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29 ULTIMATE BREASTFEEDING HACKS FOR NEW MOMS
Let’s be real, breastfeeding can be hard. I have been a lactation consultant for over 25 years. I breastfed my own babies for a total of four years. These are the best of the best breastfeeding hacks to make it easier.
I am going to cover everything from how to stay well hydrated, to being an organized breastfeeding mom to hacks to deal with breastfeeding problems.
These breastfeeding tips will make it so much easier for all of you new mamas.
BREASTFEEDING HACKS TO HAVING EVERYTHING CLOSE BY WHEN YOU NEED IT
1. Make a breastfeeding basket – I can’t even count the number of times I would sit down, start breastfeeding and think, “I wish I had…”
This tip is probably one of my very best. It keeps the things you need most all in one convenient place.
Have a basket of essentials that you need or are nice to have in all of the places where you breastfeed most of the time. Stock it with the things you need every time you breastfeed, like a bottle of water, breast pads and other essentials.
It’s a good idea to have several breastfeeding baskets. Put one in all the places where you breastfeed.
2. Put water bottles everywhere – Within a few minutes of latching a baby on, moms often feel like they’ve been dropped in the Sahara.
Always, always, always have a water bottle nearby. Get several water bottles, fill them up at the beginning of the day and put them around the house. Put one in your diaper bag too.
Every time you see one, take a sip. This will help you stay hydrated. You won’t have to carry a water bottle around when your arms are full of baby.
I live in a dry climate, so I keep a water bottle with me at all times, even though my breastfeeding days are long over. Mine keeps water cold for over 24 hours. I’m not exaggerating. It’s a Bubba Envy.
This is perfect for a breastfeeding mama because it has a straw and you don’t have to unscrew the top.
BREASTFEEDING HACK TO MAKE SURE YOUR BABY IS EATING ENOUGH
3. Keep a breastfeeding log – this is a breastfeeding tip for the early days when you want to make sure that your baby is eating frequently enough and having enough diapers.
When I worked in the hospital I wanted a newborn feeding and diaper log that was easy for parents to enter the most important information so they could easily tell if their baby was on track.
I checked what was available and there was nothing that was quite right, so I created my own. Thousands of moms have used that log.
When I started this blog I knew I wanted the moms who come to Breastfeeding Confidential to have something just like it. Only, I made it better. It goes through the first month of your babies life.
When you subscribe to my email list you will get not only the log, but access to everything in my Breastfeeding Resource Library.
BREASTFEEDING CLOTHING HACK
I think nursing tanks are the perfect item of breastfeeding clothing. You can wear one by itself. You can put it under any top so that your tummy will be covered.
I like nursing tank tops so much better than nursing bras for the first few days.
If you know your way around a seeing machine you can even make your own.
Your breast size changes quite a bit in the first few days. Wait until your milk has come in and any engorgement has resolved before buying a nursing bra.
What I like about this BeliBea Nourish and Nursing And Handsfree Pump Cami is it is also good for hands-free pumping too. You can even breastfeed on one side and pump on the other! How cool is that?
BREASTFEEDING HACKS FOR ENGORGED BREASTS
These are are couple of breastfeeding hacks specifically for engorged breasts.
5. Use bags of frozen peas for engorgement. They are a great size and rounded so they won’t poke you. They won’t melt like ice will, so they aren’t as messy.
6. Or use cabbage for engorgement. This will sound crazy if you’ve never heard of it, but chilled cabbage leaves can reduce engorgement (Source).
It’s recommended that they not be left on for longer than one hour at a time. They might decrease milk supply if left on longer than that. The application of the cabbage leaves can be repeated every 2-3 hours.
HACKS FOR SORE NIPPLES
7. For a pain-free latch remember tummy to tummy and nose to nipple. Wait until your baby opens wide and then pull him in deeply so he get a deep latch.
8. If you have sore nipples buy at least two pairs of gel pads so you can keep one pair in the fridge. They are more soothing when they are cool.
9. Use a bracelet to remember which breast to begin a feeding on.
Most moms change which breast they begin a feeding on to try to keep their supply even. In your sleep-deprived state it can be hard to remember which side that is. If your breasts usually feel equally full you can use a pretty piece of jewelry like the Baby Bonding Bracelet to be your reminder.
It is beautiful and easy to move from one wrist to the other.
I have heard of the breastfeeding tip to use a hairband, but if you don’t have long hair then you won’t have hair bands. Plus, jewelry is nicer to look at. Fashionista that I am, I think of things like that.
HACKS TO GET MORE SLEEP
10. Sleep when your baby sleeps.
Even if you can’t sleep, try and go in a quiet room and close your eyes. This hack for breastfeeding really does help you from feeling like you’re going to fall asleep in your dinner plate!
11. Use a co-sleeper to minimize disruptions during the middle of the night.
What I love about the Baby Delight Beside Me Dreamer Bassinet And Bedside Sleeper is its versatility. It converts from a bedside co-sleeper to a regular bassinet.
BREASTFEEDING HACK FOR LARGE BREASTS
12. If you have large breasts roll up a washcloth or hand towel for under your breast.
FOOD AND BREASTFEEDING HACKS
13. Know which foods help you produce more milk – oatmeal, brewer’s yeast, and barley are three that are easy to incorporate into your diet.
You can also buy pre-made lactation treats like Milk Dust Bars.
14. Know which foods can decrease your milk supply. Peppermint and sage are two things you should definitely avoid.
KNOW THE FACTS ABOUT BREASTFEEDING, ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
15. Know where to go for reliable information about breastfeeding and drugs. The Infant Risk Center is the best place. They have also created an app for your phone or tablet that you can access. It is called MommyMeds. There is a small subscription fee but the peaqce of mind is worth it. You’ll never have to throw out breast milk again becasue you were given inaccuate information.
16. Know the rules about breastfeeding and alcohol. Alcohol does pass into breast milk. This happens quickly, about 30-60 minutes after the alcohol is consumed. It then passes out pretty quickly, within 2-3 hours, depending on the mom’s body weight.
Pumping and dumping is not going to speed this process up. Alcohol also inhibits let-down and milk production, so you don’t want to over-indulge.
HACKS FOR COMFORTABLE BREASTFEEDING
17. Learn to breastfeed in different positions.
18. Get a nursing stool. This is an essential accessory for comfortable breastfeeding.
The Leachco Rock N Soft not only gives you a place to prop your feet, which helps put you in the ideal posture for nursing. It has a place to tuck in your feet for warmth on those cold days and nights.
19. Get more than one nursing pillow.
Having more than one nursing pillow means you don’t have to move it around the house or have to try to breastfeed without one.
The Bare Naked Boppy comes in at an affordable price point when you want to buy a second pillow.
HACKS FOR BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC
21. Learn to breastfeed in public.
Practice in front of a mirror before you go out and do it in public.
22. Use the two shirt method for privacy.
This is one of my favorite breastfeeding hacks. Wear a stretchy tank under your shirt. When it is time to breastfeed, pull up your shirt and pull down your tank. This will keep your tummy covered.
23. Know your legal rights about breastfeeding in public.
In the United States, every breastfeeding mom has the legal right to breastfeed wherever she has a legal right to be. State laws may vary. Whichever laws give you the most right wins out.
BREAST PUMPING HACKS
24. Get or make a hands-free pumping bra.
This is a popular breastfeeding hack. Pumping hands-free is multitasking at its best. You can pump without having to hold your pump.
This hack for breastfeeding is an easy diy project if you are trying to save money (and who isn’t?). Just get a sports bra that was ready to be retired. Cut small holes in it and, voilá, hands-free pumping bra.
If you’re not into a diy pumping bra then Simple Wishes is a mom favorite. You can use it with or without the straps.
25. Get a Haaka pump.
This is a manual pump that uses suction to take advantage of your let-down on the other side. This breastfeeding hack will enable you to build your milk stash effortlessly. You just attach it when you latch your baby on. How simple is that?
I love breastfeeding tips that are simple!
26. Use your pump flanges as a funnel when transferring milk from bottle into bag.
27. Better yet, freeze milk in tubes using Milkies Milk TraysThe tubes are 1 ounce, which allows for maximum flexibility when thawing. You can decide how much you want to thaw each time. You can keep the tubes in plastic or glass containers, or in bags. Whichever you find the most convenient.
HACKS FOR ORGANIZING YOUR MILK STASH
28. Organize your milk stash.
You’ll want to use your milk in the order that you pumped it. The easiest way to do this is put your milk in a storage bin that will hold them neatly. For the most efficient use of space, you can lay bags down to freeze them so they will freeze flat.
Milkies Freeze will help you keep bags of milk organized.
29. Keep a milk stash log on your freezer door.
Make a note when you add or remove milk so you know exactly how much milk you have frozen.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BREASTFEEDING HACKS FOR NEW MOMS
I am confident this collection of breastfeeding hacks will help make your br3eaastfeeding journey easier and more enjoyable.
Do you have a breastfeeding hack that I didn’t think of? Please share it with me and all my readers in the comments section!