Breastfeeding Advice for New Mums

birth story

I’ve had a growth spurting newbie attached to me for the latter part of this week, and came across this post the other day about breastfeeding advocacy, which was timely. It’s written really well, without too much emotion, and it made so much sense to me. It got me thinking about my own experiences over the past five years, so I thought I’d share some insights. breastfeeding advice for new mums

Breastfeeding advice for new mums 

If you are struggling ask for help. The day my milk came in for my eldest I was in agony, both physically and emotionally. My boobs were full to bursting and she was unable to attach. After her screaming at the breast for what seemed at the time like hours, and by sheer coincidence, the midwife popped in. She calmed me down, and talked me through the process of getting my baby latched on and staying on. She also gave us information on the local breastfeeding counselling services in the area. Hubby and I went to a drop in session the next day, and was given some invaluable advice. Without these two pieces of help, I have no idea if I would have managed to successfully bf first time round. I had similar issues with my second and third babies on the day my milk came in, but was able to put what I’d learnt first time to good use, and not get so upset and stressed out.

The first two weeks are the hardest, but things get much easier afterwards. Hopefully your partner, family members and/or friends will be around to support you through this time.

It only hurts when baby isn’t latched on correctly – if it’s painful take them off and start again. If you’re in constant pain then something isn’t right, and you could be at risk of contracting mastitis.

Every baby feeds differently, and chances are the last time you breastfed it was a toddler and not a tiny baby. I hadn’t thought of this, until the midwife pointed it out to me after my son was born. Made me think differently about my approach to feeding him.

Get comfortable. Poor posture while feeding can lead to all sorts of back, neck and shoulder problems later.

breastfeeding advice for new mums

A full feed should take 20-30 mins, if baby is on one side for less time they are not getting to the good stuff. If they’re only having 5-10 mins from each breast, they’re only getting foremilk which will mean they’ll be hungry again in no time at all.

Planning is key if you have other children to consider – be organised and don’t get caught short. In order for hell not to break loose in my house on a daily basis I’ll need to feed baby directly before the school pick up. I’m hoping he naps afterwards, allowing me to get the girls’ tea sorted, then I can feed him again while they’re eating. All the while I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a happy baby while I get them down for the night. Hubby will usually only make it back from work in time to help with the witching hour on a Friday, all other days I’m on my own so need to get this down to a fine art if I want to remain sane.

Eat well and eat lots – don’t even entertain thoughts of dieting. Exercise yes, cutting down on food NO!

Drink plenty of water. I have such a thirst when I’m breastfeeding, and nothing other than water even comes close to quenching it. Properly hydrating yourself is also essential to milk production.

Hope you enjoyed my breastfeeding advice for new mums, do you have any pearls of wisdom you’d like to share?

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76 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Advice for New Mums

  1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment. The midwife was so on the money with that one. Glad you found your feet and managed to bf second time round. Those first few weeks can be really tough!

  2. The thirst is something else, isn’t it! Great that you got into a routine so easily Sarah. We aren’t really in one properly yet, but if I’m at home for the day which I am two or three times out of the five then I try and get both baby and toddler napping at the same time. I usually manage to do this once a week. Nice when I can 🙂

  3. Great post. It’s a long time since I last breastfed, but I recognise all of this. I always had to down a big glass of water as soon as they latched on as the thirst was insatiable! My boys never had much of a routine, but I was able to slot my daughter into a routine very easily to fit around the school run.

  4. This is great advice – especially the one about every baby feeding differently – having fed my eldest daughter until she was 17 months, I was expecting feeding second time round to be easy and it was quite a shock when I struggled with getting my second baby to latch correctly. Had to keep reminding myself that the first couple of weeks would be the hardest and everything got much better once she was about a week old and we both had worked things out a little more. Brilliant advice for anyone with a new baby.

  5. Thanks so much for popping by. Cluster feeding was great for me though, as it meant all my three had enough to sleep fairly well at night. I still struggle to get comfy sometimes to be honest, but I try and do posture exercises during the day which help.

  6. Some great tips 🙂 I found myself really thirsty in the earlier months of breastfeeding. I found it really hard to get comfortable especially when my baby spent all evening cluster feeding #BFdiaries

  7. Hi!

    The thirst that comes with breastfeeding actually shocked me!

    I didn’t know it was possible to BE so thirsty.

    I also found I really craved chocolate Digestives … 😉



  8. Great advice. I personally experienced a lot of nipple pain (cracking etc) for the first 6wks with both of mine. I went to various b’feeding experts and drop in sessions (both times) who all told me baby was perfectly latched and that I was doing it all right. But the books all say if I am doing it right it shouldn’t hurt? Well apparently some people don’t escape the pain no matter what position they try etc. I just had to wait for my nipples to toughen up and get used to it. Which they did both times and the pain stopped around 6wks. So unfortunately even ‘correct’ breastfeeding can hurt sometimes! Xx

  9. Thanks so much Maddy. I’m with you on the food front, and have eaten a monumental amount of food in these last couple of weeks. It’s the only time I don’t question what or how much I’m eating and never feel guilty. Think I’ll enjoy it even more this time as it’ll also be the last 🙂

  10. Now you’ve said that I remember a friend telling me that her mother couldn’t bf because of having flat nipples. tbh I hadn’t considered things like that before posting, just thought I’d share my own experiences as I’m going through it again and it’s very much on my mind 🙂

    As you’ve rightly said everyone is different, so one glove fits all advice isn’t going to work for all. I’m glad you were able to find what worked for you though, and have the experience you wanted in the end xx

  11. Thanks lovely, sounds like you had a good experience overall. I forgot about the let down reflex until the other day, then it all came back. Growth spurts are the hardest as the baby has a seemingly never ending hunger!

  12. I’m not a fan of expressing either. I pumped loads first time round but it was totally pointless as could never get my daughter to take a bottle! Second time I didn’t bother, and now I think I have bad memories associated with it…

  13. Oh you poor thing, it made me wince just reading what you went through! We’ve had some shady latches in the middle of the night and they always leave me feeling so sore the next day. Hopefully as baby gets a bit bigger it’ll become easier though.

  14. Sorry to hear that honey. Seems we’ve come a long way with bf information in the last decade, but such a shame for those who didn’t receive it when they needed it xx

  15. I’m with you on feeling like that, you’re basically the ‘milk lady’ until they’re about six months old! Hope things get easier for you soon xx

  16. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I do feel prepared, but also more overwhelmed this time I think… Glad you had such a good experience xx

  17. Great word of the week – sounds like you’re ready for anything breastfeeding this time round can throw at you. Good luck with your journey – it’s such a wonderful experience, I will always be grateful that I got help when I had some early issues and was able to feed both my children. Posts like this remind me how precious that was. #PoCoLo

  18. Great post.I’m 3 months into breastfeeding my second-it didnt really work out with my first. Still finding it quite tough tbh-little Miss latches on and feeds really well but she’s a windy baby and spews up quite a lot, and then goes looking for more-sometimes I only feel like a person who’s attached to a pair of boobs, not the other way round!

  19. Reading this post is bitter-sweet to me. I tried bf both times and failed. Due to reflux and the ensuing issues: babies fussed at the boob, didn’t empty the lot, milk production decreased and then dried altogether. But I am happy it has worked for you. And your tips are great for people with healthy babies.xx

  20. Sorry I haven’t been around recently – lovely to see this little face.

    I was sooo hungry all the time when I was breastfeeding!

  21. What a really helpful and informative post – the time you should be feeding really helps! I never knew that and wished I had with Grace. Hope it’s all going well lovely lady. Thanks for linking to PoCoLo x

  22. Great advice, I feel very lucky that I never had any major issues with my three and, apart from the initial couple of weeks getting used to the whole thing, I found it very easy – but I know I was lucky. I fed my sons for six months, before going back to work, and my daughter for eight months. I thought I might feed her for longer, but she weaned herself 🙂 Take care of yourself xx #WotW

  23. For me, for whatever reason, breastfeeding was excruciatingly painful for the best part of three months, both with my son and with my daughter. I’m talking open wounds. I never quite worked out what the problem was and maybe there were several: contact dermatitis, a very bad latch in the dark that caused bleeding and then couldn’t properly recover because of the feeding; inverted nipples, who knows. Once they were a bit bigger, their tiny mouths were bigger, and they were not feeding quite so often everything got lovely and wonderful and breastfeeding was the greatest thing ever.

    It sounds like you are very sorted and organised with feeding your third, I have to say. Well done!!

  24. Funnily enough I found it fine with my first (but yes those first two weeks were hard) but I had to give up totally at four months because I had major surgery and was in hospital for a week. I didn’t like having to do that, and I assumed my second child would be tough initially and then settle down. But no, he was not at all interested. I did really try and resorted to expressing but in the end just found it too much.

  25. Great post and great advice. I agree with the advice. Although I was in pain for a few days even with L latched on properly as my poor nipples got used to the rough treatment! Let down was a bit painful at first to. But so worth trying to get through those early weeks. And I don’t miss growth spurts at all!


  26. This brought back memories! I have twins – one was fine and the other never latched on properly- so I spent months alternating between bf and pumping. #pocolo

  27. Interesting post and I agree with most of it – apart from the pain bit, because I did find breastfeeding very painful to start with. I had been told that it would only hurt if the latch was wrong, so thought it must be wrong. But I was then told by a midwife, basically not to be so stupid, that of course it hurts because you’ve never done it before. The latch was fine but my nipples were quite flat so it really hurt while they were being stretched. It absolutely didn’t hurt once we were established with it, but initially it really hurt and I struggled to reconcile reality with what I had been told it ‘should’ feel like. It is definitely worth persisting with though and you make some excellent points, I guess everyone experiences things slightly differently though! xx #wotw

  28. Sounds like you’re doing well with your little guy! I’m a big fan of breastfeeding although in my experience it’s the first two months that a hard rather than the first two weeks, then everything suddenly gets easier! The eating thing is so true, especially in the early days – i ate my body weight in hot-cross-buns this time last year with my newborn and the weight still fell off me (and piled on him!)

    I think first time round its so much harder and i can see why many people give up without the right support. I was lucky to have lots of support. It might sound a bit silly but breastfeeding three babies (not at once!) is actually one of my proudest achievements!
    I think it’s great that you’ve written this post to support others. #pocolo

  29. Sounds like very good advice. I really struggled with my son, it hurt like hell, there wasn’t much help and then I became ill and was readmitted to hospital so there was no hope of breastfeeding then. I only breastfed my twins for 48 hours as it was too time consuming feeding 2 babies with a toddler running round! I take my hat off to all you mums who manage to breastfeed!

  30. I remember when breastfeeding took up most of my week! Actually quite relieved that I don’t have to ever think about this subject again as I do have weird feelings still slightly about how it all worked out but glad you are feeling in control and its all working out! #WotW

  31. Great tips!! I never breastfed mine….11 years ago there just wasn’t the help and support there is now I think the whole experience put me off breastfeeding my youngest…..Fab word x

  32. That’s a very good way of describing it! My little fella is feeding every two(ish) hours, so it can feel like all I’m doing is feeding. On a selfish level it’s lovely to get all that cuddle time 🙂 I’m making the most of it before hubby goes back to work xx

  33. The perfect word for you, I’d guess! great tips, too. I breastfed my two, and it can feel like all you do is feed and then run about getting things done, before the next feed! Hope all’s going well, and thanks for joining in with #WotW x

  34. I loved breastfeeding but I only did it for 3 months – there were a lot of factors that contributed to me stopping but those counselling sessions sound brilliant! Hope you have a brilliant bfeeding journey now 🙂

  35. Thanks very much for commenting. All I can say is get as much info beforehand as possible. Breastfeeding first time round can feel like a complete minefield, and it’s unlikely to be super easy right from the off. Hopefully knowing what you’re up against will put you ahead of the game though. Good luck

  36. This is a brilliant post. I wanted to breastfeed all my children. I managed just 2 weeks with my first and did not even try with my other two as found it totally traumatic. Wish I had read this back then. You will help so many mums with this post. @kateonthinice

  37. Very useful thanks, i have 4 months to go till we see out little L, and when I read articles like this it makes me nervous as im scared in general and scared that something might go wrong and its so important to have help and support

  38. Thanks Erica. There’s lots of support and advice out there, breastfeeding counselling services are usually run by volunteers and are very easily accessed nowadays. I can imagine 10 years ago it was a different story 🙁

  39. Thanks so much Sarah. Even though the school run feels like it’ll be a nightmare right now, I think it’ll be what gets us into a good routine… If I go on the missing list from next week you’ll know why

  40. Great Post hunnie… I also found the first 2 weeks the hardest, but after that everything became a lot easier and I grew confidence that we were doing good! Thanx for the Link Up 😀 #PoCoLo x

  41. Fabulous post. This is the exact same advice I would give to anyone about breastfeeding. Once you’ve got over those initial couple of weeks it really is the easiest thing in the world and really worth persisting. I managed to get my daughter into a routine from a very early age to fit round the school run. Without those time pressures, my boys didn’t have a routine for a long time.

  42. Some good tips here. I’d totally agree the first couple of weeks are the hardest and so many give up during this time. My tip would be to ask for help and push for it if it’s not forthcoming.

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