9 Tips To Win At Your Breastfeeding Journey

Using your breasts in a way that you never thought of before may be daunting. It may scare you, excite you, or even stress you but don’t let it drag you down.


At first it may seem a little weird, some don’t even like the way it feels but you will get used to it. You were given breasts for a reason so let’s figure out how to help you use them.

After having three children, breastfeeding two of them successfully, and taking courses on breastfeeding, I want to share my nine biggest tips with you. Use these tips and you will succeed in your breastfeeding journey. 


Tip #1 - find a support system + an added community

A support system should be your #1 priority prior and during breastfeeding. I cannot stress this one enough. You should be able to communicate with someone in your circle whether partner, mom, dad, best friend, aunt, neighbor, or coworker. You can express your stresses, excitement, issues, winnings or anything else breastfeeding related to this person. If you feel like no one in your circle would want to listen to anything breastfeeding related - I hope you do - find a community.

Find a community where you can ask questions and learn from. Shoot, even if you have a support system, join a community. We actually have a community on facebook where I educate, share memes, and personal stories. You can ask questions and give answers to others. Come join us if you’d like! We would love to have you.

 

Tip #2 - Educate yourself before birth + find a lactation consultant

Before giving birth, attend a childbirth education class. This class can get you ready for all birth things and postpartum including breastfeeding. Listen to podcasts, ask a friend that breastfeeds to watch (no that’s not weird), check out YouTube videos, and read books!

If you give birth at a hospital, you should get a visit from a lactation consultant during your stay. Ask this lactation consultant all the questions. If you are not comfortable or feel like your latch is off, tell them! If the LC leaves your room, ask them to come back and check the latch.

Once you have left the hospital and you are still not certain that breastfeeding is going smoothly for you, get in touch with a lactation consultant.


Tip #3 - hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Hydration is super important. You may feel like you can't get enough water while you breastfeed. You are taking x amount of fluid out of your body daily so of course you are going to need to replenish.

Always keep a large reusable cup with you. I have one in the kitchen, one in my office, one by my bedside, and one that travels with me. Maybe add some trace mineral drops to your water which helps restore electrolytes, gives you magnesium and potassium, and tons of other minerals. (these are my favorite) . If you don’t like the taste of water, add some cucumbers and strawberries to your water for some extra flavor.  Coconut water is great too!

Tip #4 - a proper latch will help both mom and baby

Proper latching is when baby is on your breasts, not just your nipple but some areola as well. You will feel a tug but no pain should be existent. Place your nipple on baby’s top lip. When baby opens up wide, slip your nip as far back on your baby’s tongue as possible. If the latch hurts, slip your finger in the side of baby’s mouth to unlatch and try again. If your baby’s bottom lip is sucked in, push down on their chin. This should flip their lip out. Your baby should look kind of like a fish.

If baby’s latch is incorrect, it can really hurt. We don’t want you having sore nips so make sure that latch feels right! Skin to skin can help latching especially in those first days.
 

Tip #5 - have a well balanced diet and don’t forget carbs!

Keep your diet in check. Low caffeine intake and no excessive sugars. Don’t stress being absolutely perfect in your food intake though. You want to have a well balanced diet but don’t lose out on those carbs. If you are not getting the right amount of nutrition, it can impact milk supply and energy.

My favorite foods while breastfeeding are bone broth, any kind of greens, sweet potatoes/sweet potato chips, chicken and turkey meat, rice, oatmeal bars, and Birthday Cake Drizzled Popcorn from Safe + Fair (hehe).

Tip #6 - keep good iron levels

Moms lose iron-rich blood during the birth process. Losing too much blood can affect lactation. If iron or hemoglobin levels are low, you may not produce a full milk supply.  A HUGE TIP - try adding more copper to your diet instead of taking iron supplements. Beef liver is the perfect piece to an anemia issue or for needed iron support. If you can’t stomach the smell or taste of beef liver, it comes in capsules too.  Learn more about beef liver here.



Tip #7 - focus on the first fourteen days

The first fourteen days are the most crucial time for milk supply. You and baby are getting in touch with each other, creating the best bond, and building your milk supply. Instead of watching the clock for these first forteen days, feed your baby when they want to eat. However, if your breasts are super full but your baby is sleepy, wake the baby to eat every 2-3 hours or pump till empty.

Tip #8 - going back to work doesn’t have to be the end of breastfeeding

Going back to work at that six week mark can be upsetting. You get stressed and feel like you won’t be able to keep up your breastfeeding journey but you can! Trust me, I did. Make yourself a bag or basket to keep your pumping essentials in; pump, storage bags, pump cleaning wipes, cold packs, water, etc.

The PUMP for Nursing Mother’s Act was passed at the end of 2022. Nursing moms have the right to take a break and pump while still getting paid. Employers also have to provide a place for you to pump!

If you have a job where breaks are few and far between like a nurse or a gas station attendant, look into investing in a hands free pump like Willow or Elvie. You can apply through insurance for these pumps now as well which I have linked for you. These pumps fit under your shirt and you can continue working while pumping! You will just need to excuse yourself for a few to put the milk in storage bags.

However, if you are wanting to pump most of the time outside of work, either manual or battery operated pumps should be used. Electric pumps do not have the suction power or sometimes the right flange size.

Tip #9 - believe in yourself + have patience


If you go into your breastfeeding journey thinking you aren’t going to succeed, you won’t. Positive thoughts and heart are key here! Believe in yourself just like you do your gut feelings. Being a mom gives you feelings and a heart that you cannot even put into words; remarkable may be a good start though. Those motherly instincts will kick in when your baby gets here -              
let them consume you.

Be patient in learning your new precious baby and new body. You will thrive if you just keep trying. Having patience and believing in yourself will also lower your stress. If you have high stress because of regular life, find a stress reliever. Even looking at your baby while they nurse can be the best stress reliever!

Aside from these tips, look for cues. When your baby is hungry, they will have closed fists, opening and closing their mouth, lip smacking, moving head to try and find your breast, crying, fists moving to their mouth, or all of them. You will get on the same page as your baby as time goes on.

You’ve got this! Hang in there and keep trying. If the going gets tough and you want to give up, remember why you wanted to breastfeed in the first place.