10 Breastfeeding Tips New Moms Won’t Hear In the Hospital

breastfeeding tips new moms

Perhaps you were prepped thoroughly for the battle of breastfeeding by a legion of nurses and lactation consultants in the hospital.

Or maybe you’re not even a hospital kinda gal.

Whatever your flavor of baby delivery is, here are a mish mash of breastfeeding tips new moms aren’t likely to hear:

– 1 –

BYPASS THE NURSING PADS FOR THE MAXI PAD AISLE IF YOU LIKE $$$

Maxi pads are way cheaper than nursing pads and just as effective at soaking up leaked milk. If you’re one of those over-achievers whose boobs think they’re in a competition with Old Faithful and you also enjoy $5 lattes from Star-steal-my-bucks, you may want to try out maxi pads.


 – 2 –

KICK COMPANY TO THE CURB

I am all for loving well, but when you’re a new mama, loving well may look like asking guests to exit the premises. <Tweet This>

Breastfeeding Tips New MomsWhat’s that you said? You love socializing in your orange sweatpants and red t-shirt mere days after having survived the exit of a human from your womb? Yeah, me either. I don’t love socializing to begin with thanks to a little secret I like to call social anxiety, so I am most definitely not a fan of chit chat when trying to nurse a newborn.

The irony is you are more likely to receive visitors and well wishers in the first few weeks of having a baby than at any other time. Now don’t get me wrong, those meals brought over are worth their weight in gold but newborns aren’t exactly the best at latching and it pretty much feels like they live on your boob the first few weeks. That combo makes nursing in front of company near impossible.

When it’s nurse o’clock, it is not rude to excuse yourself or in the most delicate manner ask your company to come back at a better time.


 – 3 –

PUMP ONE ONE SIDE WHILE YOU NURSE ON THE OTHER

Only a nursing mama would equate a freezer full of frozen milk with freedom. <Tweet This>

Looking to stock up the freezer so that you can actually leave the house sans bambino for a couple hours? Try pumping on one side while you nurse on the other.

Logistically this can be a bit tricky, but your baby’s suck will help with letdown pretty much guaranteeing you’ll get more milk than you would with pumping alone.

Pump into a bag instead of a bottle. This will allow baby to snuggle up to you easier. And before you latch on, turn the pump on.

Breastfeeding Tips New MomsAnd you probably want to invest in a hands-free pumping bra, which I firmly thought was a gag gift until I actually had a baby. I worked from home as the office manager of a law firm, and I can’t tell you how many financial reports I whipped up while hooked up like a freakin’ dairy cow with one of these things on. But it saved us literally thousands of dollars in income that I was able to continue to bring in and formula we didn’t have to buy.

The Pump Station and Nurtury has a great article called Pumping Guidelines that is well worth checking out. 


– 4 –

HIRE A VIRTUAL LACTATION CONSULTANT

If you’ve looked into breastfeeding at all, you’ve probably heard at some point that a lactation consultant can be very beneficial. However, perhaps like me you’re not a huge fan of strangers touching or seeing your boobs, which I can pretty much guarantee a lactation consultant will do. No judging here, just trying to give you the heads up.

Instead of a lactation consultant, you could use online resources to educate yourself. Medela has 10 short online courses called Breastfeeding University. They only cost $25 total and all $25 is donated to the Ronald McDonald House. Mom Assembly also offers wonderful online classes on breastfeeding.


 – 5 –

ACCEPT YOUR ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL BABY

There are 2 kinds of babies: the mythical boiler plate baby doctors created to drive you crazy and your baby. <Tweet This>

This hypothetical “average” baby eats about every 3 hours. Your baby is its own unique snowflake with its own unique personality. She may not tidily fall into the averages and that is OK. If your baby is “thriving” (putting on sufficient weight), do not feel like you have to be the consummate timekeeper.


– 6 –

EMBRACE THE UNDERSIDE

You’ll constantly hear that you want to get as much of your nipple in the baby’s mouth as possible for ideal latching, but the key is you want to get as much of the underside of your nipple in his mouth as possible. Big difference. Need help latching? Check out The Secret to Getting Your Baby Latch Perfect.


– 7 –

NURSE EVEN WHEN SICK

It totally sucks, but keep at it even if you’re sick. Your breast milk will help keep baby from catching the ickiness.


– 8 –

DO NOT BE GROSSED OUT BY YOUR OWN BREAST MILK

Breast milk can have a yellowish tint. It can have a bluish tint. It will often separate into layers when refrigerated. Sometimes it will be thin and watery (foremilk). Sometimes it will be clumpy and thick (hind milk). Just give it a swirl when you take it out and it will mix together. BUT just like you shouldn’t shake your baby, you shouldn’t ever shake breast milk. “It denatures the shaped molecules of the protective proteins.” Not that I have the faintest clue what that means other than shaking = bad.


– 9 –

RELEASE YOUR INNER HIPPIE AND COME TO THE HERB SIDE

Lecithin can combat clogged milk ducts, blessed thistle can boost milk supply, and alfalfa is known for enriching milk and writing the best break-up letter ever. “Dear Darla, I hate your stinking guts. You make me vomit. You’re scum between my toes! Love, Alfalfa.” Little Rascals…one of my all time favorite movies ever!


– 10 –

SWITCH UP YOUR SCENTS

Breastfeeding Tips New MomsSome young ‘uns are particularly sensitive to scents. It’s possible your baby could be fussy because of your perfume or laundry soap. BabyGanics laundry detergent is definitely worth a try.

I love discovering new breastfeeding hacks! What breastfeeding tips would you offer to a new mom?

photo credit: photosbyflick via photopin cc

6 Comments

  • Amanda

    May 2, 2014

    Great list! I would also add buy a lot of extra pump parts if you’re going to be pumping more than once per day – it is such a pain to be washing them all the time, much easier to do in a batch!

    • Brooke

      May 2, 2014

      Amanda,

      Genius! There is nothing more frustrating than trying to wash a dirty piece of pumping equipment when your milk is letting down and you know you need to pump ASAP! I’m gonna have to remember that one!

  • Kris Gurry

    May 4, 2014

    Another tip for saving sanity while pumping like your life depends on it- just store pump parts in a ziploc in the frig and wash once a day. Trying to manage a 15 month old and newborn while pumping 8 times a day about maxxed me out and this helped immensely. I made my own pumping bra from an old bra, cutting out holes in the nipples. It looked pretty trashy but saved me about $50! Coconut oil was the best nipple cream I tried. Your posts are hilarious! And helpful. :)

    • Brooke

      May 4, 2014

      Kris,
      I’ve heard of using coconut oil for all kinds of things but never for nipple cream. I most definitely need to give this a try! As someone who used Earth Mama nipple cream yesterday in lieu of shaving cream, though, I should not be surprised! Do you have to worry about it staining your clothes at all?

  • EmmyA

    May 5, 2014

    I tell all my new mom friends that it will hurt at first even if you’re doing it right. Someone described it as toe-curling when I had my first and they were so right! I was freaking out that I was doing something wrong because all the lactation experts say it shouldn’t hurt if you’re doing it right. Liars! But if you can hang in there for 2 weeks, it will get better. Somehow 2 weeks is the magic it-doesn’t-hurt-anymore timeline.

    • Brooke

      May 6, 2014

      So, so true! I ended up giving up with my first after a week because I didn’t understand that it would get better. And I thought no one can put up with this kind of pain for months on end! My magic mark is three weeks. That’s when it goes from this-is-the-worst to I-can-handle-this. Kind of jealous that yours is two weeks =)