10 Breastfeeding Hacks for Brand New Moms
10 Breastfeeding Hacks Every New Mom Needs to Know
I’m not going to be another person that tells you that breastfeeding is hard. You probably already know that. Instead, I’ve put together a list of my favorite breastfeeding hacks for brand new moms. There’s not a lot about motherhood that’s easy, but there are tons of tricks that moms have learned along the way that make life so much easier. After breastfeeding and pumping for over a year, here are my favorite breastfeeding hacks I wish I had known sooner!
Download the Glow Baby App
Right after you have your baby, the nurses are going to ask you to track feedings and wet and dirty diapers. They’re probably going to give you a piece of paper and a pen and instruct you to write down when you started nursing, how long they fed, what side they fed off of, when they had a wet diaper, and when they had a dirty diaper. After half a day of failing miserably at keeping track of any of it, my husband and I downloaded the Glow Baby App. It allows you to track nursing sessions, sleep, and diaper changes. It spits out this handy little chart that will completely simplify your life. It might seem crazy now, but soon your entire life will revolve around milk, pee, and poo. This breastfeeding hack is a game changer.
Create a Breastfeeding Caddy
When you’re preparing your home for baby, I highly suggest making a breastfeeding
and keeping it close to wherever you plan to nurse (probably on your couch). You might even want to make a second one for wherever you plan to nurse at night. You can read more about how to make a breastfeeding caddy here! This hack sounds simple, but it will save you so much time and energy in the long run.
Invest in Milk Savers or a Haakaa
When your baby nurses, you have what is called a letdown. It’s when the milk really starts flowing. When baby is nursing from one side, the other side is having a letdown as well. Do not let that precious milk go to waste! Invest in Milk Savers or a Haakaa and save all the milk that would otherwise be tossed away in a nursing pad. This is one breastfeeding hack that I didn’t learn until it was too late. Better believe I’ll be doing things differently next time around.
Update: One of the only things I purchased when I was pregnant with my second baby was the Haakaa. I honestly believe it is one of the best inventions for breastfeeding moms. A year later, I’m still using it to collect milk and build my freezer stash.
Take a Breastfeeding Course
Breastfeeding is hard. I think one of the best things you can do to ensure breastfeeding success is to educate yourself. A lot of times, you can find a breastfeeding class offered through the hospital or a local lactation consultant. Because I’m crazy busy and would rather do everything in my pajamas, I took Milkology, an online breastfeeding course that can be done on your own time and can be looked back on whenever you want! This course has all the answers for new and expecting moms who want to successfully breastfeed their babies. It covers everything from the very first nursing session in the hospital, to how to maintain and increase your milk supply, to how to troubleshoot common breastfeeding issues. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, I highly recommend Milkology.
Try Milk Dust
Milk Dust is a protein powder created by a pre and postnatal exercise specialist that helps you lose weight and maintain your milk supply. As a breastfeeding mom, I’m always starving, and I have a strong craving for sugar the entire time I’m nursing. I love Milk Dust because it helps me fight my sugar cravings, it’s packed with healthy nutrients for me and Elliott, and it’s the easiest meal I make all day. I like to have it for breakfast (especially on the days where we’re running out the door and I can just take it on the go). It tastes great and it’s packed with ingredients that promote postpartum healing and boost your milk supply.
Update: Milk Dust now makes a lactation bar. It’s packed with all the same ingredients to help you lose weight and increase milk supply, but in a bar form!
The Double Shirt Method
Nursing your baby in public can be uncomfortable. At least it was for me. I would always get this little ping of anxiety every time I knew I had to whip my boob out in front of other people. One thing that made nursing in public so much easier was the two shirt method. All you have to do is wear a nursing tank under your regular shirt. Pull up your top shirt, keep the tank top pulled down, and unclip the strap. Your belly is covered, your chest is covered, and baby can easily eat without having to have a blanket over their head.
Use an Empty Wipe Container to Freeze Milk Flat
If you ever want to leave the house without your baby, you’ll probably want to build a little freezer stash. After you pump your milk, you’ll want to freeze it so that it stays good for a longer period of time. Fresh milk is good in the fridge for up to a week, but freezing it keeps it good for up to 6 months! Always lay your milk bags flat to freeze them. It will save you tons of space in your freezer. The easiest way I found to freeze my milk bags flat was to lay them in an empty wipe container. This way, they don’t fall over and they lay perfectly flat. If it weren’t for this breastfeeding hack, my freezer would have been an absolute disaster.
Use Flanges as a Funnel
Whether you’re pouring freshly pumped milk from a bottle to a bag, or pouring thawed milk from a bag to a bottle, use your pump flange as a funnel! This breastfeeding hack makes pouring so much easier and eliminates the risk of spilling your precious liquid gold.
Get a Hands Free Pumping Bra
I got my hands free pumping bra from a friend (I just realized that’s kinda weird, but I don’t care). To be honest, I probably would have never purchased one myself, simply because I didn’t know they existed! This thing was a game changer. Once Weston started sleeping through the night, I always pumped from both sides right before bed so that I wouldn’t wake up completely engorged in the middle of the night. The hands free pumping bra made it way less of a hassle. I could just sit back and relax and let my pump do all the work.
Make a Less-Mess Breast Milk Popsicle
You’ve probably see the photos of babies eating breast milk popsicles when they’re teething. It looks like a great idea, but it also looks like a huge mess. Try freezing breast milk in an ice tray, then putting one of the cubes in Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder. Same great taste, half the mess!
Save your Shirt
This breastfeeding hack is a little odd, but hear me out. When Weston was very young, I always found myself (and my baby) covered in breast milk after every nursing session. Milk would spray all over the place and leak out the side of his mouth. A few weeks in, I came up with a strategy to save my shirt when breastfeeding. I always took decent sized burp rag and tucked one side into the bottom of my unhooked nursing bra (inside right under my breast). It’d take the other side and tuck in under Weston’s chin. Maybe my kid is just a messy eater, but this strategy saved me from so many extra loads of laundry.
If you’re a new mom, I hope these breastfeeding hacks help you simplify nursing life. You’ll learn plenty of your own breastfeeding hacks along the way, trust me, but in the meantime, I hope these make a difference. Breastfeeding can be extremely difficult at first, but it gets so much easier as time progresses. Best of luck, mama!
Related Breastfeeding Tips and Tricks:
- Four Ingredient Lactation Smoothie for Weight Loss and Milk Supply
- 14 Tips for Breastfeeding your Newborn
- How to Establish a Healthy Milk Supply from the Very Start
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