Lola seeks breastfeeding tips.

Oh hello.  Thanks for stopping by the blog today, and sorry I don’t have a picture of an adorable newborn to show you just yet.

I’m working on it.

Trust me.

So is Oatmeal.

Anyhoo, those of you know know me well know that I’ve done a whole lot of reading and preparing for Baby Poppyseed.  Those of you who know me really, REALLY well know that I hope to be a human milk machine in the near future.  I’ve read several books and taken a class about it, so I feel like I at least have basic knowledge in my brain.

I recently read in a book somewhere that 5% of women truly cannot breastfeed.  However, I know that way more than 5% of the women that I know have had trouble.  So, I’m just assuming it’s gotta be a LOT harder than it seems.

My sister for example, while successful in the long run, definitely had to go through some growing pains.  So she has advised me not to listen to anyone who says, “Oh it’s a breeze!  It’s the most natural thing in the world!”

Furthermore, it seems like there is a LOT of really confusing or just plain bad information and resources out there that these new, stressed out mamas have to sift through while learning how to do it.

So, right now I’m pretty darn open-minded, having never tried to breastfeed a baby before.  I’ve picked up some valuable tips just in the past few days, and I’m open to some more.  I can’t take EVERYONE’s advice of course, and hopefully I don’t even need it because Poppyseed and I just get off to a great start and continue that way (I try to think positively!) but you never know what the future holds!

So if you have any tips, no matter how large or small, drop them my way.  Oh, and by the way, I’m going back to work part-time at 8 weeks, so pumping tips are valuable, too.  My Medela Pump-N-Style is ready to go, car adapter and all.

Short tips?  Post in comments below. (Please do not post on my facebook wall…. not everyone wants to know!)

Long (or very personal) tips?  Email me ( or facebook message me.

I know this is a really personal question to ask, and that it is very sensitive for most moms out there whether they choose to do this or not.  So, thanks for reading and thanks for offering a tip if you have one.

Happy Wednesday.  🙂



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  1. Squeeze your breast between two fingers (or your hand) in such a way that makes it easy for your baby to have access to. I imagined it like eating a sandwich. Ever try eating a sandwich sideways? it would be so hard to take a bit! Well, the breast is the same. Squeeze it to make it like a sandwich and walah!

  2. First of all, it’s awesome that you’re going to breastfeed! The stubborn determination I had made all the difference in the world because no matter how much it wasn’t fun at times, I knew I was making the right decision for me and my baby. Expect it to hurt at first! It was very frustrating at first, but then one day, I settled in and thought, “we got this!” It’s been smooth ever since. In the first few days, I was getting annoyed because I didn’t know if I was doing it right, so I had an IBCLC (I think those are the initials) give me some pointers which made all the difference in the world! The best advice my midwife gave me was to learn how to breastfeed laying down. It’s been a life-saver for getting sleep! Hope that helps and good luck!

  3. Your sister is right, breastfeeding is not a breeze…in the beginning.

    Yes, it hurts like heck the first 100 times the baby latches on (every 2 hours adds up quickly, there were times when I felt like he was constantly attached!). In the first week or so after giving birth when the baby latches on it is accompanied by painful cramping – this is your uterus going back to normal size and is totally normal. I didn’t know this was going to happen and I had read a few books, so I was a bit surprised! But that goes away.

    Working in HR I know that companies need to provide a room with an outlet, sink and locking door out of high traffic areas for pumping moms. They also need to provide at least two 15 minute breaks per day.

    Definitely try your pump out before you go back to work and store up a little extra milk in the freezer just in case.

    Sure, it is inconvenient to pump and work, but so is mixing together baby formula and lugging around bottles and formula everywhere you go. My best friend was the Hooter Hider!

    I hope some of that helps!

  4. I think mostly I’d like to offer encouragment. It can be hard to get started breastfeeding with a newborn. With my first, once I got him on and feeding, I didn’t feel as though I could move or talk, lest the whole thing would fall apart. Someone told me they cooked stirfry while breastfeeding, and I didn’t believe it! But of course now I can say I’ve done all kinds of things with a babe on. We figured it out, and I breastfed him successfully for a very long time. It takes practice, like all new things in life.

    The best tip I got for breastfeeding a newborn was to make sure to get the latch right, and the best way to do that is to sort of squish your breast like you’re holding a sandwich, and stick as much of it into the baby’s mouth as possible. This encourages them to open wide, which is the key to a successful and pain-free latch. Also, when he or she gets sleepy on the breast, tickle under the chin a bit to keep baby awake enough to feed. Those new ones are sleepy buggers. Good luck!

  5. No matter what happens don’t give up. Baby is worth lots of pain and sacrifice after all. The first few days may be the most difficult. It’s like a dance the two of you are learning together. You’ll get a rhythm down eventually. God bless you and your family. Enjoy!

  6. I’ve nursed my first and last baby and bottlefed the two in between, so first, I’d say…yes, it can be hard. But there are lots of helps. You probably know all about breastfeeding consultants and the La Leche League. Don’t be hesitant to to avail yourself of those helps. A friend of mine is a nurse and head of the La Leche League here and a breastfeeding educator. As I was struggling to get my fourth to nurse after a 14 day stay in the NICU, she explained that she had to complete a certain amount of consulting hours. I felt much less guilty about calling her for help after that!

    One thing I wish I’d known at the beginning is that it just took A LOT of time to get my babies to successfully nurse and build up a milk supply. I struggled with not doing much of anything but nursing. I advise new moms to plan to spend a whole lotta time just sitting and staring at the new baby while they nurse. My Kindle was such a blessing during my fourth child’s first few weeks. I read 13 books that first month after he came home because I could hold it with one hand and hold him/ my breast with the other.

    My last tip is about supply. Drink copious amounts of water. I also found Fenugreek to be very helpful. I used the Mother’s Milk tea that is widely available, but I didn’t enjoy the taste of it at all. I think it did help, though.

    And finally…if you end up having to supplement or with a baby on a bottle, it’s not the end of the world. They end up being sweet and smart and loving, too. (And the Weston Price Foundation site has alternatives to packaged formulas that we used for our babies, namely goat’s milk, for us. It worked very well for my two bottlefed babies).

  7. It’s totally worth the effort and discomfort at first, then you’ll feel like a pro. I nursed two children, both until at least 2 1/2 years old, and even two at once for part of the time when I had my second daughter. Both had issues in the beginning. The first one was difficult because I had more than enough milk, and it came in VERY quickly. I was completely engorged to the point of not even seeing my nipple, much less my infant being able to latch on. Lactation consultant to the rescue with a silicone rubber nipple shield to place where my nipple should have been. The suction cup type nipple was easily used by my daughter, and the milk started flowing like crazy! We were both happy! I kept the nipple cover by my side for about the first month to use when needed. Cabbage leaves on my breast inside my bra helped some with the engorgement. A hot shower or just a hot washcloth while squeezing my breasts also helped to discharge some of the extra milk. After that, I could pump off the extra to stay comfortable. Second child was tongue tied, and that created a hard time latching on for her and caused my nipple to become raw and bleed. Her stool was full of blood (from me), and that was our first sign other than my nipple pain. Her tongue was clipped (very simple procedure) at about one week old, and she latched on perfectly minutes afterward. Nipples creams are wonderful for cracked and dry nipples, and the baby doesn’t mind the cream. Yeast infections also happen on occassion, but it’s an easy fix with a medication. Your lactation consultant can become your best friend. DO NOT give up, even if you feel like it’s just not working—seek their advice and expertise at the first sign of trouble! Breastfeeding will feel like a 24 hour job for a while, and you will feel like the baby never leaves your breast. Keep them awake as much as possible while they nurse, and let them nurse as long as they want. When they nurse longer some days, it’s because they’re having a growth spurt and need your breast to make more milk. More will then come in as needed. I thoroughly enjoyed breastfeeding my girls, and I don’t regret spending 5 years of my life as a milk factory. They pretty much weaned themselves when they were ready, and I feel like it made us closer with such wonderful bonding time. Best wishes!

  8. My best tip is to keep the atmosphere as calm as possible after baby is born and have as few extra people in as you can or the first 4-5 hours. Just spend a lot of time with skin to skin contact and drink a lot of water. As far as the mechanics, a good latch can make a big difference, and they should have a lactation consultant who can help with that if you want. Also, I always get someone to sneak in some steak or red meat… helps replenish the lost iron. Good luck!

  9. the first 4-6 weeks are torture. not kidding. painful, feeding on demand (the best way!) every hour around the clock, family/friends discouraging you (“are u sure he is getting enough”), etc. BUT if you are committed, please stick with it. it gets so much easier because your boobs get used to it and regulate the amount of milk baby needs, and your baby becomes more skilled and so it
    takes less time to nurse and no longer hurts. during that initial tough time, I recommend having a baby scale. Paxton was so small so everyone freaked out that he wasn’t getting enough milk (including me). weighing baby before and after feeding can assure you and everyone else! and if you want to quit, have your husband remind you that it gets better after first 4-6 weeks. if you truly have a low supply, get

    mothers love supplement. it’s a liquid
    you take a spoonful. the tea isn’t concentrated enough and you have the drink

  10. sorry on cell phone. you’d have to drink tons of tea to get same effect as a spoonful of the mothers love.

  11. Way to go mama for wanting to breastfeed baby!! It is not always easy but if you have determination and set small goals for yourself you can persevere and give your baby a wonderful gift 🙂 I did a post on my blog about my journey of nursing baby girl for 18 months. We had huge issues in the beginning and I cried ever day for a month but it got better and I wouldn’t change it for the world! Give it a read if you get a chance:
    Sending blessings your way!

  12. I’ve BF two kids, and I can say that no two experiences are alike. It was insanely hard with my first child. So hard that despite my having him on the breast nearly around the clock, he was losing weight for weeks after birth, and I wasn’t making enough milk for him. We both cried for weeks, and it was a horrible experience for both of us. I met with countless Lactation Consultants, and attended La Leche League meetings for support, but none of them could tell me why it wasn’t working. I cried all the time because the BFing just wasn’t working. Long story short, I stopped putting him to the breast at around 6 weeks and I pumped like 300 times a day for 6 months and fed him breast milk in a bottle. It sucked, but I did the best I could, and I didn’t give up. He just couldn’t figure out how to effectively nurse, and all the support in the world wasn’t going to change that.

    With my second, nursing was a breeze. My daughter was nursing 15 minutes after she was born, and my milk came in with a vengence. She was a superb nurser, and she got enormously fat off the BM. Seriously, she looked like Jabba the Hut, and was sweaty all the time from being stuck to my boob constantly. I nursed her for 16 months.

    What did I learn: 1.) I learned to forgive myself. Life doesn’t always go as we planned, and it broke my heart that I was unable to nurse my son. I had to let it go, because I did the best I could. 2.) Rules are crap. You can be doing everything right, and still struggle. You have to come up with something that ACTUALLY WORKS for you and your baby. All the positioning advice gets overwhelming, especially when you are doing everything you’re told, and it still won’t work. 3.) While I don’t argue for one minute that 100% breast is best, BFing is not an all-or-nothing concept. Get your baby every possible ounce of BM, but if an ounce of formula here or there helps both you & your baby, so be it. Although every consultant might disagree with me, I think more women give up completely when they feel BFing is not working 100%. I think all-or-nothing thinking is damaging. Having said that, my son was fed BM and formula, and he has had a few issues with allergies and eczema, and food intolerances. My daughter was 100% BF, and she has had no issues. This might be a coincidence, but every time my son’s eczema flares up, or he gets a cold from allergies, I start blaming myself for not being able to give him BM for the entire first year. I think he would be much worse off had I given up and not pumped for 6 months though, and so far, we’re managing his allergies pretty well (he’s 6 now). I’m just telling you this to reiterate the importance of breast milk, and when you’re exhausted that bottle of formula will be pretty tempting. Don’t have it around to fall back on unless things get really, really overwhelming.

    Get good at nursing while laying down, and even if you need someone to stay in the room to keep an eye on the baby, try to nap a little while the baby is nursing. I did this with my daughter, and it was a huge help.

    Good luck!!!

  13. Breast feeding is not a breeze! But oh what rewards you get from it. The best piece of advice I ever read was while breast-feeding my fourth son (sad it took that long to hear it!). Dr. Sears said to be sure the babies bottom lip is sticking out. Sounds so simple, but it was the solution! Check your little ones bottom lip every time!!!

  14. first off, congrats!! second off, every situation is different, so go along your own path, using everyone’s advice only as a general rule of thumb. what works for you and your baby is what works. go with that.
    i’ve nursed 3 little ones. each was SO different…so…advice huh?
    well, first off, on day 2 & 3 when you are nursing your baby every 20 minutes for 48 hours straight? it is not because you are not producing enough, or there is something wrong. DO NOT SUPPLEMENT!! this is called cluster feeding, and is a very important stage in nursing. it helps your milk come in, helps baby learn how to nurse, and you how to nurse, and helps develop your supply!! i had nurses in the hospital (well meaning, but not all that bright i thought) that were asking me if i wanted them to take my son out of the room so i could sleep? (i had had an emerg. c-section), and as much as i wanted to sleep, i knew that this was what i needed to do, and told them no. i fed my son pretty much for 48 hours. lol! it was tiring, and difficult, but worth it.
    next, as it has said in previous posts, your uterus will contract for the first few weeks of nursing. it hurts…like contractions…because they are contractions. it’s normal, and will pass after 2-3 weeks.
    nursing will hurt for the first few weeks, as well as the contractions, your nipples will hurt! i mean, toe curling, crying, wincing type of hurt. again…normal. don’t let it discourage you.
    don’t be quick to want to get your baby on some sort of “Schedule”. your baby will eat when he/she wants to eat, and that’s ok…you eat when you’re hungry don’t you? if it’s hot, they will want to nurse more often, and if they are going through a growth spurt. just go by your baby’s hints and cries. you’ll understand them.

    and…one HUGE nursing/non-nursing tip. the nurses always told me to change my baby BEFORE i nursed, so if he fell asleep, i could just put him to bed. (again…well meaning, but not all that smart) something i learned with 3 babies…babies ALWAYS poop when they nurse…displacement theory or something (lol) so, unless you are in the mood to change double diapers, don’t worry about changing them before they nurse. just do it afterward. lol!!

    nursing is a full time job if you do it right, but it’s so worth it. the bonding you get is incredible. enjoy!! and all the best .

  15. My short list:
    1) Have the numbers for La Leche League and your local lactation consultation on hand now.
    2) Arm yourself with the new WHO growth chart for breastfed babies (find it on
    3) Check out–it has awesome information.
    4) Purchase a package of “soothies” (made especially for breastfeeding moms) to help you with the first couple of weeks. There are gel pads that you place in your nursing bra. Please get a nursing bra–no underwires please!
    5) Breastfeeding Made Simple is a great book to have on hand.

  16. Congrats! I BF my first 3 years ago and am about 7 weeks away from getting to do it again. I also had to go back to work, and I have the same pump you mentioned…it was AWESOME! My best advise is LANOLIN!!! Use it religiously after each feeding. I have a friend who BF 2 months before my last one was due. Her Dr. told her to “tough it out” and she ended up first getting blisters and then cracks that bled every time she BF! She started using the lanolin and started healing right away. I used it from day one. I still got a blister on my left nipple, but it never cracked, and soon it went away. It is very painful for the first few weeks, but it will go away! Also, you can get special teas to help increase your milk production. Trust your body, and listen to what your baby wants. You can do it!!!!

  17. Jamie Lin says:

    Hi. It’s me.
    All of these things are great, and you’re getting some very very good advice. I did a lot of these things… the sandwich thing, the tea, the water, the HOOTER HIDER (thank you, baby Jesus). I was just very lucky that Joanie was a pro and we were a good little team. A year later, we were still going strong. Your moby wrap will help you be hands-free once you get the hang of it (I once nursed for 20 minutes while shopping in Target).

    One thing that I haven’t seen yet but I really enjoyed was a dark beer in the evening. It’s an old wive’s tale of sorts, I’m sure, but it’s no lie that a beer helps you relax… which surely leads to more milk. 🙂 I would only have one, and most of the time not even the whole thing. But to be able to have that Shiner in the evening while I was nursing my baby and listening to Emmylou on vinyl… aaaah, the good ol’ days.

    Also, I felt okay about it because I got the idea from a passed-down midwife booklet. 🙂

    Good luck!

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