6 Helpful Tips For When You Start Breastfeeding

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There are several benefits of breastfeeding your newborn. It’s one of the best ways to help promote healthy growth for your baby while also creating a special bond between mother and child. Plus, it’s a cheaper alternative to using a formula that provides your child with all the nutrients they need.

At first, the milk might come as a thin, watery excretion. Or, it could be thick and yellow. This usually lasts for three to four days and then the full milk comes in.

No matter if you’ve breastfed before or this is your first time, it can be a little intimidating. Not to worry, you’re not the only one. Here are 6 tips to help prepare when you first start breastfeeding.

1. Work With A Lactation Consultant

The most important thing to remember on your breastfeeding journey is that you aren’t alone. You should have this opportunity with your child and there are people who can help. Consider talking to a lactation consultant. This can be done even before the baby is born.

2. Change Positions

There are several different positions you can hold your baby in while you’re breastfeeding. In the beginning, the most commonly used position is the cradle hold. You put the baby in the crook of your arm while supporting the rest of their body with your forearm.

You can also try using the football hold if you’ve had a C-section or your breasts are too large for the child. Other women find success with the side-lying, cross-cradle, or even laid-back position.

3. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Let-Down Reflex

The let-down reflex is what causes milk to flow through your breasts to your child. The nerves in your breasts are stimulated while your baby begins to suck. At this point, two different hormones are activated and released into your bloodstream (prolactin and oxytocin).

However, these hormones can also be activated when you hear the sound of a baby crying, when their feeding time is past-due, or by even just thinking about your child. Don’t be afraid if this happens as it’s totally normal.

Occasionally, it can become an issue if your child is coughing due to a significant amount of force from the excretion. In this case, you may want to pump just slightly before each feeding.

4. Feed Them When They’re Hungry

On average, a baby can feed 8 to 12 times per day. This number could be higher if they’re going through a growth spurt or it could gradually decline with age.

What’s important is to make sure you’re feeding them whenever they’re hungry. You’ll start to learn your baby’s signs when they become hungry. This could be in the form of tongue and lip-smacking or crying if it’s past their feeding time.

Don’t feel like you need to limit the amount of time you breastfeed them for. Your milk ducts need this to empty just as much as your baby needs it to fill up.

5. Be On The Lookout For Poor Latching Signs

There are plenty of signs that can occur that will let you know if your baby is properly latching. Some signs can include, but are not limited to:

  • Sore, cracked, or bleeding nipples
  • Creased or slanted nipples post-feeding
  • Your baby continues to release only after a few sucks
  • Your baby is still crying even after the feeding

If you’re finding yourself in any of these positions, it might be time to consult with a lactation specialist to ensure your child is getting enough milk.

6. Don’t Forget About Self-Care

Taking care of your mental health during pregnancy was one thing. But now that your child is here and you’re navigating the world of breastfeeding, you may find yourself not having enough time to take care of yourself.

Getting quality sleep and eating a healthy diet are essential for you and your baby’s health. But if you’re constantly stressed and unable to sleep, it might be time to ask someone for help.


As you begin to breastfeed your child, you may find yourself struggling. Just remember that you’re not alone. 92% of new mothers sat they’ve struggled with breastfeeding. Try to be patient with yourself and the process.

When in doubt, seek out extra assistance. A lactation consultant can help you ensure that you and your baby can bond and receive the help you both need.

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