Breastfeeding Tips: 153 Pieces of Advice from Real Moms

Breastfeeding Tips
Breastfeeding and need a little help or motivation? We recently asked our community to share their best tips and advice for breastfeeding success and here are the results. Thanks to all the moms who took the time to share their nursing wisdom with the world!

For more help and lots of support check out Mothering’s breastfeeding articles section and our breastfeeding community.

Breastfeeding tips from our community: 

  1. Michelle Relax. Most important thing. This includes quiet and alone with your blessing.
  2. Linda watch other breastfeeding moms live –you’ll benefit from their airborne pheromones that support lactation in YOUR body
  3. Lisa comfortable position, lots of water, and hopefully a dad who is there for support!
  4. Beth When it’s tough, frustrating or just not going quite right….. Take a deep breath! Relax and be mindful to calm down. Baby can sense it too and they usually will follow.
  5. Christy My biggest thing was just the terrible pain I was in the first couple weeks of breastfeeding both my kids, despite having several knowledgeable people verify the latch was good. There wasn’t much I found that helped, but the second time around it was reassuring to know that the pain would go away and it would eventually become a wonderful experience.
  6. Jamie Persistence…don’t give up. If it hurts, try a different position, wait a little longer (if baby allows)
  7. Tierney  I agree…the most important thing…relax and enjoy your precious gift…
  8. Katie what is “natural” doesn’t always feel natural. take a deep breath.
  9. Kim Breathe…
  10. Jennifer Network and connect with other breastfeeding moms or women who breastfed at one time. Surround yourself with supportive and encouraging people.
  11. Andrea  Educate yourself! It isn’t always the “simple and natural-for-everyone” thing that it is often made out to be. Many moms need additional support from an IBCLC and other moms who are also bf’ing. When the going gets tough, I think that many moms give it up because they don’t know how to fix their issues and don’t have the support from other bf’ing moms. Reach out to a LLL leader or an online forum to get help! There are many moms who would love to help!
  12. Trisha It does get easier. Keep with it knowing this.
  13. Andrea  In the beginning make sure you drink a glass of water after a full feeding.
  14. Kathleen Take a little video of you nursing your baby from the vantage point of you looking down on your baby so you can have this awesome memory forever. :-)
  15. Kathryn  Keep telling yourself you were made to do this. It only gets easier. AND bed sharing helped us so much.
  16. Chris Keep a small container of special little books and thinks to do for siblings as you sit to nurse your babe. Keeps them occupied and lets you concentrate on breastfeeding.
  17. Emily Just keep going & enjoy the precious snuggles! celebrating 18 months nursing my son today
  18. Michelle  Just work through the sometimes very challenging first 6 weeks and don’t give up…you’ll be glad you stuck to it. For some reason once that 6-8 weeks comes around it seems to get a bit easier to nurse
  19. Tarsy Look for support if you must. Groups, LLL, lactation consultants, hospital, other moms, friends who also nurse or have nursed, whoever! Support is huge, especially when you want to give up or don’t think you can do it.
  20. Megan  My best advice would be that try your best to not involve any interventions. My son had issues transferring the milk as a newborn and my supply dropped. I was issued a industrial style pump and syringe fed him while working on his suck. Now he is 12 months and nurses while flipping, dancing, turning, wiggling - it was so hard in the beginning but by not involving nipple shields, bottles, and formula I think it made it simpler.
  21. Heather  I found that the gel pads that Ameda makes really helped me with the pain – I bought 2 packages & that was plenty (4 pads total). My biggest advice is trust your body, and trust your baby. You were made to breastfeed your child, and your child was made to be nursed. If you relax & trust, it falls into place.
  22. Jennifer Just breathe! Find a good support group. La Leche League meetings, Facebook group, another breastfeeding mommy friend… Someone that knows what your are going through and had been there before. NEVER NEVER NEVER be afraid/ashamed/embarrassed to ask for help!
  23. Autumn  it’s easier the 3rd time around
  24. Michelle I breastfed my first daughter for 14 months and loved it…now i’m having identical twin boys and need breastfeeding tips for twins! help!!!
  25. Jo  I find that being comfortable, myself, helps my baby relax and eat. If I’m uncomfortable, for whatever reason, physical or emotional, then he resists or fusses.
  26. Darci Don’t tell yourself that you’ll try it and see if it works. Make the commitment and stick to it, even if it’s difficult at first and you will be so rewarded when you realize that you alone are sustaining the life of your baby.
  27. Elise Check out it has twin BF advice! Good luck! It’s the best for sure.
  28. Beckie never quit on a bad day.
  29. Roxanna  listen to your mom gut!!! If you feel like something is off/wrong keep looking for answers until you feel heard. Attend LLL and connect with other moms who are breastfeeding. Know its ok to not always love it.
  30. Marybeth  check your expectations at the delivery door, baby will dictate what it needs, especially the first 6 weeks.
  31. Kris Get all the support you can-mother, other moms, breastfeeding groups, LLL.
  32. Gretel Surround yourself with women who have been there and who will support you. Tune out nay sayers. It gets easier with time.
  33. Tara The first two weeks were rough because my daughter developed a “click” with her tongue but after some cranial sacral therapy everything was smooth sailing! Support groups are awesome too! I did it for close to 3 years which took a lot if patience!!
  34. Jennifer  The “my breast friend” pillow made breastfeeding my boy as a newborn so much easier. At about 2-3 months old i switched to the Boppy because he was bigger.
  35. Chiara trust your feelings and your child. you love each other. AND a peer-to-peer group of mums will support a lot through the inevitable downs. Never forget a full bottle of water close to you every time you nurse
  36. Lo  don’t watch the clock, it’ll drive ya crazy….
  37. Angela Patience, patience, patience… the thing that got me through was lots of patience and support and he looks so happy and beautiful nursing
  38. Gretchen Two pieces of advice I received that really helped me were: If you really feel like quitting, commit to giving it one more week. And, for those days when your baby hits a growth spurt or is sick or just needs you close, grab a magazine or a book, water/snacks, and snuggle in for the long haul with your sweet baby — let everything else go and be at peace with nursing all day (or two days, etc.).
  39. Christina Lanolin isn’t necessary. Expressing a little milk, rubbing it into your nipples and letting them air dry works just as well and is MUCH cheaper!
  40. Tasha Go onto the MDC forums and ask all the weird, wonderful, practical, and absurd questions you want and need to ask. Sometimes it’s hard to ask for that help in person or even over the phone, but chances are that another bf’ing mama has sage words for you.
  41. Anires positioning tip: when laying down on your side and nursing, make sure your bodies are forming a slight v shape towards eachother as opposed to a more parallel slant like \
  42. Samantha Ignore the clock: focus on your baby and feed on demand. Don’t worry about how much milk baby is or isn’t getting: trust your body and your baby. Protect yourself from people who bring you down by criticizing breastfeeding or the way you breastfeed (i.e. you’re feeding him again??). Surround yourself with loving, supportive friends and family: build a network.
  43. Suzanne Remember how healthy your child will be. My son was never sick when I was breast feeding. We also have an incredible bond.
  44. Lindsey Drink lots, and lots, and lots of water- then have one more glass!  Enjoy every second of the bonding, they grow up too quick! Amazing feeling!
  45. Stacia Unbeknownst to us, our son had TMJ from his birth experience–in other words, his jaw was out of whack. This made nursing extremely painful for the first five weeks. He would tear off skin practically every time. Suffice it to say, I almost quit. Then our midwife suggested we get his jaw adjusted by a knowledgeable chiropractor–and lo and behold, it changed everything. This time around, if we can’t get a good latch, we’ll take the new baby to get adjusted much sooner.
  46. Kristina Get into a support group. The local hospitals here offer them once a week for free. It has been my saving grace to be surrounded by bf moms and their babies and to hear all of the different struggles and triumphs and to know someone else has been there and made it through.
  47. Anires  the ‘hamburger hold’, for larger breasts grasp the boob in your free hand and hold it between your fingers and thumb and kinda flatten it, this helps your baby put her mouth around the nipple properly.
  48. Lena It hard work saves you tons of money and Dr visit, you will have a healthy strong baby, their is times that will be difficult for instance i work full time and nurse full time, it gets really hard when I am busy at work thank God the Dr I work for understands, my baby is now 9 months and healthy, “just look at your baby’s precious little angel face” priceless.
  49. Lauren  i had such a challenge when i first breast fed. i actually had a challenging first two months. my son did not want to latch on and refused to give up. i pumped for those two months but before i pumped i always tried to latch him on. about four times he latched on. after the second month my baby was latching on and it was painful but i knew the pain would go away. it was the most beautiful thing when i knew he was latched for good. i breast fed for over two years and literally it was the most beautiful thing ive ever done. best advise i give is relax, keep positive, dont give up, and have a great support group.
  50. Melody  i bought a pack of reusable diaper prefold cloths they work well to keep your clothes n bra dry durring feeding. cause its messy lol. never give up you will get it
  51. Kerry In the early days: relax and believe in your body’s abilities! Later: relax and enjoy your baby / toddler. Enjoy the benefits you get as well as benefits to the child! Drink plenty of water, eat lots of fresh fruit and veg, and remember how important GOOD fats are!
  52. Jackie Just keep on trying…just like anything else in life that you want to be successful at u must go through the tough roads to reach the light at the end of the tunnel..I had my days where she just wouldn’t latch on and pumping an ounce in 30mins just made me want to give up but I kept on going talked to my breastfeeding councelor and finally at week 7 I’m lactaiting enough….just don’t give up and block whatever negative things people have to say…you know your body best and remember it does get easier “)
  53. Robyn With 2nd baby, thought I would have breastfeeding down without any issues, but I was wrong. Second baby was 3 weeks early & 2 lbs smaller than first. My breasts were bigger too & I struggled with feeding her & she cried & cried because she was hungry. Called La Leche League for help, but I ended up figuring out what to do, so here is my tip: Squeeze your nipple to make it longer & easier for smaller mouths to grasp. Remember, they are learning too & need mom to help them learn how this works.
  54. Sheli Nurse nurse and nurse some more. Don’t watch the clock or follow a schedule or worry that they are eating to much. Nurse if they haven’t for a while, always offer a boob, for comfort, for nourishment, for being able to sit or lay down for a few minutes and close your eyes. It IS the answer to almost every problem, especially in those first months. And the more you do it, the better both of you get at it. Establishing a relationship of free and pre-demand Breastfeeding early on sets the stage for a long beautiful nursing relationship for both of you:)
  55. Anne  nipple should be aimed toward roof of baby’s mouth, not straight in, so baby can get most of lower part of areole in mouth. (I guess that was pretty specific, but it really was the best advice I got!)
  56. Sarah The “Breast Friend” pillow helped a lot with positioning for me. Don’t follow the clock go with what you feel your baby needs and be patient. It can be hard at times but just know it is best for your baby and the bond you will have is amazing.
  57. Jesse Chinese herbs to increase supply.
  58. Kelly Eat healthy fats to improve fat content of your milk!
  59. Sarah Making the commitment to EBF was key to my success, bottle was NEVER an option….support from all family, also telling myself that I can do it, I just needed to allow time for us both to get to know each other.
  60. Megan Ask for help, weather you think you got it, seeing a lactation consultant always gives you a piece of mind. Keep hydrated and eat well. RELAX!!
  61. Nina Do what works for you and your little one. I am large breasted and the coach and books kept saying football hold, my son and I both hated it, I did what felt good, and it worked. Remember they are looking at your face – what a special bonding time…smile, talk, enjoy the connection and try to be happy looking.
  62. Krista My son was a long nurser. He could be happily on my breast for up to two hours at a time some days. I learned to wear him in a sling so I didn’t feel pinned to the couch so much.
  63. Melissa follow baby’s cues and nurse on demand…although the “books” say to nurse every 3 hours, moms know better. All 4 of my boys wabted to nurse almost constantly the first several weeks. It does get easier ; )
  64. Laura When Baby bites, react gently. It does hurt, but Baby is learning too. I ♥ breast feeding.
  65. Esther I agree with the RELAX advice but want to add how important it was for me to first get myself all settled in a comfortable position and use good pillows to support my back and a boppy or other pillows to allow me to easily bring baby to my breast instead of me hunching over. I made the mistake of leaning over awkwardly with my first child and ugh, the back pain!! With my second baby I always made sure to get in a goo position first!
  66. Yamile Relax! The first word that popped i to my mind. My 5th baby was in the NICU for a week. I couldn’t even hold him at first. When it was time to finally BF him I was so nervous! Relax and enjoy just being together.
  67. Lydia With twins be ready to be flexible – I have all the feeding pillows, tried sitting, laying, football hold, double cradle pose with their little legs intertwined – all work for one or two babies at different times – now they are 11 months old and we are still going strong! Don’t give up!
  68. Katie nurse on demand and practice nursing laying down
  69. Nickie Coconut oil on your nipples! Keep it in the fridge and the cool will soothe. It helps fight against thrush, and heals sore/cracked nipples! Totally safe for baby. Life saver!
  70. Megan I used earth mama angel babies nipple butter religiously it was great all natural didn’t have to wipe off in between feedings and I must say I agree with the 6-8 week thing above. It is hard to breastfeed. I would cry because I wasn’t used to just sitting. I would of never given up in a million years. So if all I could do was make the bed that day or take a shower that’s all I would do. But I was relaxed and knew I was doing the best thing for my babies.
  71. Jamie Enjoy sitting down to nurse. Savor it. Even if you breastfeed for years, it goes so fast…
  72. Katina Don’t think it’s not supposed to hurt. Your nipples will definitely be sore and will hurt, but it will go away within 3 weeks, usually. Just keep pushing through the pain unless they’re in bad shape, and see a LC.
  73. Jodi When in doubt, whip it out…
  74. Chelsey When I am super stressed my let down takes forever. I’ve spent close to half an hour in the middle of the night trying to calm myself enough to feed my son. I have found singing helps, closing your eyes and rocking, staring at your baby, imagining the feeling of your let down…lots of things. Stress is hard to deal with and your body suffers. Just remember it is all for your baby and do not give up.
  75. Erika  Keep trying different positions/chairs/pillows to find the right spots for you and your baby. Some places are just more comfortable than others. My girl is a kicker while she eats and the couch or bed gives her more space than a chair, but my son preferred to tuck into the chair! I also need a pillow behind my back to sit up straighter and not slouch.
  76. Jess  I just had my second earth-bound babe two weeks ago. Nursing her had given me the same intense pain that my first did, 10 years ago. This time I’ve been pro-active, and found my girl Issas tongue-tied, even though midwife and pedi said no. Took her to lactation consultant and her tongue would not go over her gum-line. A week ago, she had her frenulum clipped. She isn’t doing it fully painless yet, but her latch is much improved, and it’s getting less painful each day. My advice is to trust your instincts with baby, whether it’s about positioning, latching, etc.
  77. Fortunata I had a substantial amount of plugged ducts, terrible…anyway, 3 things really helped: 1) cut down on saturated fats, (fast food etc), 2) take a deep breath and visualize your ducts relaxing before you nurse 3) Lecithin pills….I was going through a terrible time when my daughter was newborn, and the stress was killing me! also: when it hurts/is keeping you awake/you feel like stopping, just remember the pioneer women. No options, and somehow they made it through….
  78. Nicole Breastfeeding is a partnership between you and your baby, you work together to get it right.
  79. Logan Every ounce is worth it. Stick with it. It gets easier.
  80. Jessica I never thought I would breast feed…ever! And now I am happily nursing my 10 month old Girl. I decided to write down a series of items that will help me on the breast feeding journey with subsequent children to remember so I don’t forget!
  81. Brandy Nurse your child any time, anywhere. Don’t worry about offending anyone. Most often if people notice they will turn red and look away and if they do say anything negative it won’t be to your face. Nursing your baby when they are upset is the most comforting and nourishing thing you can do for them. Oh and eat tons of almonds to help keep your milk rich and creamy. The cream is in the back and it is dense in nutrients. Make sure they suck you dry on both sides:)
  82. Samantha Try the other side, one, two, three, four times! Growth spurts are killer. If I hadn’t just kept re-latching the LO in those first couple months, back and forth, left to right . . . I likely would’ve felt as if I wasn’t making enough for her. Eventually, doing this and pacifying her on the breast often helped me to realize I’d been expecting to work like a BOTTLE and not like a human mother.
  83. Nicole Two things saved my breastfeeding experience (we wouldn’t have made it past week one without them. For raw nipples: 1) use a hot saline soak. I just dunked my nipples into a bowl filled with comfortably hot water and salt. It instantly made me feel better. And then 2) in between feedings I used polysporin on my raw nipples, covered by a little piece of clean, bpa free saran wrap. It kept the wound wet and comfortable, without the bulky nipple shield contraptions.
  84. Rachel Nurse on demand always makes me think that you have to wait until the baby is fussy… instead of waiting for that when the baby maybe too frustrated to latch watch for early hunger cues and feed then.
  85. Nicole  Oh, and CALL YOUR LL LEADER if you need help! They know everything.
  86. Sherri  Check for tongue tie, also known as a short frenulum! It tends to run in families. It can be mild enough that it isn’t noticeable but can still cause latch/suckling problems.
  87. Christine  Out of my 3 girls, it only came “easy” with my 2nd. You can’t have a “one foot in, one foot out the door” approach. You need to decide that you’re going to do it and be secure in your reasons and convictions. Also, I made sure to pump each night with my 3rd. This allowed be to build up a nice supply so that whenever she went through a growth spurt or my supply went down because I was sick, I didn’t have to stress that she wasn’t getting enough…and that lack of stress helped me to get my supply back up to where it needed to be!
  88. Joanie Babies with cleft lips CAN breastfeed. A shallow latch is terribly painful but you will get through it. You don’t have to love breastfeeding in order to do it.
  89. Jennifer Triple Nipple Cream from my OB’s office. Life saver for all 3 kids….
  90. Lauren Be committed. Pump at night when needed and SAVE that liquid gold! Drink lots of water and don’t forget to eat!
  91. Heather For me, having a lactation consultant work with me at my house really helped the first time.
  92. Liz Join a mother’s forum ( or another one) while you’re TTC and pregnant. Get to know other women and be part of the community. You can meet so many women there who can help you with breastfeeding. My online friends got me through the tough times with a very sick baby when I was trapped in my house and could never get to more than one La Leche League meeting. Someone is there for you usually twenty-four hours a day to at least listen.
  93. Kaleigh ‎”taco”! Make your book into a flat taco shape to help your baby suck easier! Do not just put a big boob in front of the baby and think it will be easy. Also, use a cold green cabbage leaf on your boobs when they get sore.
  94. Kate Using the football hold really helped my first baby latch on and stay latched when he was a newborn. Also, asking for help from other moms (aka, my sisters) really helped us get the hang of it.
  95. Christina If you are planning on going back to work, begin pumping to create a breastmilk stash early. I didn’t, and it created a lot of extra work and anxiety for me later, which didn’t help my response to the pump. Also, if you’re like me and eventually have to supplement, don’t mentally beat yourself up over it like I did – its just adds more stress that affects output and pump response. Be proud you were about to exclusively breastfeed for the time you did – lots of women don’t even make it past the first week!
  96. RoseAnna Soy lecithin supplements for preventing plugged ducts! I wish I had started taking it right after the baby was born.
  97. Kylie Don’t stress about it. Lots of moms want to pump and pump and compare to full 10oz formula bottles, when most of the time you can only pump 4oz tops. (After the super crazy first few weeks where milk supply flows like crazy anyway!) Breastmilk and supply is WAY different. Don’t let older people, OR nurses etc. Convince you to formula feed or start first foods earlier than 6 months if your baby “isn’t gaining”. Your body makes the perfect amount of milk for YOUR child. Who is to tell you or make you think otherwise? I run a home preschool and breastfeed my soon to be 15m old baby STILL. Yes it’s no picnic sometimes, and she’s never taken to a bottle. (Yay me lol) BUT! I know the value in long term breastfeeding. Don’t give up, and stick to your guns towards the 8 million people that WILL try to tell you what to do! Xo
  98. Marta I haven’t read the above posts so I may be repeating…. this is what I have learned: breast milk is the cure all, (burns, rashes, clogged tear ducts in newborns, sties), size does not matter but stress levels do, if you think it it will happen so do not doubt that you will have milk, listen for the liquid swallowing to confirm that your baby is getting milk, sage is good for over production, bay leaf in moderate quantities for baby gas- you drink it or cook with it, if you’re baby is colicky ditch the dairy first, rosy cheeks indicate irritation from foods in little babies, if your breasts are very big cup them with your hand and make them small enough for the mouth, find support if you do not have it near you, there is nothing quicker and easier then breast feeding- there may be lots of trial and error at the beginning, breastfeeding seals your connection to your child- it is the ultimate mother experience- you are one. cheers mamas
  99. Stacie I had gone to a breastfeeding class BEFORE my son was born. They repeatedly said “If you’re doing it right, it won’t hurt!” After a few days, it began to hurt and I kept thinking I must be doing it wrong because they said it won’t hurt if you do it right. FINALLY, a lactation consultant told me: “It shouldn’t hurt after the first 10 seconds” (which I was finding the pain did subside after about that long).
  100. Julie It gets easier as they get bigger.
  101. Megan You can’t breastfeed too often in the beginning. Ignore relatives who say, “But you just fed the baby! He can’t be hungry again!”
  102. Amy Learn to nurse your baby while laying down! So much easier on your back!
  103. Kate Attend mother to mother breastfeeding support group meetings in your area. Advice, support, encouragement, and friendship all at once!
  104. Shea Lanolin from the very beginning after the very first feeding to help with tender nipples
  105. Rebecca ‎1.) Always keep a glass of water near you 2.) Have a healthy snack before or, after you nurse. 3.) Attend an LLL meeting or, make friends with other Mom’s who breastfeed. 4.) You don’t HAVE TO have a nursing pillow. Regular pillows work just fine. 4.) Carry your baby in a sling, carrier, wrap or pouch. Having your baby close to you gives them comfort and will help you nurse discreetly in public until you feel comfortable with it. (and, an after thought…if you’re the modest kind, like I was, invest in a GOOD nursing cover made of cotton. Breathable, light and cool fabric is Very Important) 5.) You might be used to eating by the clock but, your baby isn’t! Feed On Demand. It helps your supply and helps your baby! 6.) Invest in some excellent nursing bra’s and pads! Nursing bra’s take a lot of tugging and yanking and pads do A Lot of work, too. 7.) The World Health Organization recommends nursing till your baby is one year of age but, there is no magic that happens that makes your baby stop nursing at one. 8.) If you pump and store your milk, write down the time of day you pumped, on the storage container. If you or, someone else are feeding your child expressed milk, make sure they’re feeding your baby milk from a container that corresponds with the same time of day. 9.) If you go back to work, you Don’t have to stop nursing. Check the laws in your state, your employer is obligated to give you time to pump. 10.) Don’t let anyone pressure or guilt you about breastfeeding. Your baby knows when they need to eat and, you know it too. 11.) Lansinoh is Great stuff, just make sure to rub it between your fingers, before you apply, because it’s really “tacky” straight out of the tube. 12.) Don’t be afraid to reach out to resources on the web or, locally. There are a lot of Mom’s and Lactation Consultants out there who want to help you give your baby breast milk, even if it’s not your own, (Breast Milk is THAT Awesome). 13.) If you want a night out and want to drink alcohol, You DON’T have to, “pump and dump”. Just give yourself an hour for each drink. 14.) Expressed milk “keeps” for three months in a conventional freezer, six in a deep freeze. 15.) If your baby is born early and, has to be in the NICU, you can still breastfeed! Your baby will Thrive and grow better with Your milk! 16.) If your baby is jaundice, DON’T cave to formula!!! If you nurse on demand and have nursing support, you can maintain your bond, supply, and a healthy breastfeeding relationship WITHOUT formula. 17.) If your OB or Pediatrician pushes formula ASK WHY, Listen and then go home and Educate yourself because, unless you have severe issues, (or you just want to have an alternative food source for your baby) formula should NEVER be the first answer. 18.) If you have problems with your supply, you can consume Mother’s Milk Tea, Steel Cut Oatmeal, (have personally used both) fenugreek and a lot of other sources so, DON’T give up. There are a lot of people who will help you, IF YOU want help. 19.) You’re in for a challenging, wonderful, absolutely loving journey with your child. I’ve had my up’s and down’s and I’m grateful for it all. Proudly Self-Weaning a 36 month old. =)
  106. Marleina Watch the baby, not the clock.
  107. Caitlin Someone once told me, “Never quit on your worst day”
  108. Tracey If you have a great let-down & don’t want to waste it, get a “Milk Saver” it fits right into your bra & catches the milk from the breast you’re not feeding from! It’s a great way to help build up your stash if you have to go back to work. If you have an abundant supply, look into donating! You can help out another precious baby & mama!
  109. April Try a glass or two of pineapple juice a day. Works wonders for the mastitis per my best friend.
  110. Betsy keep a pitcher of water and a cup next to your ‘nursing station’ so that you can always hydrate yourself while you nurse. very important for mama!
  111. Charity-Anne If for whatever reason you are a long term “expresser”, make sure you use the correct size expressing equipment for your nipple to avoid damage. Mothers who feed breast milk to their children with bottles are often overlooked as are the unique issues they encounter!
  112. Michelle Follow your own instincts instead of experts’ advice.
  113. Krista I’ve been dealing with thrush for 10 months on and off. Grapefruit seed extract has gotten me through.
  114. Michelle If you’re having troubles in the beginning, see a lactation consultant for help with latch. I waited 2 grueling nipple-torn mastitis-filled hungry-baby weeks before getting help. It was smooth sailing after an LC showed us how to latch successfully.
  115. Roberta Listen to your mothering instincts and trust them. Enjoy, too! I nursed all 3 of mine for years and those years were by far the best!
  116. Christi If you are too full, pump for a couple seconds. And if you have big areolae and small nipples, squeeze your nipple to make your areola smaller as well as your nipple firmer so your baby knows it’s there and can get more areola in her mouth.
  117. Amanda If you need help, ask an expert. That person is more likely to be LLL or LC, and less likely to be your dr. Drs often don’t know much.
  118. Tara My biggest thing is that nursing is a confidence game. Trust your body, commit and do the work if it’s important to you, and then have confidence that your baby is getting enough and growing because of it. And as a mom of 3 ages 4 and under, figure out feeding in an ergo or other carrier. It is so convenient. I love sitting down and relaxing and enjoying that time with my baby, but there are times when the rest of my family needs me and I need the flexibility of a carrier.
  119. Roxanne When you are pregnant, don’t think of bf as a choice. Do your research, get familiar with the different resources, tools, etc. just know that you will be bf. I never let myself think of another option. As a parent, you do what’s best for your child.
  120. Theresa  I had it explained to me once that breastfeeding is like a beautiful dance. You both don’t know the steps right away or even each other but after some patience, practice and sometimes pure determination it becomes second nature…Oh, and also, treat your nipples like gold; lots of air time and cream.
  121. Theresa My second child seemed to be having trouble nursing. He wouldn’t stay latched and he had a lot of colic and gas. After many hours of research I theorized that his sublingual frenulum was to “tight” or rather very short, which was making it hard for him to get the right positioning. I called around trying to find a doctor (ENT, Pediatrician) to help me but they all said that he would have to have general anesthesia in order for it to be “snipped” even just a little (even though it is a common practice to snip it just after birth if deemed necessary, and don’t get me started on circumcision). Anyways, after more and more research and calling around I finally found a wonderful and compassionate maxillofacial doctor (who knew that THAT was the kind of doctor I would need to see?!) who for less than $100 out of pocket (because of COURSE it isn’t covered by insurance!) was able to snip it while I held my 2.5 month old in my arms after applying some topical anesthetic. Pretty much NO BLEEDING and he nursed (in fact I was ENCOURAGED THAT HE NURSE) directly after. Advice that maybe only a few people might need, but it made a difference almost immediately and he’s been nursing like a champ ever since!
  122. Anne It’s essential that the little one latch on correctly, or you WILL get sore quickly. Don’t get lazy on this! Tease the side of her cheek with your nipple until she opens her mouth WIDE before trying to latch her on.
  123. Sarah Perseverance! With my four, I have pumped for two preemies in the NICU, dealt with severe nipple confusion after they came home, and with one of my full-termers dealt with severe pain that left me gasping for breath every time he latched on. I’ve cried for weeks over all those situations. But in every case, once I talked to the right people and got the right advice for how to deal with the situations, I was so glad I persevered!!
  124. Nan For those like me, who are large breasted, a football hold for nursing a newborn provides better angle for a correct latch on.
  125. Karuna the nipple butter I had contained many ingredients some I wasn’t comfortable with even though natural. I got advice from my WIC b/f support counselor to use a cotton ball soaked in olive oil and place it directly on the nipple inside my bra and inside a nipple pad. Wear a shirt you don’t mind staining with oil if it does. This helped with the raw days when they are about 8 weeks old and “cluster” feed. I had time to go pee, get water and that was it. I also must say, let go. I had this mind set that I wasn’t going to let the baby lead. I was going to say when we nursed and how often or how much. When that became more than what I thought I could handle I felt like a wild pony being broken in the wind. I cried. She cried all day because all she wanted was to nurse and or sleep attached to me either in my arms or on my breast. The day I let go and let her lead was the best day of my life.
  126. Tracy After getting the “cheese grater” affect from a shallow latch (ouch!!), my god-send LC gave me some great tips: you should look down and see cheek-nose-cheek lined up against your breast; keep “a wave of breast” moving towards the nipple by using your hand to make the boob sandwich and moving your hand down slowly pushing the breast continuously towards the babe’s mouth to keep their latch from slipping; have your partner help work the hard lumps towards the nipple while you are nursing- it gets them involved and it really helps so much when you are engorged!
  127. Amy Co sleep, eat plenty of good fats such as avocado, fish, coconut. Drink lots of water and drink fennel tea. Breathe lots and relax. trust your intuition.
  128. Sarah Let the baby lead, by letting go you become in synch. It seems at times like it lasts forever but it doesn’t . I miss it. And yeah I can’t imagine not co sleeping- besides the obvious level of closeness you get more sleep that way
  129. Windsong All babies should be examined by a fascial specialist. Many times breastfeeding problems are due to real physical problems due to fascial restrictions in the baby. If babies have a well-baby assessment and any imbalances or restrictions are relieved, then both mother and child have a great breastfeeding experience and mother’s are not blaming themselves and becoming stressed because there are latching problems or pain or discomfort or digestive problems.
  130. Katie I use a nipple shield, I have a tiny stub of a nipple and I found the shield helped both my babies latch on and allowed me to bf when I was on the verge of quitting after mastitis and thrush.
  131. Beverly My nipples were/are too large for baby… and on top of that I had them pierced, so they have holes on the sides… LC gave me a larger sized nipple shield. It works great! Of course, I’d rather have him latch on naturally, but this is great for now until his little mouth gets big enough for me.
  132. Alicia  Fill a large athletic sock full of regular white rice to make a heating pad that fits around your breast when you have clogged ducts. Justa heat in the microwave for a few minutes. Also if you have twins use a twin nursing pillow and nurse them at the same time.
  133. Gosh I had to use nipple covers with my first child since my nipples were too short and he couldn’t latch; used it with my second, in tandem with lansinoh, to help ease the pain from her 4 hour latches. Also, practice nursing lying down.
  134. Kirsty Don’t watch the clock!!!
  135. Lilith My baby Elena was unexpectedly born with Down syndrome and did not have a coordinated suck reflex. Unlike my other children, she didn’t even try to nurse–she was way too sleepy. The midwife spent the night trying “suck training” with her finger, a syringe and tubing every two hours while I pumped. After many tears I finally switched to a bottle full of mommy milk, and while I kept trying to nurse, if she would nurse at all, mostly Elena became tired and immediately went to sleep, nursing was such hard work for her. I still have the notebook where I wrote down every feeding, every ounce consumed, and how long she nursed, if she nursed at all. Pediatrician’s orders… Every professional I talked to was a little bit helpful, contributing a tiny piece: the down syndrome website suggesting using a pillow for nursing, the pediatrician suggested swaddling her while feeding (which was actually very useful), the lactation consultant showed me how to help Elena latch, the occupational therapist watched what I was doing and told me what a great mom I was. They all said that it would take time for her to develop the skills to nurse, but no one could promise me she ever would be able to. Honestly, I almost gave up at one point, after waking to bottle feed and then pump every 2-3 hours for 3 weeks straight I just didn’t think I could do it anymore But I just kept going, kept trying to nurse, or took a break if things were too hard and she wasn’t responding, and tried again the next day, and somehow around 4 weeks old Elena just started to get it–her strength and coordination started improving and one day I just felt certain it was time to “go for it”. Within three days she was nursing exclusively, and I felt so much more bonded to Elena, and really happy for both of us. The only thing that markedly helped (besides the swaddling tip, which was immense) was all the encouragement to KEEP GOING and KEEP TRYING and DON”T GIVE UP and YOU CAN DO IT. People told me what a great job I was doing (even though she wasn’t nursing!) and I needed to hear it all the time. If I hadn’t had a cheerleading squad, even an experienced nursing mom like myself might have given up. But I didn’t, even though it was really, really hard. Later, the pediatrician told me that if she had been born in a hospital, Elena would have had a team of nurses working to feed and care for her. No wonder I was so tired! I did have a team of family members working to care for my other children, the house and myself, so I can’t underestimate the support of family… Without all the support, I don’t think I could have kept going. Elena is 7 months now and she loves to nurse! I know now that there are situations, difficult and unusual situations where nursing is not easy or natural, or maybe even possible. So I don’t want to say “just do it” because that’s so glib. But don’t give up, because if Elena and I can make it work, I’m sure you and your baby can too!
  136. Laura My advice I’d to not use soap on your nipples from the time you find out you’re pregnant. We have natural oils for a reason. And watch lots and lots of Dr. Jack Newman’s videos while pregnant.
  137. Alexandra Lanolin, lanolin, lanolin!!!!!!
  138. Margaret Don’t give up! Had to syringe feed my first born the first couple weeks home every 2 hrs and use nipple shield for 6 months! I was determined – so if u really want it u can do it!
  139. Amy Co-sleeping means you don’t even have to get out of bed on cold winters nights to feed, and you and baby will probably sleep better too.
  140. Siobhan I wished that someone had told me that it DOES actually hurt a little in the beginning rather than telling me I must have been doing something wrong if it was hurting. Also, coconut oil is better than any other ointments/creams. Side-lying nursing/cosleeping is the easiest way to get as much sleep as possible while nursing on demand. Another thing-time goes way too quickly, enjoy it while it lasts!
  141. Michelle Keep calm and take breaks from learning, come back to BF with a fresh perspective. And most important…it should not be painful!!
  142. Colette Breast milk can be used for anything… We used it to cure pink eye a few drops and it worked like magic!
  143. Jennifer as a new mother, when we were out, I had to learn to just go with my babies cues, and not worry so much if he didn’t nurse for a while. Being out can stimulate babies, watch for their sign that they are ready to nurse and don’t worry!
  144. Ellie  nurse on demand, co-sleep, allow baby to comfort suck
  145. Christine I was so exhausted with my second (only 19 months apart) that I just took him and lay down in my bed to nurse him whenever we were home.
  146. Vicki Patience! Patience! Patience. Don’t beat yourself up if you have difficulties. A wise friend taught me that meditating a little prior to breastfeeding is a great way to put yourself in the relaxed state of mind necessary to achieve let down and enjoy the bond with your baby.
  147. Melissa relax!
  148. Wilma BFing wasn’t easy for me at first, it was painful and even with a lactation consultant I struggled but I didn’t give up. I managed to BF all three of our children for over a year. But each child was like starting over and the discomfort lasted a couple weeks until each baby got into their own groove. I cherish the memories of baby eyes looking up at me so content while BF and am thankful I didn’t give up!
  149. Juliana Pillows are your friend! After trying for a home birth, we unfortunately had to transfer to the hospital and have a c section. I was deeply committed to breastfeeding but I could totally understand why so many women who have c sections are unsuccessful. After the surgery it hurts just to move, so getting into a position in which you and the baby can comfortably nurse can be very challenging. What saved me in the hospital and once we went home was being surrounded by lots of pillows. In the hospital I would put the bed completely upright, have two pillows behind my back to prop me up (the bed didn’t go up far enough) and two pillows on each side of me lying on top of each other. Then I was able to lay the baby down on the pillows and nurse in the football hold. When I needed to switch to the other side, all I had to do was move the baby – the pillows and myself were already in position. I should mention that I had my family bring lots of pillows – the hospital ones were a joke! Once we went home, I camped out on the couch with pillows behind and on either side of me. I own both a Boppy and a My Brest Friend, but I found that in the first couple of weeks it hurt to use them because they would press on my belly. Once I had healed more, they took the place of all the bed pillows.
  150. Shannon You can do it!! The best bonding you will ever have with your baby!! It is trial and error sometimes but follow your instincts! You will be successful!!
  151. Tamara Hang in there; join a group like La Leche League to have advice from someone who’s done it & knows what to do.
  152. Mandy Drink lots of water, and also drink a little alcohol (half a glass of beer or wine) to get the milk in quickly (in emergency situations)
  153. TI Was a while ago but the best thing I learnt was that you cannot teach your baby to latch on, all you can do is keep offering and keep being patient. They will get there in the end. Also when I got mastitis a bigger bra cleared it up within 24 hours.

If you have a breastfeeding tip to share, please do so in the comments!

Image: Contributed by Ashley Brock