Quick Breastfeeding Tips

mother breast feeding her baby

New mothers may find breastfeeding confusing at first. You may not know exactly what to do or how to do it. Hopefully these breastfeeding tips will help to get you started.

breastfeeding baby

Start Early. It is good to begin breastfeeding within an hour after birth if possible, when the baby is alert and the instinct to suck is strong. Although you will not yet be producing milk, your breasts contain colostrum, a thin milky fluid that contains important antibodies to disease.

mother breastfeeding her baby

Feed Frequently. You should try breastfeeding your baby at least every two to three hours. This will help to keep your breasts soft and lessen or even prevent engorgement. Watch for signs that your baby is hungry, such as changes in facial expressions, sucking sounds or lip movements, and rapid eye movement or restlessness during light naps. If you keep an eye out for these signs, you can learn to anticipate your baby's hunger. Breastfeeding on cue will help stimulate your breasts to produce more milk.

mother breastfeeding her baby

Good Positioning. Having the right positioning for breastfeeding will play a major role in reducing nipple soreness. Use your hand to support the baby's neck. The baby's mouth should be open wide with the lips puckered out like “fish lips,” not folded in. The nipple should go back as far into his or her mouth as possible. If you need help finding the proper positioning, ask a nurse, midwife, or other experienced mother for some help breastfeeding.


breastfeeding mother

Nipple Upkeep. When you first begin breastfeeding, your nipples may become very sore. After each breastfeeding session, rub a small amount of breast milk on and around each nipple and allow it to air dry. This will help to prevent cracking, which can lead to infection. In cases where your nipples do crack, coat them with breast milk, vitamin E oil, or lanolin to help them heal. Be aware that some babies may have an allergic reaction to certain moisturizing agents. Proper positioning while breastfeeding is very important to avoid sore nipples.

breastfeeding mother

Look Out for Breast Infections. If you experience a fever or painful lumps and redness in your breasts, you should seek medical attention immediately.

breastfeeding mother

Postpone Using Artificial Nipples. If you are going to be breastfeeding your baby, avoid introducing pacifiers or other artificial nipples too early. Artificial nipples require a different sucking action than the real thing, and it can be easy for your baby to become confused. Try to wait until after a couple weeks of breastfeeding, before introducing any type of fake nipple.

breastfeeding baby

No Supplements Needed. There is no need to supplement breastfeeding with sugar water or formula. Neither of these come close to comparing with the nutritional complexity of your breast milk, and they may interfere with your baby's appetite for breastfeeding and lead to a diminished milk supply. Breastfeeding your baby more often will, in turn, cause you to produce more milk.


breastfeeding couple

Engorgement. When you first begin breastfeeding, you will be producing a lot of milk, which can make your breasts big, hard, and painful. You can help to ease this engorgement by breastfeeding frequently until your body adjusts to produce only as much as the baby needs. While your body adjusts, you can help to relieve the pain by applying warm, wet compresses, or taking warm baths. Some over-the-counter pain relievers will help, but consult your doctor before taking any sort of drug, because it may be passed through your milk to the baby.

 breastfeeding baby

Stay Healthy. A mother who is breastfeeding needs to eat a healthy diet in order to produce enough good milk. You should try and get an extra 500 calories a day, drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluids, and avoid drugs, alcohol, caffeine, and smoke. You should also rest as much as possible while breastfeeding, because breast infections are aggravated by fatigue.

{ MORE: How to Reduce Postpartum Breast Engorgement }

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Quick Breastfeeding Tips

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  1. Emily says:

    For cracked nipples, I use MADE OF nipple balm which has helped a lot!

  2. JQBMom says:

    I wanted to comment specifically on the nipple-care tips, and to ask questions:
    I have not started breastfeeding yet, as I do not give birth for another month or so , but I have been prepping with short-burst nipple toughening (gentle washcloth ‘trauma’, as my Mum swears this helped her to prep before my siblings were born – she didn’t know about it with me!) and using organic coconut oil as a lotion, since that helped a LOT when my nipples first got REALLY sensitive – I had looked up natural (non-lanolin, as I have a poor reaction to it, plus lanolin is very sticky and kinda difficult to apply to owie places) remedies for sore nipples.
    The bonus was that coconut oil was also recommended for diaper rash (amongst other things), and I was REALLY hoping for a good alternative to Desitin, as I LOATHE that stuff!

    So, my questions are as follows:
    1) has anyone else really used coconut oil as nipple lotion and/or diaper ointment?
    2) If so, have you used other remedies, and what was the comparison?
    3) Has anyone discovered a coconut allergy in their baby from day one? I know this question is the least likely to be answered, but I wanted to ask.

    Thanks, CoMommunity!

    • Megan Klay says:

      Hi there! I used coconut oil as a nipple lotion when I was first nursing, and found that it didn’t hold up as well as the Lanolin. I used Lansinoh’s Lanolin and really liked it! I also use coconut oil as a diaper ointment, and it works great. We don’t baby wipe him for pees, only poos (he poops at least once a day so he gets a frequent, thorough wipe down, not counting baths which we do twice/week), and we apply the coconut oil after every wipe down. It works great! We have used butt paste a handful of times if he seems more seriously irritated, but otherwise coconut oil does the trick. I love the stuff!

  3. Alyssa says:

    My daughter didn’t want anything to do with eating in her first 2 hrs, I had a normal delivery and skin to skin time, but all she wanted to do was look around 🙂 She’s a week yesterday and eating well now, I had a terrible time with engorgement on her 4th-5th day. so now I have a nice stock of milk in the freezer, half of it colostrum 🙂 definitely recommend pumping when you’re engorged, might as well take advantage of the crazy milk production

  4. MrsPearson says:

    breastfeeding is the best!

  5. Juana says:

    I love to breast feed and I’m eager to do it again. I get very emotional just seeing my baby drinking milk .

  6. RANECIA says:

    i also take fenugreek for lactation;-). its helped so did cutting out tomatoes it s been giving me heartburn:-(

  7. Summertime94 says:

    cant wait to start breast feeding

  8. great info..great article

  9. EbyMom says:

    this will be helpful. good article

  10. allie_cat says:

    i will keep this all in mind

  11. when my baby is born i will breastfeed her but when we went to a store and my husband got me nipple butter and it was a sample but with my 2nd dauter my nipples got bad soo sore and idk about the nipple butter but with this babe ohhh im going to use my nipp butter

  12. I fear how big these things are gonna get

  13. emi285 says:

    If you ever need help, the La Leche League has great tips on their website too!

  14. erica says:

    i loved it im a try it

  15. Valerie says:

    very informative. love it(:


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