Breastfeeding my newborn baby seems to be going really well at the moment, touch wood.  She’s growing so fast that she will not look like a newborn for very much longer.  Some of you may already know this is my third baby, so hopefully I’ve got some helpful breastfeeding advice to pass on to you all.

When I was feeding Indie though, breastfeeding didn’t get off to such a great start.  This experience completely threw me as I hadn’t had any problems feeding my son. There was a 14 year age gap to consider, but still why had nursing gone so horribly wrong with the second baby?

After thinking long and hard about about my previous breastfeeding experiences, I was determined to understand why things had been so difficult with my second baby and get things off to a better start this time round.  It made me think about what breastfeeding tips I would give a new Mum, and here’s what I came up with to get you through those early weeks with a newborn baby:

Breastfeeding Tips For Mums

1. Don’t Have any Breastfeeding Expectations:

I guess this tip could apply to having a newborn in general.  I would say it is helpful not to expect that you’ll get out of the house much when baby first arrives.  Don’t even expect to be showered much before 4pm and invest in some dry shampoo now.  If you have been organised and have meals in the freezer ready to go then great, otherwise don’t expect to get dinner on time and allow yourself a few takeaways.

You will get used to getting these things done while breastfeeding a newborn, of course you will, but while you’re figuring out breastfeeding and a new baby don’t worry if life doesn’t happen like it did before they arrived because it doesn’t matter.  It will fall into place eventually but give yourself chance to get used to the new routine.

newborn baby in mothers arms

2. Breast Feed Your Baby Before They Cry:

If you spot any of the cues that your baby is hungry offer to breastfeed them straightaway, before they get to stressed or upset.  If you or I were hungry we wouldn’t be reduced to tears before we could have a meal, the early cues are what make us look for food.  Breastfeeding your baby before they are too upset and frantic will make latching on so much easier for the both of you.  A very hungry baby can prove difficult to breastfeed as it happens.

3. Be Prepared for Breastfeeding:

Before you sit down to start breastfeeding your baby, it can be useful to have what you need on hand.  It’s not always easy getting the remote control or a drink of water once your feed is in full swing.  Having the things you need at your feeding station and make sure it’s there before you and baby settle for your feed can save you a lot of frustration, especially if you are home alone.  Drinks, snacks, remote controls, phone, what ever it is you think you will need have it to hand so you will be comfortable for however long you’ll be sitting there.

4. Get Everyone’s Support:

Talk about the fact that you want to breastfeed before baby arrives and how you’d like your support to look, especially from your partner and family.  Breastfeeding your baby, if things aren’t going so well, can be a really emotive issue and making sure people are there for you when you need them is crucial for things going well if you have any challenges.

breastfeeding a newborn baby

5.  If you need help, ask for it no matter what time of day or night:  

Make sure you know who you can call on if you need tips or advice with Breastfeeding.  The National Breastfeeding Helpline for example is available from 9.30am until 9.30pm.  There may also be breastfeeding cafe’s or local support groups in your area where you can chat to other Mum’s and get advice about breastfeeding.  Sharing your experiences and picking up breastfeeding tips this way can make a huge difference to your journey.

6. Put Breastfeeding in your Birth Plan:  

If you think you might need support with Breastfeeding after you have given birth write it in your birth plan.  A lot of Mum’s have never seen a baby be breastfed before so don’t be afraid to ask for some help.  Breastfeeding a newborn can be a fiddly old task when you’re trying to line them up, get your boob in right position and get them to latch on all at the same time.  Getting the right breastfeeding support early on will make a huge difference to getting things off to a good start.

7. Don’t Expect a Breastfeeding Routine Straight Away:  

Mum’s used to be told a baby fed every 3 hours.  There are a generation of women who may still tell you this.  Breastfeeding on Demand helps to increase and maintain your supply and means you will spend a lot of time breastfeeding your baby to start with.  It could be 5 minutes ago you feed her, but she has decided she wants a little bit more.  She may go an hour or more.  Cluster feeding is pretty much common especially during a growth spurt.  It will get longer between feeds but in the beginning there won’t be much of a pattern and it’s pointless and frustrating for everyone to try and create one.

I hope you have found these breastfeeding advice helpful, and I really hope it hasn’t put you off!  If you have or are breastfeeding, what advice would you give to help someone through those early days with a newborn?

48 COMMENTS

  1. Really good advice here hon! Especially feeding them before they cry – there’s nothing more distressing than trying to feed an a ngry baby. Once you get used to their cues, it’ll be obvious when to feed 🙂

  2. Great suggestions. The feeding station is my top tip. Nothing worse than getting them latched only to find you can’t turn on the TV!

  3. I think the most invaluable advice you have given there is to have no expectations. My expectations of myself were WAY to high. I was making sure I was showered and dressed for visitors and that the house was clean and tidy.

    When my Dad and his wife came to see Gwenn at home for the first time, and she would’ve been less that a week old I suppose, I actually made a pot of tea!!! What was I thinking? I shlundnt have lifted a finger.

    I get annoyed at myself still got how stupid I was!

    #BFingDiaries

  4. Great tips 🙂 I was a bit disappointed with the amount of support I had in hospital after giving birth, I was cluless and struggling quite a bit #BFdiaries

  5. I agree that support and not expecting everything to fall into place straight away is important. It is worrying about the lack of support in hospital so I always suggest trying to find a local support group or NCT before baby arrives so you have some support at hand.

  6. Great tips, my advice would be to warn Mums that it can be painful for a little while- lanisoh cream is a god send and it does soon quickly settle down- I remember feeding my first and nobody had warned me that I would get sore and I thought I was doing it wrong – I liken it to wearing in a new pair of shoes now…. 😉
    What I need at this point is to persuade my two year old he is ready to give up feeding….

  7. It’s hard for me to comment on this as I’m not a mother myself but I’ve always said I wouldn’t breast feed when I do have a child,

  8. The biggest problem with low BF rates in this country is too much of the wrong advice and not enough proper support – and most of all, we teach “choice” when BF should just be the expected norm. Nothing more exciting than that. Good post.
    Kate Thompson recently posted…A Marathon not a SprintMy Profile

  9. I seeme dto strugle with all mine ended up expressing instead but it was still my milk and made it easier for me x

  10. Great post and great advice! I think sometimes new mums (and experienced mums) sometimes put to much preasure on themselves and this is really good advice! x

    Jess

  11. Great tips and great advice. I was a little thrown like you were with baby no.3 because I hadn’t had much of a problem with feeding my boys and during my pregnancy I thought I knew it all. I was wrong an she came with her trials that we pushed through luckily. Glad things are going well this time. Great post.

  12. Some really useful tips, especially the routine one. So many mums think they’re not producing enough milk because baby needs feeding more often than 3 or 4 hours!

  13. Really useful tips for breastfeeding mums. My medication meant I was not able to breastfeed but I wish I had been able to try it for a while.

  14. Some great tips here, I think support from your family is vital and I agree with getting everything to hand before they latch on!

  15. great post!!! breastfeeding has so many myths attached, its great that mums take the time to ‘walk’ new mums through it all 😀

  16. I think – give it a try and if breast feeding is not for you then don’t feel bad about giving up. I tried and gave up and my babies didn’t suffer.

  17. I recommend going to a breastfeeding support group. My friend runs one and is excellent with advice and support. You also get to meet new Mummy friends too what a bonus!

  18. great tips, most of them we already know but it was a useful recap before baby no 3 comes along, thanks Zena x

  19. I only managed to breastfeed for 11 days at the most with my 3 sons due to a health issue and milk issue – I was absolutely heartbroken as we had tried everything and I did believe it was my fault but found out the reason after DS3 – I find this post is fantastic though, full of great tips and inspiration. x

  20. fantastic advice, will def pass on to my sister who is currently pregnant. I have also saved the page in case I every get luckily enough to be bless with a child

  21. Really good advice. I had a lot of help and support when I had my daughter 27 years ago but when she herself had a baby the support at the hospital was virtually non existent. I was on hand to help and offer advice but for those without support your advice here could prove invaluable

  22. Amazing advice I wish all this support and amazing advice was available when I was breastfeeding as I eould probably have persevered for more than two weeks. Great blog ill defo be sharing with mums to be x

  23. Totally agree with number 7, like you say a lot people don’t seem to understand that a newborn breastfed baby will feed like that! I think it’s really important to go with what your baby wants/needs even if it does sometimes feel like you’re a feeding machine! Eventually it all gets quicker and easier and it’s all just totally worth it!

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