If you are planning to breastfeed your baby or are already breastfeeding now, you need all the hacks and breastfeeding tips you can get your hands on.
Breastfeeding isn’t easy, well maybe is it for some moms, but it wasn’t for me and so many other breastfeeding moms.
If you’re struggling and searching the web for breastfeeding answers and solutions you’re doing the right thing. Keep searching until you find what works for you. I would also strongly urge you to get connected with your breastfeeding community through organizations like La Leche League.
I hope these tips will help you stick to your breastfeeding goals as there are many reasons to quit and give up. I personally hit many, many walls when breastfeeding all three of my kids and ended my journey far earlier than I intended.
I don’t have any guilt or regrets because I don’t believe that’s healthy for myself or my little ones. But now I want to help moms like you find the help and answers you need!
The Best Breastfeeding Resources and Freebies
If you haven’t started breastfeeding yet or you are and find yourself struggling with proper latch or milk supply you may want to consider a course like Milkology. This is the FREE Milkology Break Feeding Course.
Here are some great breastfeeding freebies:
If you haven’t had your baby shower yet you can get a FREE Amazon Welcome Box when you start an Amazon Baby Registry. You get a box full of goodies. Plus, you’ll earn a 15% discount for completing your registry, 20% off a diaper subscription and the ability to return items for free for 90 days.
The Affordable Healthcare Act has now made it easier for new moms to qualify for a free breast pump. Click here to get details.
Must-Have Breastfeeding Products
This list of breastfeeding supplies will help make breastfeeding more efficient, easier, and more enjoyable for you and your precious baby.
Breastfeeding Pillow – This pillow is made for breastfeeding and is uniquely shaped to make bringing your baby to you much easier. It gets high praise from breastfeeding moms. You could, of course, use a regular pillow but these are just a bit more effective.
Breastfeeding Stool – Having a specially designed nursing stool allows
Milk Savers – When you’re feeding baby on one side, milk tends to leak a lot from the opposite breast. And because breastmilk is liquid gold, we want to save every drop! Wearing these soft, silicone breast shields will allow you to easily trap milk as you’re feeding.
Tips to Getting the Best Latch
Getting your newborn to latch on properly is a bit like the blind leading the blind, especially if this is your first time breastfeeding!
Getting a good latch is basically the cornerstone of healthy and pain-free breastfeeding. Breastfeeding with a bad latch creates a laundry list of problems such as extreme pain, sore nipples, and sometimes even low milk supply and breast infections.
This is where a great breastfeeding course, a consultant with a lactation consultant, and helpful video tutorials like the one below are extremely helpful.
Make sure you bring baby to you and not you to baby. This tip is the foundation for good breastfeeding habits. Hunching over to bring your breast to your baby is a hard and painful habit to break resulting in a poor latch and a sore back and neck for you.
No matter which position you choose, always aim your nipple toward the roof of baby’s mouth. This helps ensure your nipple is at baby’s soft palate. Having your nipple dead-center of your baby’s mouth is bad latch and will result in painful breastfeeding.
If you know your latch isn’t proper (usually because of extreme pain) it’s even more important to break the seal of the latch before removing your baby. I made this mistake more than a few times and I can’t describe the pain!
It’s surprising how much suction a baby can create when breastfeeding and breaking a latch can be difficult. Here’s a video that shows the proper way to do it.
If your breasts are really full, it’s helpful to soften the breast before getting baby to latch. You can do that by pumping or hand expressing first. If your breasts are too hard and full, it can be difficult for baby to latch properly.
The Easiest Breastfeeding Positions for Beginners
There are so many positions to breastfeed your baby. You’ll choose the position based on many factors such as experience, personal comfort, and whether it’s night time.
Here’s a simple video to show the various positions you can try with your baby for your next feeding.
Tips to Reduce Pain with Breastfeeding
Getting help from a lactation consultant is very helpful because they are able to help you and your baby in person instead of just on your own through a screen.
Lactation consultant Sandra Yates of Vancouver says that, in fact, latch problems are the most common cause of breastfeeding pain. “Breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt,” she assures mothers. “When it does, it’s usually a signal that something is wrong and we need to find a way to fix it.” Source
Breasts can become engorged, especially when your milk first comes in. This can be extremely painful and means your breasts need to be emptied either by breastfeeding, expressing by hand, or pumping.
Using cool compresses on breasts will also help alleviate the pain in addition to emptying the milk.
Know the warning signs of breast infections like Thrus and Mastitis. I personally experienced both of these conditions on more than one occasion. They were extremely painful and set back my breastfeeding efforts tremendously.
Preventing these conditions before they set in is so important to continuing healthy breastfeeding.
Tips to Heal Sore Nipples
The two leading causes of sore nipples when breastfeeding are bad latch and not property breaking the seal of a bad latch.
In addition, there are other causes for sore nipples such as milk blisters or blebs, pump friction, and breast infections.
Here are the best ways to heal and soothe your sore and cracked nipples.
- Apply a small amount of breastmilk to your nipples after feeding or pumping and apply a nipple ointment. Do not air dry as commonly taught as this can cause scabs to form and causes slower and more painful healing.
- Keep breasts exposed to air as much as possible in between feedings. And because you probably don’t want to walk around naked all day, a soft and breathable nursing bra can help tremendously.
- Using cotton
breastpadswithout a plastic liner will allow air to flow naturally and you can place a healthy dab of ointment onto the pad to keep healthy moisture on the nipples in between feedings.
- Apply a natural nipple ointment to sore and cracked nipples before and after feedings and especially pumping to help reduce pump friction.
The following video is teaches you step by step how to mix a natural healing saline solution for quick healing.
How to Know If Your Baby is Getting Enough Milk
This has to be one of the biggest questions breastfeeding moms have, hands down. There’s always a bit of fear when you can’t actually see how much milk your baby is drinking.
And if your baby is fussy, you can immediately assume (many times incorrectly) that your baby isn’t getting enough milk.
Here are some helpful tips to give you much needed peace of mind:
- Your breast should go from full to soft and empty after nursing.
- You’ll know your baby is actively drinking when you hear her slurping and swallowing.
- Your baby is wetting at least 6 diapers a day and soiling at least 3 mustard-colored stools a day after your milk comes in.
- Your baby seems comfortable, satisfied, and even sleeping after feedings.
- Your baby is growing on track
acordingto your pediatritian.
What are your best breastfeeding hacks and tips? Share them in the comments below!