Yesterday I shared 14 Reasons Why Breastfeeding Sucks with you. So to help you with fixing all of the not so pleasant issues that breastfeeding comes with, I reached out to my mom blogger friends to come up with 18 tips for breastfeeding mothers! Hopefully reading these tips will help you get through the long days and nights of breastfeeding ahead.
Rebekah from My MSPI Baby says for pumping mammas, “Invest in a high quality pump or rent a medical grade one if you can. I’m personally renting the Medela Symphony and consider it to be a great investment, although plenty of ladies have fantastic luck with the Medela Pump In Style Advanced.”
Claire from Life Love and Dirty Dishes says, “Everyone says it’s the most natural thing, which gives the impression it is easy. The truth is both you and your baby have to learn, and that can take a bit of time. Don’t be hard on yourself if you struggle at first. It takes practice.”
Kate from A Creative Whim says, “I ended up exclusively pumping but my daughter would not eat in the first 24 hours… Wouldn’t even try. I was so frustrated because the nurses kept telling me “she needs to eat by….”, “when I come back she needs to have eaten this long”. My lactation looked at my overwhelmed, new mama self and said, “Remember your daughter doesn’t know that! Relax”
Danielle from The Healthy Momma Blog says, “Doctors know amazingly little about infant nutrition. As in next to nothing. And what they do know is often dated. Contact an IBCLC or lactation consultant before following the advice of any doctor to stop.”
Anke from Patterns and Milk says, “Those first weeks are the hardest. You might want to quit because it hurts or you feel like a milk-machine. But believe me, it will pass soon. For the pain:
1. Try Purelan cream: a god’s gift for the pain!
2. Add drops of your own milk after the feedings
3. Try and leave your boobs out to dry in the air for a while or use tons of towels in the bed: don’t let them get wet in your bra!
4. Use the plastic cups (you can get them in pharmacies) to catch up the milk if you’re loosing tons (I had to change shirts every hour)
5. Read tips online about latching your baby the correct way. Once you get the good way, it will be so much easier!
6. Best tip I got from my midwife when the baby didn’t drink right: After bath, lay down topless on your bed, skin to skin with your baby on your belly/breast and let him/her try to get to your nipple. Babies have a way of finding the right way to eat, if they are in the right position. If you let them do it, they might find it themselves. (Did wonders to me!)
7. Be patient”
Sarah from Semi Urban Mom says, “My advice would be: seek the help of a lactation consultant. Even while you’re still in the hospital or birth center — in fact I wrote it into my birth plan. Having a professional observe and assist with those first few feedings is invaluable! Also: the day your milk comes in is a bit of a rough ride. You will feel crazy loco – be gentle with yourself. It’s not easy, but it’s so worth it.”
Erica from Spoiled Yogi says, “The tip that changed my life: When you lie down in bed to nurse and you need to switch sides, use the arm under baby’s head/neck to lift her up onto your belly or chest then bring her with you as you roll onto your other side. That way one has to get up and everybody’s happy!”
Chardae from Lioness Dae says, “If baby is too frustrated don’t force it, don’t get upset and don’t give up. Talk to the lactation consultant for options. My baby is 18 days and she was tongue tied, after that was corrected breastfeeding has been a breeze. Also don’t get discouraged if you have to supplement with formula.”
Cate from Mary From Martha says, “Don’t get frustrated if your milk doesn’t come in immediately. Baby only needs a couple teaspoons at first and your colostrum is more than enough for the job.”
Jenny from Midwife and Life says, “One of the best go to websites for answers is Kellymom, you will find sensible and evidence based advice here, I often use it as a resource when I need to check something”
Krista from Pink Rose Mama says, “The best advice I ever received was that it will probably suck and be hard but just stick it out and it will get so much easier. Several people told me if I can just stick it out for 2 months, it gets easier…and it did! It was just comforting to know that it wasn’t supposed to be this magical bonding experience right from the start and that my struggles were normal. Also, join an online support group via facebook or see if your hospital offers a breastfeeding group. These resources have been invaluable to me.”
Megan from Insert Meal Here says, “Persistence and kindness while mama and baby learn is so necessary. Plan to have a nurse in after baby arrives where you spend those first few days developing and supporting a strong (breastfeeding) relationship. Being prepared with nutritionally dense meals, like soups and stews with a base of bone broth, will provide the tools mom’s body needs to both heal and produce quality milk quickly.”
Samantha from Grace, Love, and Coffee says, “I’ve been giving breastfeeding advice for awhile now and the best advice I could give is just because baby start cluster feeding doesn’t mean he/she isn’t getting enough! They hit growth spurts and cluster feed many times over the first several months. It’s supply & demand, if you baby is still peeing, pooping, & gaining weight, don’t supplement! They are fine!”
Elizabeth from Elizabeth Ave says, “I would just add from experience, don’t give up when your milk comes in and you might start to get engorged. It will only last about a week and then you’ll start to recognize your body again. In the meantime, alternating warm and cold compresses will ease the pain.”
Aubrey from Full of Grace and Greens says, “My best advice is: don’t give up!! The first couple of weeks for me was awful. Bleeding nipples and so much pain (come to find out baby had a tongue tie). And the other advice is after the first little while- it should never hurt- if it does then the baby may be latching incorrectly. Warm showers and hand expressing in the shower were the best thing ever those first few days when you are so huge! And when you feel like a milk machine just remember what an amazing gift you are giving your sweet little baby”
Brianne from The Sentimental Mama says for pumpers, “Call me crazy but I think pumping is all mental. If I am stressed out, thinking of a million things, I pump less – Sometimes I can’t even pump any milk. Pour yourself a nice glass of ice water, have the baby nearby so you can watch him/her, play some music on your phone, watch a calming show on TV and at times, close your eyes and just visualize you pumping and releasing milk. Yes this sounds ridiculous (I would think it sounded ridiculous if I read this) but I think it works!”
Whitney from Love 2 Little Monkeys says, “My advice is, it may be a natural thing, but it’s hard. Even when it comes “easy” it’s still difficult. I never had a problem with my milk coming in, but it can be a painful. Between feeding often, and when they start teething, it’s going to make you sore. But you cannot give up. I felt like everything was worth it. the soreness doesn’t last forever, and in the end you will be thankful and proud that you made it!”
Marissa from Mamas and Minims says, “Make sure to have a “lie in” period with your baby. Go straight to bed once you get home from the hospital. Side lay on some towels and just sleep and nurse. Elicit all the “helpers” to take care of EVERYTHING else.”