Our Best Breastfeeding Tips
Submitted by real nursing moms, these nursing tips provide practical information, suggestions and support on a variety of breastfeeding topics. Browse the list, share with your pregnant & nursing friends and submit your best tip to us via email.
Helpful Information And Resources (5)
Help With Nursing Problems (6)
Going Back To Work (3)
Pumping & Breastmilk Storage (4)
Nursing Clothes & Nursing In Public (7)
Inspiration & Special Moments (6)
• My Bradley instructor told us to use our relaxation methods learned for labor, while nursing. After a successful latch, take a deep breath and relax every muscle, including your brain. Your baby can sense any tension, frustration and preoccupation you may carry. Your relaxed state will not only help your baby settle but will also aid in letdown. I was always surprised at how much tension I held in my neck and shoulders. Besides, you may as well be comfortable; you could be there a while. I have successfully applied the same technique to pumping.
Michelle Paradis-Sorensen, CA
• My mom showed me how to nurse lying down-what a lifesaver in the early days when the baby wasn’t sleeping much during the night! It allowed me to get some rest and keep the baby close to me. My son is now 6 months old, and we still love this great way to relax, eat and cuddle!
Kristen Burden, FL
• Be prepared for growth spurts and the marathon nursing that comes with them. This is when people think their milk is drying up when in reality, baby is constantly nursing to increase the mother’s supply. As long as the baby is gaining weight, the mother’s supply is not in danger. Growth spurts last only a few days, and the effort is well worth it!
Shayna Simeone Fendley, AR
• The most helpful nursing tip for me has been the purchase of a Baby Sling like the one you sell. I recently gave birth to my third child and after exclusively nursing my other two children for a year or more, I was looking forward to the convenience of nursing this one as well. What I didn't anticipate was how much busier I would be with three children. I am a nurse, my eldest is a special needs child and my middle child is in first grade. With everything going on, I find the Baby Sling to be my most helpful possession. When my baby is awake, she likes to be carried forward facing so she can look around. When she falls asleep, I turn her either in a cradle position or towards me, and when I nurse she is discreetly covered by the sling. I can nurse when I am helping in my daughter’s class, while I grocery shop, even while I did most of my Christmas shopping this year.
Shelly Campbell, NM
• I had collected books on parenting that I never got a chance to read, but putting a stack of them on a small table by my favorite rocking chair let me read quite a lot during the first weeks of my younger son’s life. I felt like it was a perfect nursing activity, second only to reading to my older son.
Tamara Brent, MO
• If you get a lump in your breast, nurse or express more often, not less, and call a doctor immediately if it becomes sore or red or if you feel like you have the flu. You can safely nurse your baby right through it all, and you should.
Carrie Kent, M.D., NC
• The most helpful piece of advice came from the Lactation Specialist at the hospital where we gave birth. She candidly told us that during the first few weeks of nursing, when the baby latches on, there often can be an initial discomfort, but after a few sucks, it should become tolerable (if the latch is correct). This candid advice encouraged me through the first few weeks of nursing. Now, I am happy to report that she is almost 4 months, has been exclusively breastfed since birth, and weighs in at the 78th percentile for her age. Both she and I thoroughly enjoy all our nursing times together, and nursing has been very comfortable over the last three months. Thank you, Sherri, for your honesty!
Michelle Loy Fisk, NY
• With my first child, my nipples were cracked and bleeding. I was in so much pain, but I wanted to nurse. I spoke to a lactation specialist and she advised me to buy green cabbage and place a leaf inside my bra against the nipple. Within a day, my nipples were healing and it was not as painful to feed. With my second child, I needed a little guidance to remember how to get him to latch on correctly. The nurse suggested I think of my breast as a sandwich. She said, “You can’t eat a sandwich like this,” and placed her hands in a vertical position, “but instead you eat it like this,” and held her hand horizontally. The visualization and the explanation of something that makes sense to me really helped me appreciate how to place my breast.
Rabecca Cisneros, UT
• My favorite breastfeeding tips: 1) Most breastfeeding difficulties can be resolved by two things: nursing more and doing less of everything else. 2) Surrender to motherhood. Nurse your new baby and let the rest of the world spin on by. 3) Get as much help as you can. Accept each and every offer of assistance-with cleaning, laundry, cooking, caring for older siblings-so you can nurse and enjoy your new baby in the early days. 4) Whisper the following to yourself: “Just the baby.” Repeat as needed.
Nancy Walters, NC
• Obtain help from cyberspace. With my second child I'm willing to take on the challenge of returning to work full-time and continuing my nursing. Unlike with my first child, I've been able to research different breast pumps, browse through nursing catalogs, and order necessary items online. I feel as though I've acquired a whole network of breastfeeding cheerleaders, even though no one in my family has breastfed successfully.
• If your baby is slow to gain weight and you think (or have been told) he or she is not getting enough milk, there's likely a simple solution. Ask yourself: Are you eating the proper diet? Are you nursing frequently to encourage milk production? Are you getting enough rest? Are you making your life as stress-free as possible?
• When I pick up my daughter at her caregiver’s we have a nursing session immediately before the drive home. It makes a comforting reunion for both of us and is something I look forward to the whole day!
Ronalee Cargould, OH
• When I went back to work full time initially I took off each Wednesday, never working more than two days in a row. Jacob and I established a routine and get some great catch-up nursing time on Wednesdays and the weekends. My boss allowed me to go back to work four days before my scheduled paid time off ended, so those Wednesdays didn’t count against my vacation time and I was paid for them!
Lisa Bendik, NC
• When my first child started sleeping through the night and I went back to work, my friend Carmelle recommended a way to keep my milk supply up while collecting extra milk for bottles: In the morning, feed him from one breast and pump milk from the other. I found by doing this I can collect an entire bottle of milk in the morning, so I have to pump only twice during the day to get enough for the next day. It’s a great way to save time and keep up my milk supply-both of which have allowed me to continue to nurse full time while working full time.
Julilynne Rink, IL
• Write out the directions for warming breast milk on a 3x5 card for sitters to use. Keep it in a plastic recipe card sleeve to make it last longer. Keep one copy on the refrigerator and one in your diaper bag. Not everyone knows how to warm breast milk properly, so don't assume your sitter knows how.
• Try storing your expressed breast milk flat in the freezer. It takes up much less space and is easier to thaw out!
Dana Hall, RI
• Pump the other breast while nursing your baby on one side. The letdown is better because you are already nursing.
Colleen Donahue, NJ
• Don’t buy a breast pump from a company that also makes baby formula. A breast pump is an investment. Purchase wisely from a good manufacturer and you’ll be pleased with the results-good performance and painless pumping!
Nicole Cooley, CO
• When dining in restaurants, I always request a booth over a table. The booth provides much more privacy when nursing a baby. It is usually positioned along the side of the restaurant, the table is generally higher, and the high back helps to conceal mom and baby.
Kelly Roach, KY
• The easiest way to take your baby on the plane with you is as a lap child. Instead of being strapped into a car seat, the baby sits on your lap with you. When you take off and land, nurse your little one; this keeps his ears from hurting. I can’t imagine anyone on a plane who would rather hear a crying baby over a quietly nursing one!
Jill Uhryniak, PA
• Invest in a few nursing clothes that you can wear with different outfits. It makes nursing in public less conspicuous and a breeze. A nice top and dress will make you feel wonderful, confident about nursing and about being a mom.
Jennifer M. Pano, CA
• A good friend told me that before the baby was born I should invest in three good nursing bras: one to wear, one for the laundry, and one for the drawer. I bought three different styles, too, to see which one I liked best. The kind of bra I disliked pre-nursing ended up being the style I like most now! And the best is that you don’t have to run out with a newborn to buy bras!
Angela Reina, TX
• Invest in plenty of cotton nursing pads for both day and nighttime use. They are far more comfortable than disposables and more economical in the long run.
Dana Hall, RI
• Ignore everyone else when you’re out and about and nursing your child. I breastfed my older daughter everywhere and anywhere. No one has ever mentioned my breastfeeding in a public place. I simply go about what needs to be done without making eye contact with passing strangers and instead watch my child. In this manner I’m never affected by any looks that may or may not come my way and I’m able to remain calm and relaxed the entire time.
Debi Schefren, FL
• My advice to those wanting to breastfeed multiples: You can do it! Surround yourself with those who support your decision. Keep at it. The first weeks are the hardest and it does get easier. It really will become one of your favorite times. I found it was the only quiet, one-on-one time I was able to spend with each of my boys. Breastfeeding your babies is a special gift that your children will have forever!
Nancy Burns, NJ
• The best advice I’ve received regarding breastfeeding is that it is about more than nourishment. Often my daughter wants to nurse because she is hurt, lonely, scared, or tired. Sometimes nursing meets an emotional need and not just a nutritional one.
Cyndy Payne, MI
• Have someone take a photo over your shoulder to remember exactly how wonderful it is to look down at your child while nursing her. It is hard for me to remember exactly what it was like to nurse my 3-year-old, who nursed for 15 months but seems so grown up now. With my second child I had my husband take photos.
Melissa Ripley-Frattasio, MA
• Talk about nursing every opportunity you can find. I have many pregnant friends who are now going to try nursing because they have heard about my wonderful experience. A lot of women just aren’t educated when it comes to nursing. They’re afraid to try it because they have heard “horror stories” about cracked nipples, breast infections and engorgement.
Lisa Dalrymple, WV
• Breastfeeding creates a very special bond between a mother and baby. Many times I have had a list of things to do a mile long, but I sit down to nurse my baby and I then remember what is truly important.
Jill Doering, AR
• Surround yourself with people who are supportive of breastfeeding and who will support you in it.
Lori Boehning, IL
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