Breastfeeding Tips for First-Time Moms

Breastfeeding Tips for First-Time Moms

Pregnancy may seem endless, but all too soon, you have a hungry newborn at your breast. If it’s your first time with breastfeeding, the experience can be both completely natural and completely foreign.

To help you get the most out of this critical time with your newborn, our experienced obstetric team here at Marion Ob/Gyn, led by Dr. David Foulk, pulled together a few breastfeeding tips for first-timers.

Understand what you’re producing

You may be surprised to see that your first feedings aren’t milk at all, but rather colostrum, which is packed with vital proteins, minerals, and vitamins. After colostrum, your breasts produce transitional milk and then mature milk. 

This whole transitional feeding usually takes place over 10 days to two weeks.


In order to get your baby to feed, they need to latch onto your breast, which means that their mouth should cover not just your nipple, but the entire areola to stimulate your glands. For some babies, this can happen instantaneously while others may struggle at first. 

To ease the process, aim your child’s mouth directly at the nipple and keep their body in line with yours (straight up and down). You can brush your nipple against their lips to encourage them to latch on.

Once they latch on, listen for sounds of drinking and swallowing, which is called suckling. In other words, you don’t want them sucking air or losing milk out of the corners of their mouth because of improper latching.

Switching breasts

Once you get comfortable, allow your baby to feed off one breast for about 15-20 minutes until it’s fully drained. Once they’re finished, burp them and then offer up your second breast. If your baby isn’t hungry, start with the second breast at the next feeding.

It’s perfectly natural for your baby to fall asleep after feeding. While they should naturally let go of your nipple, if they’re still attached and no longer feeding, gently put your finger inside the corner of your baby’s mouth.

Caring for your breasts

You may have heard stories about sore nipples, but Mother Nature has a remedy for that. It’s helpful if you let any remaining milk dry on your breast, as it contains nutrients that can soothe the tissue.

Also, avoid using soap on your nipples, and if they become sore or cracked, apply a purified lanolin to the area.

Setting a schedule

Most newborns feed every two to three hours for the first few weeks, or more, so you may want to sleep where the baby does so that you’re both within easy reach of each other. 

Of course, there are many more tips we can offer, but we think these provide the most important information to get you started. If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at our office in Marion, Ohio.

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