Breastfeeding Tips and Recommendations for New Moms

December 2019

Learn the latest breastfeeding information that can affect you and your baby.

These breastfeeding tips and recommendations include how long to breastfeed.There are many health benefits of breastfeeding for both you and your baby. First, the milk is filled with nutrients and antibodies that help protect your baby from infections. Breast milk also helps your baby’s digestive system and promotes healthy growth. Breastfeeding comes with benefits for you, too! From promoting health and healing after delivery to lowering your risk for certain cancers and health conditions, there are many reasons to consider breastfeeding.

While a hospital lactation consultant or maternity nurse can guide you on this journey, the following topics containing breastfeeding tips and recommendations can help you learn what to expect:

  • How long to breastfeed
  • Comfortable hold techniques
  • Latching tips
  • Safe breast milk storage
  • Good nutrition ideas
  • Challenges you may encounter

Keep reading to learn more about these breastfeeding tips and recommendations below.

How long to breastfeed

When you’re trying to determine how long feedings will last, that’s a question for your baby! They will often let you know when they’re finished. Your baby may prefer shorter, more frequent feedings, or longer and fewer sessions. With time, women often find the right rhythm. A few signs that your baby is getting enough breastmilk include:

  • Clear or pale-yellow urine, not dark yellow or orange
  • Regular bowel movements
  • Shifts between short sleeping periods to wakeful and alert period
  • Content demeanor after feedings
  • Your breasts feel softer after feeding

For the longer-term version of the question, the breastfeeding tips and recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest feeding infants only breast milk until they’re about six months old. After that, parents can start introducing new foods alongside breast milk until fully weaned at 1-2 years of age.

Comfortable hold techniques

One of the breastfeeding tips and recommendations in this article is to eat healthy.Feeding your baby will be a big part of your days as a new mom, so there are many ways to help ensure that you’re comfortable. There are a few breastfeeding holds to try:

  • The cradle—Perhaps the most common hold for a baby. You’ll support the baby with a forearm as they feed.
  • The “football”—You’ll hold your baby under your arm (a bit like running a football!) on the side you’re feeding, with a palm supporting their head. Placing a pillow beneath the child can help make this more comfortable.
  • The straddle—Here, you’ll let the baby take the lead. You can lie back on a pillow with your baby on top between your breasts. Support their head with a hand while they search for your breast and latch.
  • Side-lying—This position allows you to get a little extra rest while feeding. You and the baby will lie together with the baby facing your breast.

Latching tips

Just like breastfeeding can have a learning curve for you, latching can have one for your baby. Here are some of the strategies you can try to encourage your baby to latch and feed:

  • Set a calm environment
  • Ensure skin-to-skin contact
  • Let your baby search for your breast on their own

If your baby should be feeding but isn’t making an effort on their own, you can try gently tickling their lips with your nipple. For more latching tips, talk to your healthcare provider or lactation consultant.

Safe breast milk storage

Pumping and storing your breast milk can help you manage your supply and have backup milk on hand when needed. Here are a few breastfeeding tips and recommendations for storing milk:

  • Refrigerated breast milk can be stored for up to 4 days
  • You can also freeze breast milk for 6-12 months if you anticipate needing a longer shelf life
  • If you freeze breast milk, it should be used the day it’s thawed

Good nutrition ideas

Since your baby is getting nutrients and experiencing tastes through your breast milk, healthy eating is essential for both of you. Nutrition tips when you’re breastfeeding include:

  • Emphasize a wide variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins and fats, and whole grains
  • Limit sugar, caffeine, and fish known to contain mercury
  • Avoid alcohol and other potentially harmful substances

Learn more about foods to eat (and avoid) in our article and infographic here. 

Challenges you may encounter

Even with breastfeeding tips and recommendations in-hand, every mom and baby are different, and inevitably some difficulties may arise. Perhaps you feel like you are producing too much milk or not enough, you have a plugged duct, your baby has a health problem like colic or jaundice, or you have a special situation like breastfeeding during surgical recovery or a new pregnancy. For every challenge, there are many strategies that can help. Be sure to let your healthcare provider or lactation consultant know about your difficulties so they can find the best solution for you.

See more breastfeeding tips and a suggested schedule in our infographic.

Our doctors, midwives, and women’s health team are here to help you through pregnancy, labor and delivery, postpartum, and beyond. Schedule an appointment today by calling 920.885.6090 or reaching out to us online today.

This is a public forum, by which BDWH provides general information to patients and prospective patients. You should not post any personal or identifying information on this Blog. The information that appears on this Blog does not constitute medical advice and is not a substitute for a consultation with a Healthcare Professional.

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