Breastfeeding your new baby is wonderful and natural, but it can be challenging. We have the best breastfeeding tips for new moms to help you through!
Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms – Lessons From a Mom of 3
Through my journey in motherhood, I’ve been grateful to breastfeed all three of my babies. My first two I breastfed for an entire year while working full time. My third baby is 5 months old. Little Three stays home with me every day and our breastfeeding game is strong.
Upfront I want to say, for any mom who chooses not to breastfeed or can’t breastfeed, I don’t want this to come off wrong or shaming in any way.
For my family and I, we chose to breastfeed and I simply want to share my experiences for those considering breastfeeding while pregnant, new moms who are early in their breastfeeding journey, and for anyone wanting to learn a few things about breastfeeding from a mom of 3.
I remember the first time I started looking up breastfeeding. I was pregnant with Little One, and I really just had no idea what to expect. I was so scared of the unknown.
For new moms, breastfeeding can be intimidating because it is new, physically taxing, and there is so much pressure around this issue for the newborn’s sake, mom’s sake, and more.
Through my 2+ years of nursing babies, I’ve learned some lessons about breastfeeding. I want to pass on some breastfeeding tips for new moms to encourage them as they consider breastfeeding as a viable option.
Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms
Don’t worry too much about other people – every experience is different
My first time breastfeeding
Just like every pregnancy is different in many ways, breastfeeding my three kids was a different experience each time. With my oldest everything was new, new, new.
As many other breastfeeding first time mothers, I often felt like I wasn’t quite doing anything right and I wasn’t sure how long we would last. I just took it day by day.
I often worried about producing enough, if he was eating enough, if I was doing it right. I realize now that I stressed more than I needed to.
The second experience breastfeeding a newborn
With my middle child, I entered breastfeeding with confidence and excitement.
I guess it’s a compliment when the lactation nurse in labor and delivery says, “You’ve done this before haven’t you?”
Through the year, I wasn’t as worried about some of the smaller things like eating on an EXACT schedule or pumping so religiously.
Overall, I knew how quickly my body adjusted and adapted to demand, growth spurts, cluster feedings, and night weanings. I was less stressed.
When you think you’ve got it all figured out – have a third
With my third, I’ve loved breastfeeding my baby, don’t get me wrong. But the journey hasn’t been as “smooth” as the other ones.
Because of some abnormal results on a newborn screening, we transitioned to soy formula for about two weeks, and I had to pump exclusively. I was devastated when I found out.
Formula? Say what? How dare they!
How was I going to keep my milk supply up during this?! Would I miss out on a bonding experience by giving my baby formula?
All the questions and worries came up. Plus, I feared I wouldn’t develop the same bond with my third that I had with the other two.
5 months later, our breastfeeding game is strong. And I realize I didn’t miss out on a thing – formula and all.
All this to say, every breastfeeding journey is different.
The important thing is you and your baby are healthy. If you choose to breastfeed, don’t worry about what others think and do, do what works for you.
And when you have questions, find a lactation specialist or a support group to offer help. They are especially great at providing breastfeeding tips to support first-time moms.
Breastmilk transforms – it meets ALL your baby’s needs
Whenever I learn new things about breastmilk, I am amazed at how complicated and perfect it is. Did you know breastmilk:
- Changes in fat from the newborn stage to older babies
- Changes from the beginning of the feeding to the end
- Changes in consistency from morning to night
- Adjusts when you have a cold to give antibodies to your baby
- Reduces the risk of breast cancer for moms
- Reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
That’s only to name a few. I think that’s pretty darn amazing!
As a new mom, do the research for yourself and be informed.
Breastfeeding isn’t sexy – but it is beautiful.
My body is incredible. Your body is amazing. We are all beautiful mamas.
I use words like these as a mantra when I’m not “feeling like myself” and when breastfeeding makes my body do strange things.
From the lopsided boobs to the leaking to the unbecoming bras, it probably isn’t the sexiest you’ve ever felt.
But, breastfeeding your newborn has the power to change your perspective.
I remember that my body grew a human being, and then sustained him the first year of his life. That’s pretty darn beautiful if I do say so myself.
It’s a natural beauty like what you find in nature. It’s raw. It’s the real deal.
It’s hard to find anything more beautiful than a mother who breastfeeds their baby with confidence.
You are beautiful. Breastfeeding is beautiful. And don’t forget it!
Just because it’s natural – doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean breastfeeding a newborn is easy. Surround yourself by others who support your decision to breastfeed.
If there’s one thing I found, it’s that if a mom is confident in her decision to breastfeed then others will follow suit.
If she confidently breastfeeds in public and smiles when strangers walk by, they will greet her with a smile.
Make breastfeeding a priority. Once you do, things will fall into place that needs to happen.
Enlist your spouse and parents to back you up in your decision. You’ll need the support to get through the tough parts.
Healthy, thriving babies matter most
I have a confession to make. I used to judge formula moms. Gasp.
I didn’t mean to, but I know I unconsciously did.
I had a gut check when I had to formula feed my third due to our abnormal screening. I literally felt ashamed while feeding him at church with formula when he was 2 weeks old. As if others were actively judging me.
What I actually experienced though, were smiles, support, and kindness from everyone around me.
At that point, I REALLY realized something. What’s most important is a HEALTHY baby.
Science is also an amazing thing. When our bodies might seem to “fail us.” Science gives us healthy babies. Or when we choose not to breastfeed, we have the choice and an alternative.
We’re all in this together and we’re all trying to survive and THRIVE during this mom thing.
Whether you choose breastfeeding or formula, I applaud you for getting up at 3 a.m. to take care of your little newborn that needs you.
You’re doing a great job, mama.
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Hi, I’m Jessica Whitney, editor of the Simplified
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