also try using lanolin cream or another nipple cream to soothe your sore nipples too.

Bonus tip: at the first sign of pain try to correct the latch or ask someone to help you. And slap on plenty of nipple cream! Don’t be afraid to pump to rest your nipples – your baby won’t develop nipple confusion and forget how to latch in a few hours.

11. Seek help straight away for painful breasts

Painful breasts are another common challenge of breastfeeding. This can be caused by engorgement, mastitis, or a blocked milk duct.

To relieve painful breasts, try using a warm compress or taking a warm shower – warmth can help the milk flow. You can also try massaging your breasts regularly or using a breast pump to relieve engorgement or to help clear blocked milk ducts.

Read my post: Successful breastfeeding: a comprehensive guide

12. Keep an eye on your baby’s weight

One of the most important indicators of your baby’s growth is their weight. During the first few days of life, it’s normal for babies to lose a little weight. However, after the first week, they should start gaining weight steadily.

According to Mayo Clinic, most babies will double their birth weight by 5 to 6 months of age.

It’s important to monitor the weight of your baby regularly, but try not to obsess over the numbers.

As long as your baby is gaining weight steadily and meeting their developmental milestones, they’re probably doing just fine.

13. Expect increased milk demand during a growth spurt

During the first year of life, your baby will undergo several growth spurts. These are periods of time when they may seem hungrier than usual and want to feed more frequently.

According to What to Expect, growth spurts typically occur around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months of age. During these times, it’s important to feed your baby on demand and not worry too much about sticking to a strict schedule.

Remember, every baby is unique and will grow and develop at their own pace. By paying attention to your baby’s general weight, feeding sessions, and growth spurts, you can help ensure that they’re getting the nutrition they need to thrive.

14. Plan when to give your baby solid foods

When it comes to introducing solid foods, it’s important to start slowly and pay attention to your baby’s cues. Some babies are ready to start eating solids as early as 4 months, while others may not be ready until 6 months or later.

  • Start with single-ingredient purees, such as mashed bananas or sweet potatoes.

  • Introduce new foods one at a time, waiting a few days in between to watch for any signs of allergies or digestive issues.

  • Offer a variety of foods to expose your baby to different tastes and textures.

  • Don’t force your baby to eat if they’re not interested. It’s okay if they only take a few bites at first.

15. Know when to give cow’s milk

While breast milk will still be an important part of your baby’s diet, you may be wondering when it’s safe to introduce cow’s milk. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s best to wait until your baby is at least 12 months old before offering cow’s milk as a beverage.

Cow’s milk can be introduced with food in small amounts, such as in mashed potatoes or other recipes. However, it should not replace breast milk or formula as the main source of nutrition until your baby is at least 12 months old.

When you do introduce cow’s milk, make sure it’s whole milk, as your baby needs the extra fat for brain development. You can gradually transition to lower-fat milk as your baby gets older.

16. Understand what is and isn’t normal for your body

Over the past few months you will have become much more attune with your body during pregnancy. Continue to be aware of how your body changes postpartum. Note any questions down in a diary or planner and take them along when you see your doctor for your post partum check.

Post: Is spotting while breastfeeding normal? Here’s what you need to know

Breastfeeding benefits

  • Breastfed babies are able to form a special bond with their mother regardless of how long they are fed. Read more about this in my posts: Are Breastfed Babies More Attached to Their Mothers? Exploring the Bond and Should I Continue Breastfeeding After 12 months?
  • Breast milk provides all the necessary nutrients for your newborn and can help the baby’s immune system protect against infections and illnesses.

  • Reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding for at least six months can reduce the risk of SIDS by about 50%. While the exact reason for this is unknown, it may be due to the antibodies and immune factors found in breast milk that help protect against infections and inflammation.

  • Reduced risk of ovarian cancer. Studies have shown that women who breastfeed for at least a year over their lifetime have a lower risk of developing many cancers, including ovarian, compared to those who do not breastfeed. While the exact reason for this is unclear, it may be due to the hormonal changes that occur during breastfeeding.

  • Reduced risk of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, breastfeeding for a total of one year or more can slightly lower the risk of breast cancer. This may be due to the fact that breastfeeding can delay the return of menstrual periods, which can reduce lifetime exposure to estrogen, a hormone that can promote the growth of some types of cancer.

Should you learn how to breastfeed during pregnancy?

Learning about preparing for breastfeeding while pregnant can be beneficial for expectant mothers. While it is not necessary to master breastfeeding before the baby arrives, gaining knowledge and understanding can help ease the process. Educating oneself about breastfeeding techniques and potential challenges can provide a smoother transition after birth.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first few weeks of breastfeeding your newborn! Remember, it’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it. You’re giving your baby the best possible start in life with the perfect combination of nutrients and immune-boosting properties that only breast milk can provide.

Breastfeeding helps create a special bond between you and your baby. Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time to get the hang of it. Breastfeeding success relies on a number of factors.

If breastfeeding isn’t possible or you need to give baby formula to supplement, make sure you choose a high-quality baby or infant formula, that meets your baby’s nutritional needs.

Establishing a good mental health mindset is essential for successful breastfeeding.

Some mothers choose to end their breastfeeding journey early for a number of reasons, others go way past 12 months! It is important to not be judgy – every breastfeeding journey is unique to that mother and child.

You’ve got this, new mom! Keep up the good work and enjoy this special time with your little one.

FAQ’s

Have questions? I have answers.

A breastfeeding session for just one breast of a newborn typically lasts 15-20 minutes per breast, but it can vary depending on the baby.

A 10-minute feed may be enough for some newborns, but it’s best to observe your baby’s hunger cues and ensure they’re getting enough milk.

While breastfeeding, avoid smoking, consuming excessive caffeine or alcohol, and taking certain medications without consulting a doctor.

The 5 steps to successful breastfeeding: (a) initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth, (b) practice proper latch and positioning, (c) feed on demand, (d) exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, and (e) seek support from healthcare professionals or support groups.

<!– /wp:kadence/rowlayout –Nipples are creased or slanted when the baby comes off the breast. Check if you have elastic nipples if this is happening. world of breastfeeding as a new parent can feel overwhelming and, let’s face it, a bit messy! But fear not, because I’m here to help you master the art of nourishing your little one with ease and confidence.

In this article, I’ll share some of the best breastfeeding tips for newborns that have helped countless parents like you establish a successful breastfeeding routine. So, grab a cup of tea, put your feet up, and let’s embark on this breastfeeding journey together, making breastfeeding a more enjoyable and rewarding experience for both you and your baby.

Short on time? Check out these quick breastfeeding tips for newborns:

  • Initially, your breasts may be quite soft for a few days after your baby is born, then as breast milk changes from highly nutritious colostrum to mature milk, your breasts can become quite full and firm.

  • Make sure you have a comfortable breastfeeding or nursing pillow to support your baby and help you maintain good posture.

  • Try to breastfeed your baby on demand, rather than on a strict schedule. This will help ensure that your baby is getting the right amount of breast milk.

  • If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, consider consulting with a lactation consultant. They can provide valuable guidance and support.

  • Make sure you’re drinking enough water and eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of healthy fats.

  • Try letting your nipples air dry if you are experiencing sore nipples and use a good quality nipple cream to soothe them.

  • Remember that your baby’s weight gain and wet diapers are good indicators that they are getting enough breast milk.

  • Most important: don’t tie yourself up in knots! if you need support just ask for it – there is no shame I promise! Breastfeeding is one of those times when it is totally ok, and expected, to ask for help and guidance – make sure you know who your nearest lactation consultant is for when you need them.

The best breastfeeding tips for newborns

Now read on for more in-depth breastfeeding tips for new breastfeeding mothers.

1. Gather your breastfeeding essentials

best breastfeeding tips for newborns

It may come as a surprise but breastfeeding requires more than just breasts!! Taking a prenatal vitamin is great for providing the nutrients required for excellent breast milk but there are a few other items on the list too.

Be ready for anything :

Read my post: 16 Breastfeeding essentials: Must-have products for your nursing journey

2. Attend a breastfeeding class or read some books

It may seem like attending a breastfeeding class before the baby arrives is like taking driving lessons without a car but actually these classes are really helpful! The educator will be able to answer any initial questions you may have and it is useful to share your concerns before the baby arrives. A great confidence builder and a class can be quite inspirational if you are worried or struggling with self-doubt.

A good supply of books about breastfeeding can be very handy when you need super quick answers.

Read my post here: The 11 Best Books About Breastfeeding To Guide You Through Every Nursing Challenge

3. Get in the right mindset

If you have decided to breastfeed your baby then that’s an important personal decision. You will have heard the ‘it’s really hard’ phrase a hundred times (yep it is in some ways but reaching out to an expert for help, guidance and advice can be a game-changer).

You will have also heard the phrase ‘gave up breastfeeding’. It’s worth, at this stage, getting into a positive mindset. ‘Giving up breastfeeding’ is a negative phrase that often leads to feelings of guilt and shame. Societally we must change this language and instead use phrases like ‘made a different decision’ or explored other feeding options’.

A positive mental attitude is vital before your baby is born so don’t think of breastfeeding as a measure of how good a mother you are.

Read more about this important subject here: We Need To Talk About “Giving Up Breastfeeding” Guilt. 5 Points To Remember

4. Get your baby’s head and mouth positioning right

When your baby latches onto your breast, he/she should have a wide open mouth with lips flanged out.

This helps ensure that they are able to latch onto both the nipple and areola. It’s also important to make sure that your baby’s mouth, nose, head and neck are aligned with their body, as this will help them swallow more easily. Additionally, make sure your baby’s mouth is wide open before latching on to your breast.

5. Experiment with breastfeeding positions

breastfeeding positions

There are a variety of breastfeeding positions that you can try, depending on what feels most comfortable for you and your baby.

Some popular positions include:

  • the cradle position,

  • the football hold,

  • the side-lying breastfeeding position.

It’s important to experiment with different positions until you find one that works best for you and your baby. Make sure that your baby’s stomach is touching yours, so they do not have to turn their head to latch.

It’s essential to find a comfortable position for breastfeeding. Whether you prefer sitting up in a breastfeeding chair or lying down supported by a breastfeeding pillow, make sure your baby’s head is well-supported and their body is facing yours.

You can try different positions until you find the one that works best for you and your baby.

6. Learn hunger cues

Feeding your baby is an important part of their growth and development. During the first few weeks of life, your baby will likely want to feed every 2-3 hours. As they get older, they may be able to go longer between feeds.

It’s important to pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues and feed them on demand.

According to BabyCenter, some signs that your baby is hungry include:

  • Rooting (turning their head toward your breast or a bottle)

  • Sucking on their hands or fingers

  • Making smacking or sucking noises

Crying is a late sign of hunger, and it’s best to feed your baby before they become too fussy.

Keep in mind that every baby is different, and some may want to feed more frequently than others. As long as your baby is gaining weight and seems satisfied after feedings, they’re probably getting enough to eat.

By responding to your baby’s hunger cues promptly, you can establish a healthy feeding routine and promote their growth and development.

7. Understand ‘let down’

In the first few weeks of breastfeeding, it’s common for milk to leak from your breasts before a feeding session. Don’t be alarmed; this is completely natural and is called let down. It is your body preparing for a feed and is designed to stimulate milk production. It can happen when you hear your baby cry, when your baby hasn’t breastfed for several hours, when you think about your baby, or even when you feel a strong emotion.

This leaking will eventually lessen or disappear completely as your baby continues to nurse. (Even just looking at a picture of him/her is enough to stimulate let down for some moms!)

In the meantime, simply place nursing pads in your bra to absorb the leaks.

8. Increase milk supply

Another common challenge of breastfeeding is low milk supply. This can be caused by stress, dehydration, or not breastfeeding often enough. There are a few ways to increase breast milk supply including:

  • Breastfeed frequently. The more you breastfeed, the more milk your body will produce. Make sure to feed your baby on demand, whenever they show signs of hunger.

  • Don’t limit the time you let your baby nurse. It may keep your milk ducts from completely emptying. This can decrease your milk flow and make it harder for your baby to latch it on, plus it can lead to engorgement or mastitis.

  • You can also try pumping after feeds to signal to your body and stimulate it to produce more milk.

  • Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated can help with producing milk. Make sure to drink plenty of water by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day and eating foods high in protein and healthy fats.

  • Some moms choose to add a breastfeeding-approved protein powder to their diet to aid the production of milk.Find my recommendations for the 5 best protein powders here and more about protein powders for breastfeeding moms here.

  • You can also try taking supplements like fenugreek or blessed thistle to increase your milk supply. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

Remember, every mother and baby is different, and it may take some time to establish a good milk supply. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

Learn more about this here: How to Increase Milk Supply Quickly: Tips and Tricks for Breastfeeding Moms

9. Learn how to tell if your baby has had enough milk

It can be difficult to know if your baby is getting enough milk, but there are some signs you can look for. If your baby is gaining weight and has at least six wet diapers and three or more bowel movements a day, they are likely getting enough milk.

If you are concerned about your milk supply, you can try using a breast pump to measure how much milk you are producing. This can help you determine if you need to increase your milk yield.

10. Perfect latch to prevent sore or cracked nipples

One of the most common challenges of breastfeeding is sore nipples. This is very often due to poor latch.

Signs of a poor latch:

  • Your nipples are sore during the whole feeding

  • Nipple fissures or bleeding nipples.

  • Nipples are creased or slanted when the baby comes off the breast

  • When your baby sucks you hear clicking or smacking sounds

  • Your baby is coming off the breast repeatedly after only a few sucks

  • Your baby’s cheeks are dimpling in with each suck

  • Your baby acts hungry all the time after nursing

To prevent sore or cracked nipples, make sure your baby is latching on correctly. You can also try using lanolin cream or another nipple cream to soothe your sore nipples too.

Bonus tip: at the first sign of pain try to correct the latch or ask someone to help you. And slap on plenty of nipple cream! Don’t be afraid to pump to rest your nipples – your baby won’t develop nipple confusion and forget how to latch in a few hours.

11. Seek help straight away for painful breasts

Painful breasts are another common challenge of breastfeeding. This can be caused by engorgement, mastitis, or a blocked milk duct.

To relieve painful breasts, try using a warm compress or taking a warm shower – warmth can help the milk flow. You can also try massaging your breasts regularly or using a breast pump to relieve engorgement or to help clear blocked milk ducts.

Read my post: Successful breastfeeding: a comprehensive guide

12. Keep an eye on your baby’s weight

One of the most important indicators of your baby’s growth is their weight. During the first few days of life, it’s normal for babies to lose a little weight. However, after the first week, they should start gaining weight steadily.

According to Mayo Clinic, most babies will double their birth weight by 5 to 6 months of age.

It’s important to monitor the weight of your baby regularly, but try not to obsess over the numbers.

As long as your baby is gaining weight steadily and meeting their developmental milestones, they’re probably doing just fine.

13. Expect increased milk demand during a growth spurt

During the first year of life, your baby will undergo several growth spurts. These are periods of time when they may seem hungrier than usual and want to feed more frequently.

According to What to Expect, growth spurts typically occur around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months of age. During these times, it’s important to feed your baby on demand and not worry too much about sticking to a strict schedule.

Remember, every baby is unique and will grow and develop at their own pace. By paying attention to your baby’s general weight, feeding sessions, and growth spurts, you can help ensure that they’re getting the nutrition they need to thrive.

14. Plan when to give your baby solid foods

When it comes to introducing solid foods, it’s important to start slowly and pay attention to your baby’s cues. Some babies are ready to start eating solids as early as 4 months, while others may not be ready until 6 months or later.

  • Start with single-ingredient purees, such as mashed bananas or sweet potatoes.

  • Introduce new foods one at a time, waiting a few days in between to watch for any signs of allergies or digestive issues.

  • Offer a variety of foods to expose your baby to different tastes and textures.

  • Don’t force your baby to eat if they’re not interested. It’s okay if they only take a few bites at first.

15. Know when to give cow’s milk

While breast milk will still be an important part of your baby’s diet, you may be wondering when it’s safe to introduce cow’s milk. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s best to wait until your baby is at least 12 months old before offering cow’s milk as a beverage.

Cow’s milk can be introduced with food in small amounts, such as in mashed potatoes or other recipes. However, it should not replace breast milk or formula as the main source of nutrition until your baby is at least 12 months old.

When you do introduce cow’s milk, make sure it’s whole milk, as your baby needs the extra fat for brain development. You can gradually transition to lower-fat milk as your baby gets older.

16. Understand what is and isn’t normal for your body

Over the past few months you will have become much more attune with your body during pregnancy. Continue to be aware of how your body changes postpartum. Note any questions down in a diary or planner and take them along when you see your doctor for your post partum check.

Post: Is spotting while breastfeeding normal? Here’s what you need to know

Breastfeeding benefits

  • Breastfed babies are able to form a special bond with their mother regardless of how long they are fed. Read more about this in my posts: Are Breastfed Babies More Attached to Their Mothers? Exploring the Bond and Should I Continue Breastfeeding After 12 months?
  • Breast milk provides all the necessary nutrients for your newborn and can help the baby’s immune system protect against infections and illnesses.

  • Reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding for at least six months can reduce the risk of SIDS by about 50%. While the exact reason for this is unknown, it may be due to the antibodies and immune factors found in breast milk that help protect against infections and inflammation.

  • Reduced risk of ovarian cancer. Studies have shown that women who breastfeed for at least a year over their lifetime have a lower risk of developing many cancers, including ovarian, compared to those who do not breastfeed. While the exact reason for this is unclear, it may be due to the hormonal changes that occur during breastfeeding.

  • Reduced risk of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, breastfeeding for a total of one year or more can slightly lower the risk of breast cancer. This may be due to the fact that breastfeeding can delay the return of menstrual periods, which can reduce lifetime exposure to estrogen, a hormone that can promote the growth of some types of cancer.

Should you learn how to breastfeed during pregnancy?

Learning about preparing for breastfeeding while pregnant can be beneficial for expectant mothers. While it is not necessary to master breastfeeding before the baby arrives, gaining knowledge and understanding can help ease the process. Educating oneself about breastfeeding techniques and potential challenges can provide a smoother transition after birth.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first few weeks of breastfeeding your newborn! Remember, it’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it. You’re giving your baby the best possible start in life with the perfect combination of nutrients and immune-boosting properties that only breast milk can provide.

Breastfeeding helps create a special bond between you and your baby. Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time to get the hang of it. Breastfeeding success relies on a number of factors.

If breastfeeding isn’t possible or you need to give baby formula to supplement, make sure you choose a high-quality baby or infant formula, that meets your baby’s nutritional needs.

Establishing a good mental health mindset is essential for successful breastfeeding.

Some mothers choose to end their breastfeeding journey early for a number of reasons, others go way past 12 months! It is important to not be judgy – every breastfeeding journey is unique to that mother and child.

You’ve got this, new mom! Keep up the good work and enjoy this special time with your little one.

FAQ’s

Have questions? I have answers.

A breastfeeding session for just one breast of a newborn typically lasts 15-20 minutes per breast, but it can vary depending on the baby.

A 10-minute feed may be enough for some newborns, but it’s best to observe your baby’s hunger cues and ensure they’re getting enough milk.

While breastfeeding, avoid smoking, consuming excessive caffeine or alcohol, and taking certain medications without consulting a doctor.

The 5 steps to successful breastfeeding: (a) initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth, (b) practice proper latch and positioning, (c) feed on demand, (d) exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, and (e) seek support from healthcare professionals or support groups.

<!– /wp:kadence/rowlayout –Nipples are creased or slanted when the baby comes off the breast (elastic nipples can do this) world of breastfeeding as a new parent can feel overwhelming and, let’s face it, a bit messy! But fear not, because I’m here to help you master the art of nourishing your little one with ease and confidence.

In this article, I’ll share some of the best breastfeeding tips for newborns that have helped countless parents like you establish a successful breastfeeding routine. So, grab a cup of tea, put your feet up, and let’s embark on this breastfeeding journey together, making breastfeeding a more enjoyable and rewarding experience for both you and your baby.

Short on time? Check out these quick breastfeeding tips for newborns:

  • Initially, your breasts may be quite soft for a few days after your baby is born, then as breast milk changes from highly nutritious colostrum to mature milk, your breasts can become quite full and firm.

  • Make sure you have a comfortable breastfeeding or nursing pillow to support your baby and help you maintain good posture.

  • Try to breastfeed your baby on demand, rather than on a strict schedule. This will help ensure that your baby is getting the right amount of breast milk.

  • If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, consider consulting with a lactation consultant. They can provide valuable guidance and support.

  • Make sure you’re drinking enough water and eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of healthy fats.

  • Try letting your nipples air dry if you are experiencing sore nipples and use a good quality nipple cream to soothe them.

  • Remember that your baby’s weight gain and wet diapers are good indicators that they are getting enough breast milk.

  • Most important: don’t tie yourself up in knots! if you need support just ask for it – there is no shame I promise! Breastfeeding is one of those times when it is totally ok, and expected, to ask for help and guidance – make sure you know who your nearest lactation consultant is for when you need them.

The best breastfeeding tips for newborns

Now read on for more in-depth breastfeeding tips for new breastfeeding mothers.

1. Gather your breastfeeding essentials

best breastfeeding tips for newborns

It may come as a surprise but breastfeeding requires more than just breasts!! Taking a prenatal vitamin is great for providing the nutrients required for excellent breast milk but there are a few other items on the list too.

Be ready for anything :

Read my post: 16 Breastfeeding essentials: Must-have products for your nursing journey

2. Attend a breastfeeding class or read some books

It may seem like attending a breastfeeding class before the baby arrives is like taking driving lessons without a car but actually these classes are really helpful! The educator will be able to answer any initial questions you may have and it is useful to share your concerns before the baby arrives. A great confidence builder and a class can be quite inspirational if you are worried or struggling with self-doubt.

A good supply of books about breastfeeding can be very handy when you need super quick answers.

Read my post here: The 11 Best Books About Breastfeeding To Guide You Through Every Nursing Challenge

3. Get in the right mindset

If you have decided to breastfeed your baby then that’s an important personal decision. You will have heard the ‘it’s really hard’ phrase a hundred times (yep it is in some ways but reaching out to an expert for help, guidance and advice can be a game-changer).

You will have also heard the phrase ‘gave up breastfeeding’. It’s worth, at this stage, getting into a positive mindset. ‘Giving up breastfeeding’ is a negative phrase that often leads to feelings of guilt and shame. Societally we must change this language and instead use phrases like ‘made a different decision’ or explored other feeding options’.

A positive mental attitude is vital before your baby is born so don’t think of breastfeeding as a measure of how good a mother you are.

Read more about this important subject here: We Need To Talk About “Giving Up Breastfeeding” Guilt. 5 Points To Remember

4. Get your baby’s head and mouth positioning right

When your baby latches onto your breast, he/she should have a wide open mouth with lips flanged out.

This helps ensure that they are able to latch onto both the nipple and areola. It’s also important to make sure that your baby’s mouth, nose, head and neck are aligned with their body, as this will help them swallow more easily. Additionally, make sure your baby’s mouth is wide open before latching on to your breast.

5. Experiment with breastfeeding positions

breastfeeding positions

There are a variety of breastfeeding positions that you can try, depending on what feels most comfortable for you and your baby.

Some popular positions include:

  • the cradle position,

  • the football hold,

  • the side-lying breastfeeding position.

It’s important to experiment with different positions until you find one that works best for you and your baby. Make sure that your baby’s stomach is touching yours, so they do not have to turn their head to latch.

It’s essential to find a comfortable position for breastfeeding. Whether you prefer sitting up in a breastfeeding chair or lying down supported by a breastfeeding pillow, make sure your baby’s head is well-supported and their body is facing yours.

You can try different positions until you find the one that works best for you and your baby.

6. Learn hunger cues

Feeding your baby is an important part of their growth and development. During the first few weeks of life, your baby will likely want to feed every 2-3 hours. As they get older, they may be able to go longer between feeds.

It’s important to pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues and feed them on demand.

According to BabyCenter, some signs that your baby is hungry include:

  • Rooting (turning their head toward your breast or a bottle)

  • Sucking on their hands or fingers

  • Making smacking or sucking noises

Crying is a late sign of hunger, and it’s best to feed your baby before they become too fussy.

Keep in mind that every baby is different, and some may want to feed more frequently than others. As long as your baby is gaining weight and seems satisfied after feedings, they’re probably getting enough to eat.

By responding to your baby’s hunger cues promptly, you can establish a healthy feeding routine and promote their growth and development.

7. Understand ‘let down’

In the first few weeks of breastfeeding, it’s common for milk to leak from your breasts before a feeding session. Don’t be alarmed; this is completely natural and is called let down. It is your body preparing for a feed and is designed to stimulate milk production. It can happen when you hear your baby cry, when your baby hasn’t breastfed for several hours, when you think about your baby, or even when you feel a strong emotion.

This leaking will eventually lessen or disappear completely as your baby continues to nurse. (Even just looking at a picture of him/her is enough to stimulate let down for some moms!)

In the meantime, simply place nursing pads in your bra to absorb the leaks.

8. Increase milk supply

Another common challenge of breastfeeding is low milk supply. This can be caused by stress, dehydration, or not breastfeeding often enough. There are a few ways to increase breast milk supply including:

  • Breastfeed frequently. The more you breastfeed, the more milk your body will produce. Make sure to feed your baby on demand, whenever they show signs of hunger.

  • Don’t limit the time you let your baby nurse. It may keep your milk ducts from completely emptying. This can decrease your milk flow and make it harder for your baby to latch it on, plus it can lead to engorgement or mastitis.

  • You can also try pumping after feeds to signal to your body and stimulate it to produce more milk.

  • Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated can help with producing milk. Make sure to drink plenty of water by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day and eating foods high in protein and healthy fats.

  • Some moms choose to add a breastfeeding-approved protein powder to their diet to aid the production of milk.Find my recommendations for the 5 best protein powders here and more about protein powders for breastfeeding moms here.

  • You can also try taking supplements like fenugreek or blessed thistle to increase your milk supply. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

Remember, every mother and baby is different, and it may take some time to establish a good milk supply. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

Learn more about this here: How to Increase Milk Supply Quickly: Tips and Tricks for Breastfeeding Moms

9. Learn how to tell if your baby has had enough milk

It can be difficult to know if your baby is getting enough milk, but there are some signs you can look for. If your baby is gaining weight and has at least six wet diapers and three or more bowel movements a day, they are likely getting enough milk.

If you are concerned about your milk supply, you can try using a breast pump to measure how much milk you are producing. This can help you determine if you need to increase your milk yield.

10. Perfect latch to prevent sore or cracked nipples

One of the most common challenges of breastfeeding is sore nipples. This is very often due to poor latch.

Signs of a poor latch:

  • Your nipples are sore during the whole feeding

  • Nipple fissures or bleeding nipples.

  • Nipples are creased or slanted when the baby comes off the breast

  • When your baby sucks you hear clicking or smacking sounds

  • Your baby is coming off the breast repeatedly after only a few sucks

  • Your baby’s cheeks are dimpling in with each suck

  • Your baby acts hungry all the time after nursing

To prevent sore or cracked nipples, make sure your baby is latching on correctly. You can also try using lanolin cream or another nipple cream to soothe your sore nipples too.

Bonus tip: at the first sign of pain try to correct the latch or ask someone to help you. And slap on plenty of nipple cream! Don’t be afraid to pump to rest your nipples – your baby won’t develop nipple confusion and forget how to latch in a few hours.

11. Seek help straight away for painful breasts

Painful breasts are another common challenge of breastfeeding. This can be caused by engorgement, mastitis, or a blocked milk duct.

To relieve painful breasts, try using a warm compress or taking a warm shower – warmth can help the milk flow. You can also try massaging your breasts regularly or using a breast pump to relieve engorgement or to help clear blocked milk ducts.

Read my post: Successful breastfeeding: a comprehensive guide

12. Keep an eye on your baby’s weight

One of the most important indicators of your baby’s growth is their weight. During the first few days of life, it’s normal for babies to lose a little weight. However, after the first week, they should start gaining weight steadily.

According to Mayo Clinic, most babies will double their birth weight by 5 to 6 months of age.

It’s important to monitor the weight of your baby regularly, but try not to obsess over the numbers.

As long as your baby is gaining weight steadily and meeting their developmental milestones, they’re probably doing just fine.

13. Expect increased milk demand during a growth spurt

During the first year of life, your baby will undergo several growth spurts. These are periods of time when they may seem hungrier than usual and want to feed more frequently.

According to What to Expect, growth spurts typically occur around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months of age. During these times, it’s important to feed your baby on demand and not worry too much about sticking to a strict schedule.

Remember, every baby is unique and will grow and develop at their own pace. By paying attention to your baby’s general weight, feeding sessions, and growth spurts, you can help ensure that they’re getting the nutrition they need to thrive.

14. Plan when to give your baby solid foods

When it comes to introducing solid foods, it’s important to start slowly and pay attention to your baby’s cues. Some babies are ready to start eating solids as early as 4 months, while others may not be ready until 6 months or later.

  • Start with single-ingredient purees, such as mashed bananas or sweet potatoes.

  • Introduce new foods one at a time, waiting a few days in between to watch for any signs of allergies or digestive issues.

  • Offer a variety of foods to expose your baby to different tastes and textures.

  • Don’t force your baby to eat if they’re not interested. It’s okay if they only take a few bites at first.

15. Know when to give cow’s milk

While breast milk will still be an important part of your baby’s diet, you may be wondering when it’s safe to introduce cow’s milk. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s best to wait until your baby is at least 12 months old before offering cow’s milk as a beverage.

Cow’s milk can be introduced with food in small amounts, such as in mashed potatoes or other recipes. However, it should not replace breast milk or formula as the main source of nutrition until your baby is at least 12 months old.

When you do introduce cow’s milk, make sure it’s whole milk, as your baby needs the extra fat for brain development. You can gradually transition to lower-fat milk as your baby gets older.

16. Understand what is and isn’t normal for your body

Over the past few months you will have become much more attune with your body during pregnancy. Continue to be aware of how your body changes postpartum. Note any questions down in a diary or planner and take them along when you see your doctor for your post partum check.

Post: Is spotting while breastfeeding normal? Here’s what you need to know

Breastfeeding benefits

  • Breastfed babies are able to form a special bond with their mother regardless of how long they are fed. Read more about this in my posts: Are Breastfed Babies More Attached to Their Mothers? Exploring the Bond and Should I Continue Breastfeeding After 12 months?
  • Breast milk provides all the necessary nutrients for your newborn and can help the baby’s immune system protect against infections and illnesses.

  • Reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding for at least six months can reduce the risk of SIDS by about 50%. While the exact reason for this is unknown, it may be due to the antibodies and immune factors found in breast milk that help protect against infections and inflammation.

  • Reduced risk of ovarian cancer. Studies have shown that women who breastfeed for at least a year over their lifetime have a lower risk of developing many cancers, including ovarian, compared to those who do not breastfeed. While the exact reason for this is unclear, it may be due to the hormonal changes that occur during breastfeeding.

  • Reduced risk of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, breastfeeding for a total of one year or more can slightly lower the risk of breast cancer. This may be due to the fact that breastfeeding can delay the return of menstrual periods, which can reduce lifetime exposure to estrogen, a hormone that can promote the growth of some types of cancer.

Should you learn how to breastfeed during pregnancy?

Learning about preparing for breastfeeding while pregnant can be beneficial for expectant mothers. While it is not necessary to master breastfeeding before the baby arrives, gaining knowledge and understanding can help ease the process. Educating oneself about breastfeeding techniques and potential challenges can provide a smoother transition after birth.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first few weeks of breastfeeding your newborn! Remember, it’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it. You’re giving your baby the best possible start in life with the perfect combination of nutrients and immune-boosting properties that only breast milk can provide.

Breastfeeding helps create a special bond between you and your baby. Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time to get the hang of it. Breastfeeding success relies on a number of factors.

If breastfeeding isn’t possible or you need to give baby formula to supplement, make sure you choose a high-quality baby or infant formula, that meets your baby’s nutritional needs.

Establishing a good mental health mindset is essential for successful breastfeeding.

Some mothers choose to end their breastfeeding journey early for a number of reasons, others go way past 12 months! It is important to not be judgy – every breastfeeding journey is unique to that mother and child.

You’ve got this, new mom! Keep up the good work and enjoy this special time with your little one.

FAQ’s

Have questions? I have answers.

A breastfeeding session for just one breast of a newborn typically lasts 15-20 minutes per breast, but it can vary depending on the baby.

A 10-minute feed may be enough for some newborns, but it’s best to observe your baby’s hunger cues and ensure they’re getting enough milk.

While breastfeeding, avoid smoking, consuming excessive caffeine or alcohol, and taking certain medications without consulting a doctor.

The 5 steps to successful breastfeeding: (a) initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth, (b) practice proper latch and positioning, (c) feed on demand, (d) exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, and (e) seek support from healthcare professionals or support groups.

<!– /wp:kadence/rowlayout –Nipples are creased or slanted when the baby comes off the breast. Check if you have elastic nipples if this is happening. world of breastfeeding as a new parent can feel overwhelming and, let’s face it, a bit messy! But fear not, because I’m here to help you master the art of nourishing your little one with ease and confidence.

In this article, I’ll share some of the best breastfeeding tips for newborns that have helped countless parents like you establish a successful breastfeeding routine. So, grab a cup of tea, put your feet up, and let’s embark on this breastfeeding journey together, making breastfeeding a more enjoyable and rewarding experience for both you and your baby.

Short on time? Check out these quick breastfeeding tips for newborns:

  • Initially, your breasts may be quite soft for a few days after your baby is born, then as breast milk changes from highly nutritious colostrum to mature milk, your breasts can become quite full and firm.

  • Make sure you have a comfortable breastfeeding or nursing pillow to support your baby and help you maintain good posture.

  • Try to breastfeed your baby on demand, rather than on a strict schedule. This will help ensure that your baby is getting the right amount of breast milk.

  • If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, consider consulting with a lactation consultant. They can provide valuable guidance and support.

  • Make sure you’re drinking enough water and eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of healthy fats.

  • Try letting your nipples air dry if you are experiencing sore nipples and use a good quality nipple cream to soothe them.

  • Remember that your baby’s weight gain and wet diapers are good indicators that they are getting enough breast milk.

  • Most important: don’t tie yourself up in knots! if you need support just ask for it – there is no shame I promise! Breastfeeding is one of those times when it is totally ok, and expected, to ask for help and guidance – make sure you know who your nearest lactation consultant is for when you need them.

The best breastfeeding tips for newborns

Now read on for more in-depth breastfeeding tips for new breastfeeding mothers.

1. Gather your breastfeeding essentials

best breastfeeding tips for newborns

It may come as a surprise but breastfeeding requires more than just breasts!! Taking a prenatal vitamin is great for providing the nutrients required for excellent breast milk but there are a few other items on the list too.

Be ready for anything :

Read my post: 16 Breastfeeding essentials: Must-have products for your nursing journey

2. Attend a breastfeeding class or read some books

It may seem like attending a breastfeeding class before the baby arrives is like taking driving lessons without a car but actually these classes are really helpful! The educator will be able to answer any initial questions you may have and it is useful to share your concerns before the baby arrives. A great confidence builder and a class can be quite inspirational if you are worried or struggling with self-doubt.

A good supply of books about breastfeeding can be very handy when you need super quick answers.

Read my post here: The 11 Best Books About Breastfeeding To Guide You Through Every Nursing Challenge

3. Get in the right mindset

If you have decided to breastfeed your baby then that’s an important personal decision. You will have heard the ‘it’s really hard’ phrase a hundred times (yep it is in some ways but reaching out to an expert for help, guidance and advice can be a game-changer).

You will have also heard the phrase ‘gave up breastfeeding’. It’s worth, at this stage, getting into a positive mindset. ‘Giving up breastfeeding’ is a negative phrase that often leads to feelings of guilt and shame. Societally we must change this language and instead use phrases like ‘made a different decision’ or explored other feeding options’.

A positive mental attitude is vital before your baby is born so don’t think of breastfeeding as a measure of how good a mother you are.

Read more about this important subject here: We Need To Talk About “Giving Up Breastfeeding” Guilt. 5 Points To Remember

4. Get your baby’s head and mouth positioning right

When your baby latches onto your breast, he/she should have a wide open mouth with lips flanged out.

This helps ensure that they are able to latch onto both the nipple and areola. It’s also important to make sure that your baby’s mouth, nose, head and neck are aligned with their body, as this will help them swallow more easily. Additionally, make sure your baby’s mouth is wide open before latching on to your breast.

5. Experiment with breastfeeding positions

breastfeeding positions

There are a variety of breastfeeding positions that you can try, depending on what feels most comfortable for you and your baby.

Some popular positions include:

  • the cradle position,

  • the football hold,

  • the side-lying breastfeeding position.

It’s important to experiment with different positions until you find one that works best for you and your baby. Make sure that your baby’s stomach is touching yours, so they do not have to turn their head to latch.

It’s essential to find a comfortable position for breastfeeding. Whether you prefer sitting up in a breastfeeding chair or lying down supported by a breastfeeding pillow, make sure your baby’s head is well-supported and their body is facing yours.

You can try different positions until you find the one that works best for you and your baby.

6. Learn hunger cues

Feeding your baby is an important part of their growth and development. During the first few weeks of life, your baby will likely want to feed every 2-3 hours. As they get older, they may be able to go longer between feeds.

It’s important to pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues and feed them on demand.

According to BabyCenter, some signs that your baby is hungry include:

  • Rooting (turning their head toward your breast or a bottle)

  • Sucking on their hands or fingers

  • Making smacking or sucking noises

Crying is a late sign of hunger, and it’s best to feed your baby before they become too fussy.

Keep in mind that every baby is different, and some may want to feed more frequently than others. As long as your baby is gaining weight and seems satisfied after feedings, they’re probably getting enough to eat.

By responding to your baby’s hunger cues promptly, you can establish a healthy feeding routine and promote their growth and development.

7. Understand ‘let down’

In the first few weeks of breastfeeding, it’s common for milk to leak from your breasts before a feeding session. Don’t be alarmed; this is completely natural and is called let down. It is your body preparing for a feed and is designed to stimulate milk production. It can happen when you hear your baby cry, when your baby hasn’t breastfed for several hours, when you think about your baby, or even when you feel a strong emotion.

This leaking will eventually lessen or disappear completely as your baby continues to nurse. (Even just looking at a picture of him/her is enough to stimulate let down for some moms!)

In the meantime, simply place nursing pads in your bra to absorb the leaks.

8. Increase milk supply

Another common challenge of breastfeeding is low milk supply. This can be caused by stress, dehydration, or not breastfeeding often enough. There are a few ways to increase breast milk supply including:

  • Breastfeed frequently. The more you breastfeed, the more milk your body will produce. Make sure to feed your baby on demand, whenever they show signs of hunger.

  • Don’t limit the time you let your baby nurse. It may keep your milk ducts from completely emptying. This can decrease your milk flow and make it harder for your baby to latch it on, plus it can lead to engorgement or mastitis.

  • You can also try pumping after feeds to signal to your body and stimulate it to produce more milk.

  • Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated can help with producing milk. Make sure to drink plenty of water by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day and eating foods high in protein and healthy fats.

  • Some moms choose to add a breastfeeding-approved protein powder to their diet to aid the production of milk.Find my recommendations for the 5 best protein powders here and more about protein powders for breastfeeding moms here.

  • You can also try taking supplements like fenugreek or blessed thistle to increase your milk supply. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

Remember, every mother and baby is different, and it may take some time to establish a good milk supply. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

Learn more about this here: How to Increase Milk Supply Quickly: Tips and Tricks for Breastfeeding Moms

9. Learn how to tell if your baby has had enough milk

It can be difficult to know if your baby is getting enough milk, but there are some signs you can look for. If your baby is gaining weight and has at least six wet diapers and three or more bowel movements a day, they are likely getting enough milk.

If you are concerned about your milk supply, you can try using a breast pump to measure how much milk you are producing. This can help you determine if you need to increase your milk yield.

10. Perfect latch to prevent sore or cracked nipples

One of the most common challenges of breastfeeding is sore nipples. This is very often due to poor latch.

Signs of a poor latch:

  • Your nipples are sore during the whole feeding

  • Nipple fissures or bleeding nipples.

  • Nipples are creased or slanted when the baby comes off the breast

  • When your baby sucks you hear clicking or smacking sounds

  • Your baby is coming off the breast repeatedly after only a few sucks

  • Your baby’s cheeks are dimpling in with each suck

  • Your baby acts hungry all the time after nursing

To prevent sore or cracked nipples, make sure your baby is latching on correctly. You can also try using lanolin cream or another nipple cream to soothe your sore nipples too.

Bonus tip: at the first sign of pain try to correct the latch or ask someone to help you. And slap on plenty of nipple cream! Don’t be afraid to pump to rest your nipples – your baby won’t develop nipple confusion and forget how to latch in a few hours.

11. Seek help straight away for painful breasts

Painful breasts are another common challenge of breastfeeding. This can be caused by engorgement, mastitis, or a blocked milk duct.

To relieve painful breasts, try using a warm compress or taking a warm shower – warmth can help the milk flow. You can also try massaging your breasts regularly or using a breast pump to relieve engorgement or to help clear blocked milk ducts.

Read my post: Successful breastfeeding: a comprehensive guide

12. Keep an eye on your baby’s weight

One of the most important indicators of your baby’s growth is their weight. During the first few days of life, it’s normal for babies to lose a little weight. However, after the first week, they should start gaining weight steadily.

According to Mayo Clinic, most babies will double their birth weight by 5 to 6 months of age.

It’s important to monitor the weight of your baby regularly, but try not to obsess over the numbers.

As long as your baby is gaining weight steadily and meeting their developmental milestones, they’re probably doing just fine.

13. Expect increased milk demand during a growth spurt

During the first year of life, your baby will undergo several growth spurts. These are periods of time when they may seem hungrier than usual and want to feed more frequently.

According to What to Expect, growth spurts typically occur around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months of age. During these times, it’s important to feed your baby on demand and not worry too much about sticking to a strict schedule.

Remember, every baby is unique and will grow and develop at their own pace. By paying attention to your baby’s general weight, feeding sessions, and growth spurts, you can help ensure that they’re getting the nutrition they need to thrive.

14. Plan when to give your baby solid foods

When it comes to introducing solid foods, it’s important to start slowly and pay attention to your baby’s cues. Some babies are ready to start eating solids as early as 4 months, while others may not be ready until 6 months or later.

  • Start with single-ingredient purees, such as mashed bananas or sweet potatoes.

  • Introduce new foods one at a time, waiting a few days in between to watch for any signs of allergies or digestive issues.

  • Offer a variety of foods to expose your baby to different tastes and textures.

  • Don’t force your baby to eat if they’re not interested. It’s okay if they only take a few bites at first.

15. Know when to give cow’s milk

While breast milk will still be an important part of your baby’s diet, you may be wondering when it’s safe to introduce cow’s milk. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s best to wait until your baby is at least 12 months old before offering cow’s milk as a beverage.

Cow’s milk can be introduced with food in small amounts, such as in mashed potatoes or other recipes. However, it should not replace breast milk or formula as the main source of nutrition until your baby is at least 12 months old.

When you do introduce cow’s milk, make sure it’s whole milk, as your baby needs the extra fat for brain development. You can gradually transition to lower-fat milk as your baby gets older.

16. Understand what is and isn’t normal for your body

Over the past few months you will have become much more attune with your body during pregnancy. Continue to be aware of how your body changes postpartum. Note any questions down in a diary or planner and take them along when you see your doctor for your post partum check.

Post: Is spotting while breastfeeding normal? Here’s what you need to know

Breastfeeding benefits

  • Breastfed babies are able to form a special bond with their mother regardless of how long they are fed. Read more about this in my posts: Are Breastfed Babies More Attached to Their Mothers? Exploring the Bond and Should I Continue Breastfeeding After 12 months?
  • Breast milk provides all the necessary nutrients for your newborn and can help the baby’s immune system protect against infections and illnesses.

  • Reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding for at least six months can reduce the risk of SIDS by about 50%. While the exact reason for this is unknown, it may be due to the antibodies and immune factors found in breast milk that help protect against infections and inflammation.

  • Reduced risk of ovarian cancer. Studies have shown that women who breastfeed for at least a year over their lifetime have a lower risk of developing many cancers, including ovarian, compared to those who do not breastfeed. While the exact reason for this is unclear, it may be due to the hormonal changes that occur during breastfeeding.

  • Reduced risk of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, breastfeeding for a total of one year or more can slightly lower the risk of breast cancer. This may be due to the fact that breastfeeding can delay the return of menstrual periods, which can reduce lifetime exposure to estrogen, a hormone that can promote the growth of some types of cancer.

Should you learn how to breastfeed during pregnancy?

Learning about preparing for breastfeeding while pregnant can be beneficial for expectant mothers. While it is not necessary to master breastfeeding before the baby arrives, gaining knowledge and understanding can help ease the process. Educating oneself about breastfeeding techniques and potential challenges can provide a smoother transition after birth.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first few weeks of breastfeeding your newborn! Remember, it’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it. You’re giving your baby the best possible start in life with the perfect combination of nutrients and immune-boosting properties that only breast milk can provide.

Breastfeeding helps create a special bond between you and your baby. Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time to get the hang of it. Breastfeeding success relies on a number of factors.

If breastfeeding isn’t possible or you need to give baby formula to supplement, make sure you choose a high-quality baby or infant formula, that meets your baby’s nutritional needs.

Establishing a good mental health mindset is essential for successful breastfeeding.

Some mothers choose to end their breastfeeding journey early for a number of reasons, others go way past 12 months! It is important to not be judgy – every breastfeeding journey is unique to that mother and child.

You’ve got this, new mom! Keep up the good work and enjoy this special time with your little one.

FAQ’s

Have questions? I have answers.

A breastfeeding session for just one breast of a newborn typically lasts 15-20 minutes per breast, but it can vary depending on the baby.

A 10-minute feed may be enough for some newborns, but it’s best to observe your baby’s hunger cues and ensure they’re getting enough milk.

While breastfeeding, avoid smoking, consuming excessive caffeine or alcohol, and taking certain medications without consulting a doctor.

The 5 steps to successful breastfeeding: (a) initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth, (b) practice proper latch and positioning, (c) feed on demand, (d) exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, and (e) seek support from healthcare professionals or support groups.

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