Breastfeeding Tips for a Successful Start

As natural as it may be, breastfeeding isn’t easy for many new moms. In the early weeks, especially, give yourself lots of time and space for both you and your baby to learn this new skill.

Here are a few general tips:

  • Relax. Stress hormones can inhibit your letdown, so relax as much as you can before and during feedings. Breathe deeply, sniff a soothing scent, or queue up meditation or other chill music.

  • Hydration is key. Staying hydrated is extremely important when building a milk supply. Fill a large water bottle and keep it with you at all times. Drink at least 8 oz of water every time you feed, and more throughout the day. If you don’t like plain water, herbal tea or water flavored with fruit slices can provide the hydration you need.

  • Make a breastfeeding basket. Grab a small, portable basket and fill it with useful things for breastfeeding, such as nipple cream, breast pads, water, snacks, a phone charger and magazines. Carry it around the house with you so you’ll have it wherever you end up feeding.

  • Use technology to your advantage. There are many apps out there that can help you keep track of feedings, which side you fed on and more. They're an easy way to find patterns for you and your baby (and have data to report back to your healthcare providers, if needed).

  • Get help. Have your partner or other support person help you position and latch your baby when you need assistance. Reach out to a lactation consultant or other breastfeeding professional when you face challenges nursing your baby.

See also ...

Night nursing

Overcoming obstacles to breastfeeding

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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