Breastfeeding

60 real mum breastfeeding tips

We asked the lovely mums in our Facebook Community to give us their TOP TIPS for successful breastfeeding. We have gathered 60 of the best tips and listed them below for you.

A massive thank you to all the mums who contributed and sent in their tips.  4 Of The Best Breastfeeding Apps

Please remember that these tips come from real mum’s experiences and are not advice from a midwife, lactation consultant or doctor. If you are having problems with breastfeeding and need help then contact the Breastfeeding Association for expert advice.

60 breastfeeding tips from REAL MUMS

  1. Take it slow and listen to your body and your baby. Listen to others advice but listen to your body more. It will hurt to start with but it will get easier and if you choose not to be eat feed that’s ok too. If something feels wrong it usually is so seek help
  2. Patience-it’s not the easiest thing to accomplish, so listen to your body and be kind to yourself.
  3. Every baby is different so each breastfeeding experience will be different. Don’t be too hard on yourself either.
  4. The one thing I wish I knew was that it doesn’t always come naturally and sometimes you have to work really hard at it, but there is great help available in the form of midwives and lactation consultants so don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed.
  5. It is difficult and painful to start. It can require a lot of patience and perseverance. It will get easier and you will get more confident. And eventually it will probably feel easy!
  6. My advice would be to trust yourself – cluster feeding is real! And sometimes they really do just want to feed on and off constantly for hours. This is ok and totally normal! X
  7. It hurts so much at first, but it gets easier. It takes practice and patience to get that latch right. Ask for help if you need it!
  8. If you need help, ask, there are so many fabulous resources. Feeding may not happen how you expect, be patient and try and get rid of any preconceived ideas. If your baby is gaining the right amount and growing, don’t question your supply.
  9. Persistence is the key. It will get easier, it will hurt less, it won’t always be so frequent. Also don’t let unsupportive family & friends push you into formula feeding
  10. Not everyone can pump enough… don’t judge your supply on what you can pump. I can only pump 30ml all up, yet had enough to feed five babies if need be.  Breastfed babies may not poop every day… they can go for a week+ and it is normal… bonus breast milk poo doesn’t stink, it has a sweet smell lolCommon Breastfeeding Struggles
  11. If it hurts get a good lactation consultant that looks in bub’s mouth not just what they can see on the outside
  12. I had a premmie baby who was tube fed exclusively for the first 4 days and then i was able to start introducing the breast. I thought my breastfeeding relationship was going to be severely impacted and was a little bit sad. But just because you have an unplanned start to breastfeeding relationship doesn’t mean you wont establish one eventually and continue on to have a successful experience with breastfeeding. It takes practise and time and perseverance. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself but stick with it (if you want to) and ask for help, midwives, lactation consultants and the MACH clinic can all help.
    If you find you have a pushy midwife or aren’t finding the help you need with one health professional, ask for someone else.
  13. It is totally normal for a feed to last an hour or more with a newborn, as they grow they get more efficient at it.
  14. Demand feeding is just that. Don’t worry what the clock says or when the last feed was – your bub can’t tell time but they can tell you they’re hungry and cluster feeding can be hard work but is necessary and won’t last forever.
  15. Don’t judge your supply by what you can express or how much Bub feeds! Cluster feeding is normal! Breastfeeding can be a learned skill and takes lots of patience but is so worth it. Drink lots and lots of water!! Not just to your thirst!
  16. Aim the nipple to the roof of bub’s mouth, it will help them to latch properly. I never knew this with my first and breast feeding was painful. A midwife explained this to me with my 2nd and it was never painful to breast feed. Currently feeding my 3rd and again no problems. If Bub is latched properly there should be no pain.
  17. My tip would be, so long as you are comfy, you can breastfeed anywhere. It’s a lot easier and less stressful to just sit down and settle a hungry bub.
  18. Every feed is a success, whether your feeding journey lasts a week or three years
  19. The first few weeks (or in my case months) can be really hard but it does get better!! And it is so rewarding
  20. Make sure you are relaxed, bubs can sense when your stressed and make it difficult, especially in the beginning!  breastfeeding
  21. For bigger breasted women .. You may need to hold your breast while bubba feeds .. I do
  22. Skin to skin is awesome especially after a bath in those early days. Pop a blanket over and snuggle in! Read the tired/hungry signs.. A pull of the ear, rub of an eye, stare, yawn… Get straight to your Bub and pop them into feed!
  23. I found that shoulders back and almost pushing boobs out saved the nibbles from damage, I also YouTubed a few clips of mums breastfeeding in different positions to see what it looks like to actually do it and which position works.
  24. Ask for help! Don’t feel like a failure if it doesn’t come naturally or you can’t do it, it takes a lot of practice! Oh and invest in a truckload of lansinoh!
  25. It can hurt really bad at the start, but it gets better. And becomes pain free and enjoyable. Teething shouldn’t interrupt or stop feeding, your baby might just need to readjust a lazy latch. Cluster feeding is normal.
  26. Try and try. Get help. But you are NOT a bad mother if the planets don’t align and it doesn’t work out.
  27. While breastfeeding is a natural instinct, it is also a learned skill that you and your baby will need a lot of practice with before you’re doing it great every time.
  28. I had a prem who was in hospital for nearly six weeks. I thought I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. I pumped every two hours and sometimes got nothing but still got up to pump. He is five months old now and I am extremely happy and proud to say he is exclusively breastfed. Not all tube Nicu babies are. If met with this situation just keep pumping 🙂
  29. Be kind to yourself!
  30. Eat eat eat! Drink drink drink! Don’t be too busy rushing around that you haven’t eaten or drunk water. You can expect your body to make all the food and drink for another human being if you aren’t feeding yourself!
  31. Trust your body.. it’s easy to doubt it but rewarding to trust it and see it nourish your body. Enjoy the snuggles that breastfeeding brings!
  32. Do not feel ashamed or like a failure if you are unable to breastfeed exclusively or at all.
  33. Big busted girls might find it easier to put a rolled up hand towel under their boob to add lift so bub can feed easier. Using your hand can sometimes cause blocked ducts
  34. Get help beforehand, speak to nurses or a lactation consultant, know what to expect and what you can do if things are difficult to start with. It can be hard and doesn’t come easily to everyone at the start. Also, just because breastfeeding didn’t work with one baby doesn’t mean it won’t with another. My first was formula feed after a fairly traumatic attempt at BF, second bub is breastfed.
  35. It’s ok to not be able to breast feed. It’s not always as easy as it seems and a formula fed baby is a fed baby none the less
  36. Just relax. That’s the most important thing. Relax. You and bub are learning and it will work out. Enjoy every feed as you are giving them the best possible start. For you, eat right and drink lots of fluids. Avoid things like garlic, chilli, caffeine before feeding as it can affect bub. Oh and get some gripe water, it’s natural and works wonders with gas and reflux!!
  37. Get help, seek out lactation consultants and press that buzzer 100 times if you need to when (if) you’re in hospital and get the midwives to help you. Read, read and read some more. Learn about how breastfeeding works, and the different phases of feeding (cluster etc) don’t feed to a schedule, learn how your baby works.
  38. Enjoy every single precious moment of it.. like everything else in life it goes to fast! And always do whats right for you and bub no matter what other opinions you are given, its ur special bond!
  39. Learn everything you can about it beforehand – I think is the hardest thing about being a new Mum but the least education is given beforehand in antenatal classes.
  40. I have to say that although it can be tough for some mothers I found trusting my own judgment & being alone and comfortable with bubs was the easiest way to go.. its creating that bond & sometimes to much ‘help’ can hinder.  close up of mother breastfeeding
  41. Put a hair tie around your wrist of the last side you fed from, to keep track of which breast is more full (when to feed from,next feed)
  42. A good breastfeeding pillow to help ease neck and shoulder pain. Oh and breastfeeding is not an earth mother thing. It needs to be taught. I have 4 kids and each time I made sure the midwives helped me every time too attach.
  43. I found block feeding effective for me. Fed from the one boob for the entire feed so bub got plenty of hindmilk
  44. Don’t give up on your worst day and get plenty of support, the first 3-6 weeks suck but after that it usually gets easier
    It is just such an amazing bonding experience everyone should feel
  45. Don’t be pressured in to doing something you don’t want to. Yes, a lot of what you hear and read says breastfeeding is natural and that it is just the greatest bond, but if you struggle or don’t like it, don’t stress! You do what is best for you. You will find your own bond and happiness when you listen to your heart.
  46. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your choice, stay strong mamma bears. Its the best thing for you little one, you can get through anything for them.
  47. Bring baby to boob, not boob to baby. It’ll save you a lot of backache
  48. If you have a fast flow try feeding lying down
  49. Get a pillow to use to lay bub on when feeding… saves your back.
  50. Buy good nipple shields (medala were my faves) , these saved me when breastfeeding as bubs couldn’t latch and allowed us to both build up the strength and confidence to eventually get rid of them.
  51. It’s harder than you think, but at the same time so much more amazing than you than you think it will be.
  52. In winter have wheat pack or gel snap pack handy… Warm you lower back or feet and that 2am feed will seem faster than shivering through it.
  53. Have a glass of water right next to you. Heaps of comfy pillows, TV off and just unwind and relax with your baby! Breastfed my first for 12 months and my third seven months and still going
  54. Develop thick skin… Damned if you do damned if you don’t breastfeed… Someone’s always going to be against you but someone’s always going to be with you… Remember you’re never alone with your choice whether you make it, your body makes it or your bub makes it…. Do what’s right for you and bub at that time… Always ask for help or advice – but take what fits and file the rest away for another day or never.
  55. Do what’s best for your baby and you, everyone will always have an opinion on what they think is right. But it’s your body, your baby, use your instincts and do what you think is best
  56. Do not express then think your not getting enough for your baby a breastfed baby will feed on demand sometimes as lil as half an hour to maybe five hours between feeds, breast milk is easily digested and broken down, the more a baby feeds the more milk you will make I got told at four months I must not be making enough milk because my lil one wanted to feed all the time and because I couldn’t express much, worst thing a new mum can do thankfully this was my third and read up on worst mistakes you can make and they were two of them I successfully breastfed my third for 20 months because of those two tips. Oh and lanolin smoother those nipples after every feed!!! Also don’t forget to nourish your body with food full of goodness and have a few extra carbs if needed because if you’re not eating properly your milk will not be full of goodness
  57. Breastfeeding may be the hardest thing you will do, but if its important to you, push through the tough times. I know the days are long and the nights even longer, but I promise it gets easier. The fog does eventually lift, but if it doesn’t, speak to your GP, a mothers mental health is of utmost importance. Oh and check for tongue and lip ties, see a specialist if you have too. Some GPs can’t see them, don’t know what to look for. So many go undiagnosed and are the reason for pain/discomfort and in some cases low supply because bub isn’t emptying the boob effectively. Go with your instinct, if you think something isn’t right, you are probably right.
  58. Don’t give up, if it does not feel right ask for help, relax, drink plenty and enjoy it is beautiful what we can do for our kiddies. I had a different road with my son than my daughter who was a boobie monster, and my son who only had four per cent usage of his mouth, my milk dried up, than after a lady donated me and continues to donate over 10 litters of breast milk so I could feed my son through a supply line to re-establish my milk…It is hard but so beautiful
  59. I found as my baby grew, adapting how I fed or held her really helped me stay comfy and relaxed. Football hold is great when they are getting heavier. Laying on your side in bed with bub cuddled in beside you is good if you have a larger bust. I also had GD with both pregnancies. My BF consultant encouraged me to express my colostrum after 34 wks gestation and freeze it. When bub number one was born he had low BSL and was in NICIU so it was thawed and tubed fed to him whilst i was recovering. Done the same with bub number 2 and luckily her BSL was fine. But it came in handy for a sneaky night top up from my midwife whilst I had a snooze after my C-section. Good luck mumma bears!
  60. Lots of water in arms reach for mummy . Be mindful of the food you eat as some upset baby . Get a body pillow or pillows for support and always make sure you get rid of wind.
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