There is no doubt that breastfeeding is hard, but it doesn’t have to be terrible. Sure, there is a definite learning curve, but you can find your groove. Momma, you’ll be a milk making machine! I’ve fed all my babies every way you possibly can. So, I’m all about easy breastfeeding that isn’t painful or scary.
My Easy Breastfeeding Tricks… that you haven’t heard before!
Use a Nipple Shield
I don’t know why we aren’t handing these out to moms like tic-tacs at the hospital! Okay, I do know why we’re not doing that. That aside, this was the number one best easy breastfeeding tip ever for me.
When my second was born, she had a beautiful latch right from the start. The problem was that she was a strong suckler. This meant even with a beautiful latch the first 30-60 seconds were pure pain. There was nothing I could do but try to relax and get used to it. For months!
When my third was born with a suspected tongue tie—she kept thrusting my nipple out as soon as she got latched—the lactation consultant gave me a silicone nipple shield. Seriously, this was gold! NO pain. NO soreness. And only a bit of nipple cream (my favorite is the Lansinoh Lanolin Cream) at the beginning as more of a preventative against raw or chapped nipples.
I used the Medela nipple shield for a few months before we started to slowly wean off the shield and nurse without it. I never had significant pain, and I do think my youngest transitioned between bottle and breast better than my older children because she was used to the shield.
Quick Notes About Nipple Shields
Using a nipple shield does increase your chances of getting a clogged milk duct, but I’ve got some really easy ways to fix a plugged milk duct in this post. Keeping your nipple shield clean and using a breastpump if you can really helps prevent this!
It’s also good practice to ask a lactation consultant before using a nipple shield, as they can provide help on proper use and weaning tips. Though KellyMom doesn’t wholeheartedly support the broad use of shields right after birth, even they agree that it’s better to have the baby on the breast with a shield than not be able to breastfeed at all.
If it is makes breastfeeding more comfortable for you, I say go for it!
Take a Class
When I was pregnant, the last thing I wanted to do was go to another class. There are hospital tours, birthing classes (which I did online… because introvert), visits to the doctor, and the effort of hauling my gigantic belly around anywhere. I was not about to volunteer for yet another event.
As a new mom, the prospect of getting ready and loading the baby up was equally daunting.
Luckily, technology is amazing, and there is totally a breastfeeding class you can take online in your pajamas! It’s only $19 and breaks down everything from supply and latching to mistakes to avoid. Take it all at once or at your own pace.
It’s easy breastfeeding gold!
You can enroll in this class here now. Each lesson goes over a specific aspect of breastfeeding using slides and videos. You’ll also get a troubleshooting guide to print out plus an ebook. I highly recommend it for new and veteran moms alike!
I know these easy breastfeeding tips sound super simple, and that’s because they are! Knowing how to have an easy breastfeeding experience, learn more about breastfeeding in general, and ease my way into being a nursing mom using a nipple shield saved my sanity!
It also gave me the slow transition I needed to persevere when breastfeeding was hard. Like when I was exhausted, and all I wanted was for my husband to be able to feed the baby for me.
I was able to exclusively breastfeed for the first 5 months with my youngest. Back at work, I continue to breastfeed and supplement with pumped breastmilk and formula now. This has been by far the best nursing experience I’ve had. I hope these easy breastfeeding hacks help you have a beautiful experience, too!