41 Surprising Breast Feeding Hacks For New Moms

Are you new to nursing or maybe it turned out to be more difficult than you expected? You’re not sure if you’re doing it the right way and sometimes feel overwhelmed? Don’t worry mama, it’s normal! To help you through this journey, here are the best breast-feeding hacks for new moms from a breastfeeding specialist.

Breast Feeding Hacks For New Moms

Medically reviewed by Macy Tollefson – doula, breastfeeding specialist & prenatal yoga teacher

The postpartum period is full of up and down emotions, exhaustion and tears. Navigating the challenges of breastfeeding on top of that only adds to the wild ride.

It’s a common misconception that breastfeeding should be a natural, easy process, but let me tell you that… it is certainly not the case.

There are so many surprising things that can pop (hey, cluster feeding!) that you may not know how to handle. It can be an overwhelming, confusing and very frustrating journey if you don’t have the right tools or support system in place.

Think of it as a learning experience – you’ve never done it and your baby hasn’t either! To help you learn, here are some of my best tips to make your next breastfeeding session easier.

This article is not a substitute for medical advice.

Genius Breastfeeding Hacks To Make New Mom Life Easier

You don’t have to go through this alone. Here are some of my favorite breastfeeding hacks and tips to make nursing easier from the beginning!

1. Plan Ahead

Before your baby is even born, make a postpartum feeding plan.

Consider things like:

  • Do I want to exclusively breastfeed?
  • Will I pump?
  • Will I use a bottle?
  • What is the best formula to have, as a back-up?

Remember to remain flexible – just like birth, postpartum is difficult to “plan”, but knowing all of your options ahead of time will take the guess work out of navigating the changes.

2. Take A Breastfeeding Class

Participating in a breastfeeding course can help you immensely. In the first few weeks of postpartum, you are going to be sleep deprived, exhausted and not thinking straight. This is not the time you will want to be attempting to learn anything new, with no prior knowledge.

Of course there will always be an element of learning on the go, but a breastfeeding class (during pregnancy) will without a doubt help you feel more prepared. It will also help speed up the learning curve, so you’re not battling with trial and error!

Genius Breastfeeding Hacks To Make New Mom Life Easier

3. Create Breastfeeding “Stations” Around The House

A breastfeeding kit will help you have easy access to supplies you may need during a feeding session.

Think about the things you would want during a nursing session:

  • Water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Phone charger
  • TV remote
  • Self-care items

4. Stock Up On Supplies

Research all of the things that you or your breastfeeding baby may need. Some things to consider:

  • Nursing pads (good, absorbent, moisture-wicking ones)
  • Cabbage leaves (for treating engorgement)
  • Breast or nipple shields
  • Nursing pillow
  • Nursing clothes

If you plan on pumping, research the best breast pump for you. You’ll also want a good system to wash pump parts.

5. Get A Good Nipple Butter

Did you know that over 90% of breastfeeding moms will experience nipple pain or damage at some point during their feeding journey1? A nipple butter is a great way to help treat AND prevent nipple pain!

Even if you have a good latch and breastfeeding is successful, your nipples will likely feel tender, as they get used to these new sensations. A good nipple balm will also help with this.

I recommend you to choose a natural nipple cream that is safe for baby to ingest, so you don’t have to wash it before each feeding.

6. Have A List Of Support People

Don’t wait for something to go wrong to find the help you need. Create a list of potential support people, like a lactation consultant, doula, or mom support groups. That way, when something comes up during a feeding session, you can get help immediately.

Best Breastfeeding hacks for new moms try Different Nursing Positions

7. Prioritize YOUR Comfort

This is one of my most important breastfeeding tips: make sure YOU are comfortable during a nursing session.

Many new moms will hunch over or put their bodies into very uncomfortable positions, in an attempt to see what’s going on or get their baby to latch better. It’s never a good idea to strain your neck or upper body.

Of course, you want to make sure your nursing baby is well supported – but not at the expense of your personal comfort. When you are feeling comfortable, your body will actually create more milk!

8. Get A Stool

This is another breastfeeding hack that I’m always recommending to moms who come to me for a consultation: Try using a stool to prop your legs up. This can help give both you and your baby better support.

9. Know What Makes A Good Latch

A good latch is the key to comfortable and effective breastfeeding. If you attend a breastfeeding class, ask them to outline what a perfect latch look like.

The general rule is that you want to get as much of your breast in the baby’s mouth as possible. Your nipple should be directed to the soft pallet at back of the baby’s throat. This will allow more of the breast tissue to be in the baby’s mouth to be compressed.

Remember, it’s called breast-feeding not nipple-feeding.

10. Try The Laid-Back Position

There are so many different breastfeeding positions you can try, but one of the easiest is the “laid-back position.” This is the best position for moms to simple relax and tap into their maternal instincts.

Most babies can also instinctively find the nipple and attach themselves to your breast in this position. Trust me, it can be a total game changer!

11. Know Different Nursing Positions To Try

There are so many great positions that can make breastfeeding easier, and it can be helpful to know your options if you need to change it up mid-feed.

Look up the Cradle Hold, Cross-Cradle Hold, or Side Lying Position. Mothers with large breasts could also try the Dancer Hand Position, Football hold, or having your baby rest on your lap.

12. Track Your Feeds – But Don’t Stress About It!

A feeding tracker can help ease the stress of feeding times and the amount your expressing. If you’re going to a lactation consultant, they may want to know that information.

With that being said, don’t let it stress you out! Every baby is different, and the most important thing is that they are gaining weight!

What Should You Not Do While Breastfeeding

13. Know Your Baby’s Hunger Cues.

Here are some sign of signs that your baby may be hungry2:

  • Smacking lips
  • Bringing their hand to their mouth
  • “Rooting” on the chest of whoever is holding them
  • Fidgeting or squirming around

Breastfeeding hack: If your baby is crying, that is a late sign of hunger. Calm them down before attempting to feed them again.

14. Know Baby Discomfort Signs

Your baby will also give you signs if they are uncomfortable after feeding. Things such as reflux, gas, or having a tense and rigid body. If your baby seems uncomfortable, talk to a professional.

15. Know Signs Of Complications

You may also experience some complications. Be on the look out for:

  • Breast engorgement
  • Clogged ducts
  • Mastitis
  • Sore nipples
  • Pain in general

Engorged breasts are common in the early days, once your milk has come in, but if you are persistently finding them engorged, you may want to seek help.

16. Figure Out The Best Way Your Partner Or Support Person Can Help You

As a breastfeeding mom, it can feel like you’re carrying the weight of the responsibility, so help your partner get involved as well!

Decide what would be the most help for you (ex. bringing the baby to you, cleaning up or changing their diaper after) and communicate this to them.

17. Hold Off Giving A Bottle Until Breastfeeding Is Well Established

It takes around 4 weeks for your baby to really get used to breastfeeding3. If breastfeeding is going well, avoid giving them a bottle for this time period.

Best Breastfeeding Hacks For Increasing Breast Milk Supply

Best Breastfeeding Hacks For Increasing Breast Milk Supply

Now it’s time for a few tips and tricks for breastfeeding moms to boost their lactation.

18. Understand The Concept Of “Supply And Demand”

One of my most important breastfeeding tips is to understand how it works. Breastfeeding works on a supply and demand basis- how much you express will determine your supply.

19. Breastfeed Or Pump Frequently

In order to maintain your supply (or increase it), you need to express milk, breastfeed or pump frequently.

Keeping your milk flowing also helps relieve plugged ducts and prevent them from happening in the first place.

20. Try Lactation Tea

Galactagogues are herbal “boosters” that help increase your milk production. You can get them in the form of cookies or lactation teas.

Drinking teas will also help you stay hydrated in general and can help you relax, which is essential for your milk production!

If you’re hesitant and wondering if lactation teas can actually help to boost your milk production, read my article here.

21. Make Sure You’re Comfortable

Try different breastfeeding positions, and stick with the ones that you’re the MOST comfortable in. This will help you stay relaxed and keep your milk flowing.

22. Increase Your Oxytocin Output

Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for ejecting your milk. It’s also the hormone that is released when we feel good.

Do things that help lower anxiety and de-stress. Some good ways to produce oxytocin are yoga and baby wearing.

This is also super important if you trying to establish lactation after few weeks or months after your baby was born and you’ve never breastfed before, as well las for relactation.

Keep in mind that even if you’re baby is a few months old or you had a long breast for nursing, it doesn’t have to mean that it’s too late to start breastfeeding!

23. Try Breast Massage During Feedings

Breast massage can relieve clogged ducts and help with milk flow. If you find that your baby has trouble sucking, massaging your breasts during a feed can help eject more breast milk.

24. Nurse Or Pump Both Breasts

Make sure you are emptying both breasts when you are feeding or pumping.

When you’re nursing on one side, the other breast will probably leak anyway – collect that milk using silicone milk catches like Haakaa or Elvie Curve.

25. Keep Track Of Which Breast You Last Emptied

To keep track of which breast you fed on last, put a hair tie or bracelet on your wrist to mark it. Once you’ve fed on one side, switch over the the opposite breast.

breastfeeding tips and tricks pump and nurse at the same time

Useful Products For Breastfeeding Mama

My list of breastfeeding tips and tricks would be complete without a few essentials that every breastfeeding mom should have.

26. Haakkaa Pump (Or Other Milk Collector)

Using a manual breast pump or milk saver is a great way to catch the let down on the breast you are not feeding on. Don’t let any of that precious milk go to waste!

There are other “milk savers” available, so do your research to see which one is the best for you.

27. Nursing Pillow

These help provide ample support during your feeding sessions and can make a huge difference.

28. Nursing Bra

Make sure to get a few nursing-friendly bras that will ensure you have a quick access to your breasts, and also provide proper support for your enlarged girls, adjust to their changing sizes, without digging into your skin or putting too much pressure on ducts. Here is our list of the best nursing bras for large breasts.

You could even try a hands free pumping bra, that holds your pump up for you (for example Spectra pumping bras)!

29. Nursing Tops/Sweaters & Other Nursing Clothes

A nursing tank top works just like a nursing bra and allows you to quickly access your breast for a feed. These are so much more convenient than our usual clothes!

30. Nursing Cover

If you are shy about breastfeeding in public, a nursing cover helps give you privacy. A baby blanket can be useful for public breastfeeding as well.

If you’re into babywearing, good baby wrap or baby ring sling can actually double as a nursing cover!

31. Nursing Necklace

A good way to entertain your baby while they feed is with a nursing necklace. These are baby-safe toys that double as cute jewelry for you! These necklaces are a great item to have on your baby registry.

Breastfeeding hacks - get a nursing bra

Storage Tips For Breastfeeding Moms

At some point you may need to create a stash of your breast milk – here are my tips for storing the milk in the right way.

32. Know The Proper Storage Safety Rules

It’s best to use milk storage bags for keeping your breastmilk or colostrum safe, until future use. Never store breast milk in disposable bottle liners or plastic bags that are not intended for storing human milk.

Freshly expressed or pumped milk can be stored4:

  • At room temperature (77°F or colder) for up to 4 hours.
  • In the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • In the freezer for about 6 months is best, up to 12 months is acceptable.

Breast feeding hack: If you are traveling, you can store your milk in an insulated cooler with frozen ice packs for up to 24 hours.

33. Have A Storage System In Your Fridge

You’ll need to figure out a system for storing your pumped milk. Dedicate an drawer in your fridge, or set up a little box to keep your bags in one place.

Always be sure to write the date and time of your pumping session, and put the newest bags in the back, so you use the older ones first.

34. Create A Freezer Milk Stash

One efficient way to store breastmilk and keep it fresh, is by freezing the bags laying flat. This way, you’ll be able to stack the bags on top of each other and optimize the space in your freezer (as opposed to them all standing straight up).

Creating Milk Stash

What Should You Not Do While Breastfeeding?

Now it’s time for some breastfeeding hacks for things to AVOID & what NOT to do:

35. Don’t Stress

I know it’s easier said than done, but stress will only negatively impact your breastfeeding experience. Being overly worried about breastfeeding or constantly fighting your baby.

36. Don’t Feed Through The Pain

One of the most common misconceptions about breastfeeding, is that it’s meant to be painful. This is simply not true!

If you are experiencing pain while breastfeeding, this is a sign that something isn’t right. Don’t just put up with the pain and hope it will go away – because it likely won’t.

37. Don’t Just Hope It Will Get Better – Seek Help

In relation to the above tip- you don’t have to figure it out on your own, and there is no shame in asking for help.

A lactation consultant or breastfeeding support group leader can help you pinpoint the problem, so you can have enjoyable (and effective!) feeding sessions.

38. Don’t Skip Feeds Or Pumping Sessions

In order to maintain a good milk supply, you need to be consistently expressing your milk. There’s a saying among lactation consultants:

“Today’s meal determines tomorrow’s menu”.

Meaning, the amount of milk you put out today, determines how much your body will make tomorrow.

39. Avoid Tight Clothing And Bras

Anything that puts too much pressure on or under your breasts, can lead to clogged ducts and even mastitis. Stretchy, comfortable nursing bras and loose clothing is optimal.

You shouldn’t wear bras with underwire while breastfeeding – they are not comfy, can dig into your skin and compress your breasts too much.

Colicky Baby

40. Avoid Foods That Can Make Baby Fussy Or Gassy

There are a number of foods that can impact the taste and smell of your breastmilk, that your feeding baby may not like.

Some of these include:

  • Spicy food
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Caffiene
  • Fish/seafood
  • Dairy
  • Soy

Keep in mind, every baby is different, and if you ate these foods during pregnancy, your baby may be used to them.

However, it’s still good to avoid food that can make your little one gassy and colicky.

41. Don’t Neglect Your Own Well-Being

Caring for your newborn can feel like an enormous responsibility. I know that your focus is entirely on taking care of your little one, but please don’t overlook your own wellbeing in the process.

A mom who has all of her needs met and feels good about herself, will instinctively be the best mom she can be. Self-care is not a luxury – it’s a necessity.

If you are feeling good, trust me, it will make a huge difference in your feeding sessions.

You got this, mamas!

Article By Macy Tollefson

Macy Tollefson is a full spectrum doula, breastfeeding specialist and prenatal yoga teacher. She is passionate about guiding the modern mama on her journey through the beautiful (and wild) transformation of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Macy envisions a world where every mother has access to the resources she needs, and follows her intuition to make the best decisions about what is right for her and her baby.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.






About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

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