25 Breastfeeding Tips!

June 17, 2020

When I wrote my first breastfeeding post, I was 34 weeks pregnant and was getting ready to embark on a nursing journey I knew nothing about. I reached out to some of my best friends to write that post. They gave me amazing advice and really helped prepare me for what was to come.

Here I am again, this time 35 weeks pregnant and getting ready for another nursing journey. This time with a little bit more knowledge in my back pocket, and still leaning on friends to guide me through.

If you want to read the original post - you can find it here Bun Maternity + 17 Breastfeeding Tips! or my other one Breastfeeding 101! This one is honesty the most comprehensive :)  I've combined some of the best tips from that post and some new ones I picked up along the way. I also had a few questions from Instagram friends and I wanted to answer them here! 

Disclaimer: Links in the post may be affiliate links if you click them and purchase something it costs you nothing but I make a little percentage. Thanks for supporting brands that support EG.



QUESTIONS || 

Is there such thing as a pump that is more comfortable or less comfortable? Yes! I used the Medela Pump in Style Advanced with Quinn. It worked great for me for the entire time I nursed. This time I picked the Spectra - just to try it out! I'll keep you posted, and maybe do a full post on both once I've tried!

Ps. Before you buy, you can go here and get one FREE from your Insurance. I loved this pump. Granted it was the only one I ever used, but it was great. One major tip - try different nipple shields.

I remember, I was 2 weeks postpartum and I called my mom guru Lyndsey because when I pumped, I was literally pumping nothing. I knew something was up because Quinnie was eating well, and sleeping well, so I knew she was getting milk. I had read the instructions on what nipple shield to use (make sure your nipple doesn't touch the shield) but my friend told me to just go ahead and try the larger one. Once I did, OMG guys, I pumped SO much milk. Don't be afraid to try all the shields.

My boobs are so incredibly sore and I'm pregnant, tips for sore boobs now and after? First, welcome to the breastfeeding club! Sore boobs are a right of passage :) For sore boobs while pregnant - try hot showers and let the water hit them. Wear a comfortable bra! Girls, I hate to tell ya, but it's time to get rid of your sexy lacy bras and underwire, and exchange them for your nursing bras. Here are my favorites. But I swear, no underwire will be a GAME changer! If they are super sore, try frozen breast pads. I used these when I first started nursing and they are amazing.

Sore when you start nursingLansinoh nipple cream and frozen breast pads. Also, know the pain will end. Your nips will get used to it and then you'll forget about the pain (until your babe gets teeth) :) Related to sore boobs, not nips -- sometimes it felt good to pump after nursing. We did a dream feed (more on sleep schedules later) and sometimes Quinn wouldn't eat fully and I would still feel a little full. If I knew she wouldn't eat for another 3-4 hours, I would go and pump off the extra to ease the soreness.

I have clogged ducts, help! This happened to me once and OMG, I am so sorry. It is so dang painful. So my MIL told me when this happens, get in the shower, turn the water on VERY hot and let it hit your boob. Then, squeeze. Push hard on the area that is clogged. Ladies, this will hurt so bad. Ask your husband if you aren't strong enough. Trust me it isn't sexy, but sometimes you need the extra push. If it's not that clogged, nurse a little extra and massage the area as your baby is nursing. Honestly, them nursing is probably the best and easiest way. Or, just massage the area. Grab a heating pad and rub.

Milk Boosting Suggestions! I read somewhere that oatmeal helps with milk production, so what did I do? I ate oatmeal EVERY morning. Still do. I know that's weird, but it worked great for me (plus it kept me full!).
  • I pumped after all my feedings (for the first few weeks).
  • I made lactation cookies and balls. They are delicious. 
  • I took these lactation pills
  • I drank this tea.
  • I chugged a ton of water, way more water than you think is necessary. My advice, get a Yeti and drink one per-feeding and then more in between. 
  • I love these cookies too. 
25 BREASTFEEDING TIPS ||
  1. Stay calm! Go to a zen place in your mind and your milk will flow like Niagara Falls! Literally think happy thoughts because if you are stressed or upset (which is so easy to be at first when the baby won’t latch and you don’t really know what you’re doing) your milk will literally shut off. Be patient with yourself - this is new but your body does the work for you.  Give it time and know that you are doing good 
  2. Massage your boobs before you feed when starting out. You have milk ducts all the way in your arm pit (you’ll find this out when your milk comes in and it’s rock solid over there for the first few days!) but massaging really helps get the flow to start and helps the baby want to latch if they get a little teaser taste. 
  3. Count dirty diapers to ensure she's getting enough milk/food. 
  4. Those first few days at home - try different places to nurse to find what’s comfortable for you. I initially thought nursing in bed would be so easy, but it took me forever to get comfortable there. Turns out, this random chair in our family room was my favorite spot! 
  5. Get a milk grabber. These are pumps that aren’t really pumps but they suction onto your boob that you aren’t feeding on and catch the leaking! So no wasted breast milk!  I got this one: The NatureBond Silicone Manual Breast Pump Breastfeeding Milk Saver Suction.
  6. Have pineapple juice handy, it helps alleviate mastitis.
  7. Let's talk Mastitis. Honestly, I never had mastitis, but I did have clogged ducts. One of my very close girlfriends had mastitis and guys, it sucks. She had flu-like symptoms, it hurt like hell, and she had to get on antibiotics to clear it. My advice, ASK FOR HELP. I have heard stories about women not asking for help because they're told "nursing hurts - suck it up." But ladies, it shouldn't hurt THAT bad. If you start showing symptoms, see a doctor. There is no shame is asking for help or asking for someone else's opinion. 
  8. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away! My first day breast feeding my daughter was amazing but then the second day was awful! She wouldn’t latch, she was screaming and I was super stressed out (and that was still in the hospital!) but I ended up breastfeeding her until 13 months so just try to stay positive.
  9. Lansinoh nipple cream, trust me and keep disposable nursing pads handy  - the first few weeks - you will leak and your boobs will hurt. I thought disposable pads were easier than having to wash reusable pads. Buy the disposables here. Quick tip - if your nips are super sensitive, the reusable ones are a titch bit softer (usually suede/velvet) if that feels better in those initial "breaking in" period. Buy the reusable ones heres.
  10. Make sure the nurses put the baby on your breast (kangaroo style - naked baby to your chest (no clothes) as soon as it is possible.  
  11. Take a class before you deliver. I didn't do this because I kind of forgot. If you have time, take a class, if you don't - don't leave the hospital until you meet with a lactation consultant.
  12. The first few weeks it hurts (regardless of a good latch or not). Keep in mind, if it hurts SO bad, ask for help. But there will be a breaking in period of sore nipples, hard boobs (as your milk comes in) and a feeling of being generally sore. I had some nursing pads that you could heat or freeze and use after nursing to help sooth. They were so helpful throughout the entire time I nursed.  You can buy those pads here!
  13. Ask for a lactation nurse at the hospital before you leave - maybe the second day after delivery (have them watch you latch multiple times - ask questions - take full advantage of their knowledge - have your partner/husband there taking notes (helps at home). This was huge for me. Quinn latched right away (god bless) but the THIRD time a lactation nurse came in, she gave me a new tip and Quinn fed SO much better. 
  14. Find a mom group - ask questions. If you don't want to find a group, ask a friend you trust. Ask me! You should not have to go at this alone.
  15. If the baby is crying while they eat or having a lot of spit up - look at your diet. Check for things like gluten and dairy, maybe even tomatoes. For me, Quinn spit up every single time I had BBQ sauce. Took me 2 times before I stopped eating it while nursing and boom, better.
  16. Stay hydrated! If you think you drank a lot during pregnancy, think again. I remember sitting down to nurse and I'd have my coffee, a HUGE water, and a snack. It was incredible how thirsty I got during 20 minutes of nursing! And how hungry. Quinn would be done eating and I would scarf food. 
    1. Ps. This Yeti is MONEY. Get this lid and these straws too. 
  17. Try different breastfeeding positions - once my c-section got better (friend advice!) - I loved laying down to feed. But football was my go to in the very beginning because it didn’t have pressure on my c-section. For me, the traditional way to hold Quinn worked great for my left boob, and football hold for my right boob. Don't ask me why, it's just what she preferred! 
    1. Also, this pillow is great! I used it at the veryyy beginning when Quinnie was so teeny. It's nice to help prop up your arms! 
  18. You have to have a little humor when you leak or milk sprays all over - or when you shower and for a second think of the baby and there goes the milk. Or when you wake up soaked in breastmilk. Just remind yourself, you're doing this for the baby. 
  19. Don't be afraid to offer a bottle. I think the "experts" say to wait until 6 weeks. We offered Quinnie one at 3 weeks. Adam was about to go back to work and I really wanted him to be able to feed Quinn and have a special time with her (and to help me out!). Quinnie started taking a breastmilk bottle at 3 weeks for her night feeding. One perk was I could tell exactly how much she was eating. The second perk, bonding time with Adam. The third perk, I got about an hour at night to sit on the couch, scroll insta, make dinner, relax! It was such a huge blessing. Plus when she went to daycare at 5 months, she took a bottle like a champ. 
    1. Bottle Tips - Leave when someone else is giving your baby the bottle. Your urge when she fights it is to run up there and help. Don't. Give it time. Obviously if she never takes it you want her to eat, but give it time (like over an hour!). 
    2. Plus, if you are in the room/house, your baby can smell you! She would much prefer your boob over a bottle.
    3. Don't be afraid to mix up bottles. We tried different nipples, bottles, holds, etc. 
    4. Warm the milk. 
    5. Don't force it. It will take time to get her used to it. 
    6. Here are the bottles we loved: Comotomo
  20. Lose the snooze.  This was Quinn to a T - she would fall asleep within 5 minutes. Then she wouldn't eat well, if it all, was hungry, you get the cycle. If your infant keeps falling asleep on your breast, try tickling the bottom of his feet, stroking him under the chin, or touching him with a wet washcloth. Adam would grab an ice cube and touch her toes. She thought it was hilarious and it would wake her up.
  21. Don't overwash your boobs. Hear me out. Babies smell you! Thats how they know it's you! Using harsh scents, soaps, lotions, can interfere with your scent! 
  22. Trust your gut and be kind to yourself - there are a lot of changes after delivering and the 4th trimester is constantly full of them - ask for help! 
  23. Get nursing tanks and good nursing bras. Just trust me. The first month you are very busy nursing, you leak, and you're sore. Also, don't worry about getting cute bras. I threw all mine out after Quinnie (thanks to leaking boobs) and got more. This is the time that boobs aren't totally sexy, sorry hubs. These are my favorite bras - they even come in a deep-v option! These are my favorite tanks.
  24. Get a tracking app! At the very beginning when you're nursing a ton, you may forget which boob you started with last time, how long she nursed for, etc. I was told to switch boobs each time I started nursing at the beginning to help bring my milk it. Plus, it helps with engorgement. I used Boobie Time - it was simple and was just a timer for each side. There are much fancier apps where you can track the diapers, etc. 
  25. Get a good pump. News alert - you get one for free with your insurance. Go here, put in your insurance, get a free pump! They will send it about 5 weeks before you deliver. With Quinn I got the Medela, with this baby, I am trying the Spectra
My biggest piece of advice - a well fed baby and a happy mama is the best kind. I know you can breastfeed! But if you try and it's too much, there is NO shame is bottle fed! If its taking a toll on your mental health, there is NO shame in a bottle fed baby. 

And, ask for help! Don't be afraid to look up a lactation specialist, even after you get home. Most hospitals offer them for FREE! They will do a phone call consult, or you can take classes with your baby at the hospital. People want to help, I want to help. Reach out, ask questions - we're all in this together.


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