when does breastfeeding get easier. how long should you breastfeed for

When Does Breastfeeding Get Easier? And How Long Should You Breastfeed For?

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Are you struggling with nursing your baby? Are you constantly asking yourself, “When does breastfeeding get easier?!” Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! This article is here to give you the inside scoop on breastfeeding, including the benefits, challenges, and tips for making it a smoother experience.

Whether you’re a new mom or a seasoned pro, breastfeeding can be tough, and it’s definitely not always smooth sailing, but with a little patience, persistence, and support, it does get easier.

So, grab your favorite mug of tea and settle in as we take a deep dive into the wonderful world of breastfeeding.

When does breastfeeding get easier?

The good news is that for many moms, breastfeeding gets easier with time! Here’s what you can expect in terms of milestones:

First few days

In the first few days after birth, your body is producing colostrum, a thick and nutrient-rich milk that helps protect your baby’s immune system. While your baby’s stomach is small, they’ll need to nurse frequently to get enough colostrum.

Although very instinctual your baby is still learning how to latch and the position they prefer to relax in.

First few weeks

Over the first few weeks, your milk supply will gradually increase as your baby feeds. This is also a time when many moms may experience sore nipples or engorgement – this can be for a variety of reasons from poor latch to tongue tie but with proper care and lactation support these issues can be managed.

By about a month postpartum, breastfeeding should start to feel more natural and comfortable for both you and your baby. Your baby may start to have longer stretches between feedings, and you’ll likely be producing enough milk to satisfy his/her hunger.

You will also know more about what works best for you and your baby regarding positioning, timing, what size burp cloths to use, what you need nearby before settling into a feeding session … the list goes on!

After the first month

When you are breastfeeding every few hours a day can seem like an eternity (especially when you sleep in short bursts in a 24 hour period!). But before you know it a whole month has passed and at about six weeks postpartum many new moms report feeling more comfortable nursing their newborns; although latching still requires practice!

Things usually begin getting a bit easier; wet nappies and weight gain are good indicators that your baby has been fed with an adequate breast milk supply. Feeding times also start becoming shorter as your breastfed baby becomes increasingly efficient at extracting what they need from each feed (other than the occasional cluster feeding episodes coinciding with a growth spurt).

Support from other breastfeeding mamas at this time is extremely valuable – you may have nothing in common with another woman other than you are both navigating the breastfeeding journey and you will still have lots to talk about!

6 months and beyond

By the time you get to 6 months you will be a complete pro merrily popping out a boob while walking around the supermarket (well when the baby is hungry what can you do?!)! By this point, breastfeeding should feel like a well-established part of your routine, and you may even miss it when it’s over.

How long should you breastfeed for?

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests breastfeeding exclusively for six months and continuing with complementary foods for up to a year. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continuing with complementary foods for up to two years or beyond. Ultimately, the decision of how long to breastfeed is up to the mother and child, and seeking advice from experienced moms can be helpful.

It’s important to remember that every breastfeeding journey is unique, and the decision to breastfeed and for how long is a personal one.

Building confidence through setbacks

For many new mothers, the initial stages of breastfeeding can be fraught with pain, doubts, and a myriad of questions like, “When will this get easier?”

It’s essential to remember that every mother’s experience is unique, and setbacks are a natural part of the learning curve.

Embracing these challenges, seeking support, and educating oneself can pave the way to a more comfortable and rewarding breastfeeding journey. As you navigate through the ups and downs, it’s crucial to build self-confidence by celebrating small victories, whether it’s a successful latch or understanding your baby’s feeding cues. Remember, every challenge faced and overcome only strengthens the bond between you and your baby.

The benefits of breastfeeding

There are certainly many rewards to breastfeeding. Breast milk is loaded with essential vitamins, proteins and fatty acids that are necessary for a baby’s healthy growth and development. It can be easier to digest than formula and some mothers find they have fewer digestive issues when their babies are exclusively breastfed.

Breastfeeding has numerous benefits for both mom and baby, including:

  • Lowered risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)

  • Reduced risk of infections, such as ear infections and respiratory infections

  • Reduced risk of asthma, allergies, breast cancer and eczema

  • Lowered risk of obesity and diabetes in both mom and baby

  • Bonding with your baby through skin-to-skin contact and eye contact

  • Saving money on formula and bottles (find out how many bottles you need here)

  • Helping you lose weight postpartum

Challenges of breastfeeding

Although there are plenty of benefits that come along with the breastfeeding relationship, it isn’t without its challenges either (and any mom who has ever breastfed their baby will attest to this!!).

Some babies may have trouble latching onto the breast properly, causing pain and difficulty nursing.

Some moms may feel like they struggle to produce enough milk for their baby, which for many women can be frustrating and lead to feelings of inadequacy. This can be a real roadblock on the path toward successful nursing sessions. Learning the signs of when your breast is empty can be hugely beneficial for confidence.

Breastfeeding can cause sore, cracked, or bleeding nipples, which can make nursing uncomfortable.

When your milk comes in, both in the first few days and periodically for a few weeks, your breasts may become engorged, which can be painful and make it difficult for your baby to latch. This is usually because mom is uncomfortable and, frankly, the breast is like a hard ball with a nipple!

This is an infection that can occur when milk ducts become blocked, causing pain, swelling, and flu-like symptoms.

A fungal infection can cause nipple pain and discharge in both mom and baby. Thrush may also occur due to sleep deprivation and stress.

If you experience any (or all) of these very common issues while breastfeeding head over to my post for tips and tricks to fix them: 11 Common breastfeeding problems and how to fix them for good.

Tips for making breastfeeding easier

Here are some tips to make sure things go smoothly during those early weeks:

  • Get support from a Lactation Consultant or postpartum doula: They can offer crucial tips on proper positioning and latch to improve nursing sessions as well as provide guidance on low milk supply and sore nipples. They are a very valuable resource to support breastfeeding during the early days of your journey!
  • Positioning & latching: Proper positioning and latching can make a big difference in breastfeeding comfort and success. Experiment with different positions until you find what works best for you and your baby. Most of your breastfeeds will probably be at home so invest in a super comfortable breastfeeding chair – you won’t regret it!!!
  • Pumping: Pump it up! Adding some occasional pumping sessions during those first few weeks can help boost your milk supply and keep your motivation flowing strong. This is particularly helpful if you’re headed back to work or dealing with less-than-ideal maternity leave policies. Even if you can’t nurse directly, pumping can stimulate more milk production and provide precious breast milk for your little one.
  • Nipple creams: Pop a tube of nipple cream in your bag to slap on whenever you feel nipple pain – catch any discomfort before it intensifies and leads to you not wanting to breastfeed. It can really help to soothe sore nipples and promote healing (sometimes even within the short time between feeds!).
  • Breastfeeding-friendly clothing: Investing in clothes specifically designed for nursing mothers makes life much easier whether out shopping, attending formal events, or even exercising!
  • Protein powders: Any moms concerned about breastmilk supply may find increasing their protein intake helps. Look for protein powders designed specifically for breastfeeding moms.

  • Nipple shields: A simple device to provide a barrier between you and your babys mouth when breastfeeding. A wonderful bit of kit if you have nipple fissures.

Read more tips here: 16 of the Best Breastfeeding Tips for Newborns: Master the Art of the Boob


Breastfeeding is a journey that takes courage, dedication, and patience. Although it can be challenging at first, with the right support, most women can breastfeed successfully for as long as they desire.

Each breastfeeding experience is unique, so it’s important to listen to your body and seek help when needed. Breastfeeding has many benefits, including providing essential nutrients and antibodies, aiding in weight loss, and promoting bonding.

So if you’re a new mom wondering when breastfeeding gets easier, the answer is that it varies from woman to woman and from baby to baby. However, with patience, support, and a willingness to learn and grow, you can continue to breastfeed for as long as you and your baby desire.


Have Questions? I Have Answers.

Breastfeeding can get easier after the first few weeks as both you and your baby become more familiar with the process. It can also get easier after the first month and at around six months and beyond.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and continuing to breastfeed while introducing complementary foods until at least one year of age. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and continuing to breastfeed with complementary foods until two years of age or beyond.

The average woman breastfeeds for about 15 months. However, there is no set “rule” for how long a woman should breastfeed – it can vary depending on the individual and their needs. Some women may choose to breastfeed exclusively for six months, while others may continue breastfeeding for well beyond two years.

When you and your baby are ready. Every breastfeeding journey is unique, so there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding when to stop breastfeeding. Ultimately, the decision should be based on what works best for both you and your baby.

No, two years is not too long to breastfeed! The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continuing to breastfeed with complementary foods until at least two years of age or beyond.

Yes, breastfeeding for 3 months is a great start! According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months, but any amount of breastmilk you are able to provide your baby with has its benefits.

Final thoughts

Look here’s the bottom line: Happy mommy = happy baby and vice versa. Breastfeed for however long you like. There are no rules here and it is entirely up to you despite what other moms say.

My bf journey? You name it I tried it!! I was determined to breastfeed my babies and experienced pretty much every hurdle on the list whilst internally begging it to get easier …. and you know what it did! I breastfed my first baby for 16 months and my second for 14 months. I wish I had just believed in myself more and given myself a break once in a while – sometimes we need to be our own biggest fan!

Hi! I’m Katie!

I’m a mom of two little ones, a qualified paramedic with a Psychology degree, an entrepreneur and a wife to a great guy. I am passionate about empowering moms with confidence and information so that they can make their own choices about their families. I believe there is too much judgment felt by moms from social media, other moms, and themselves! With a little more self-belief I think moms can feel more confident and happy on their motherhood journeys.

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