10 Breastfeeding Secrets for New Moms: What I Wish I Knew

10 Breastfeeding Secrets for New Moms: What I Wish I Knew

breastfeeding May 22, 2024

As a new breastfeeding mom, there's so much to learn and navigate – and sometimes, it feels like you're fumbling in the dark. I remember feeling overwhelmed and frustrated at times, wishing I had an insider's guide to all the little secrets and tips that could have made my journey smoother.

After successfully breastfeeding two babies, I'm sharing the top 10 breastfeeding secrets I wish I had known before becoming a mom. These nuggets of wisdom can help you feel more prepared, confident, and empowered as you embark on your own breastfeeding adventure.

Secret #1: Engorgement can happen early on. Those first few days after your milk comes in can be shocking – your breasts may feel rock-hard, swollen, and incredibly painful. This is known as engorgement, and it's totally normal. The key is to keep breastfeeding or pumping frequently to remove milk and relieve the pressure.

Secret #2: Cluster Feeding is Your Friend. Newborns love to cluster feed, meaning they'll want to breastfeed multiple times in a short period. This can be exhausting, but it's nature's way of boosting your milk supply. Embrace cluster feeding & try to get in a comfortable & cozy spot during this time -it's just a phase that will pass as your baby gets older.

Secret #3: While some discomfort is normal as you both learn to latch properly in the first week, persistent or intense pain is a sign that something needs to be adjusted. Don't suffer in silence – reach out to a lactation consultant for help improving your latch and positioning.

Secret #4: Nutrition matters. Breastfeeding naturally depletes your body of essential nutrients. Eating enough calories, protein, fat and fiber is crucial to help support your milk supply. Not only that, but you can pass important nutrients to your baby though your breastmilk. 

Secret #5: Hydration is Key. Breastfeeding can make you thirsty. Staying hydrated is important, however, you don't have to overdue it.  Aim to drink plenty of water or electrolyte-rich beverages throughout the day, and keep a water bottle nearby during feedings. Dehydration can lead to a dip in milk production.

Secret #6: Let Your Baby Set the Pace. As tempting as it may be to follow a strict feeding schedule, it's best to let your baby guide the frequency and duration of breastfeeding sessions. Newborns have tiny tummies and need to eat often, so follow their hunger cues and feed on demand – this will help establish a good milk supply.

Secret #7: Nighttime Feedings are Productive. Those middle-of-the-night breastfeeding sessions may be exhausting, but they're also incredibly productive for boosting your milk supply. Your body produces more prolactin (the hormone responsible for milk production) at night, so embrace those cozy nighttime feedings. I set up a bassinet that connected to my bed to make night time feeds easier. 

Secret #8: Pumping Isn't Always Easy. If you plan to pump breast milk, be prepared for a bit of a learning curve. Finding the right flange size, changing pump parts often enough, adjusting the suction strength, and mastering the art of hand expression can take some practice. Don't be discouraged – reach out for support, and remember that pumping gets easier with time.

Secret #9: Even the most dedicated breastfeeding moms can experience burnout at some point. It's physically and emotionally draining to be someone's sole source of nourishment, especially in those early months. Be kind to yourself, ask for help when you need it. My husband washed my pump parts, labeled and stored my milk when I exclusively pumped with our first son. 

Secret #10: Trust Your Instincts. At the end of the day, you know your baby best. While it's important to seek guidance from professionals and experienced moms, trust your instincts when it comes to meeting your little one's needs. If you are concerned about baby getting enough milk or pain, don't hesitate to ask for help. 

If you want to get the entire Breastfeeding Blueprint program free as a BONUS, where you'll overcome common breastfeeding struggles & learn how to nourish your body best for breastfeeding so you can breastfeed as long as you desire, join us inside of The Postpartum Shift.

Did you find it helpful, Mama? Please share it with other Mamas!

Hey mama,

I'm Brooke Miller,

Before becoming a mom, I chronically dieted & thought "eat less, move more" was the healthiest option. I dealt with exhaustion, mood swings, hormone imbalances (not getting a regular cycle), high cholesterol and weight cycling. I felt like something was wrong with me.

Before I got pregnant with my first son, I discovered the balanced nutrition approach I teach inside The Postpartum Shift. Once I implemented the framework, I was energized, gained strength, got my period back, lowered my cholesterol & maintained my healthiest weight. I continued this during my pregnancies & postpartum periods and recovered quickly after birth, made more than enough milk for my babies, had energy (even with the sleep deprivation) & stable mood. Postpartum was really enjoyable.

With a decade of experience as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Lactation Counselor, I created The Postpartum Shift to help moms boost energy, mood, metabolism & milk supply to have a stress-free & enjoyable postpartum experience.




Find Your Healthiest Weight & FeelĀ Like Yourself Again Postpartum

without sacrificing your milk supply or favorite foods