Please Note: This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links. Read my full disclosure statement. 

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

6 Tips for the First Month of Breastfeeding That You May Never Have Heard

I have been breastfeeding for a very long time. 59 months and counting to be exact. That’s almost five years. I’ll be honest. I had gotten a little cocky about my breastfeeding knowledge.  And then I had my fourth baby.

Penelope has been nursing pretty well from the get go, but we’ve certainly had our hiccups in the first month of breastfeeding. I am so thankful for the lactation consultant that came to reassure me in the hospital this time!


6 Tips for the First Month of Breastfeeding That You May Never Have Heard

  1. Whenever possible, be skin to skin with your baby right after birth for at least the first hour. Put her on your chest and cover both of you to keep baby warm. Let her get interested in feeding. Did you know newborns can even crawl to the nipple by doing what is called the breast crawl?
  2. It’s ok if your baby is sleepy. Baby should have 1 wet and 1 dirty diaper in the first 24 hours of life. Your newborn may be very sleepy (especially if jaundiced) and may not be ready to nurse every 2-3 hours like your doctor recommends. That’s ok. If you are struggling to get baby to eat, don’t fret. You aren’t racing a clock.  Let her try any time she is interested. Try any time she stirs.  There is no reason in most cases to start supplementing right away (and if baby is born with low blood sugar, have a lactation consultant or nurse help you express some colostrum for baby – just a few drops will do – before using formula). Check out these tips if your baby is struggling to latch.
  3. Use skin to help baby wake to eat.  Skin on skin can help baby latch and eat those first few days. The smell of the milk can help to wake sleepy babies to find a snack.
  4. Try a dark room! Since baby is used to being active when mama is sleeping or still (and rocked to sleep when mama is active) during pregnancy, use it to your advantage in those early days. Try making the room dark and quiet. The stillness may encourage your newborn to wake and try to eat.
  5. Be willing to try different positions. Many babies have more success nursing in the laid back position or side lying position because it helps them position themselves so they can latch on better with a wider mouth.
  6. The growth spurts the first month might take you by surprise! If you feel positively empty around weeks 3, 4, and 6, very likely your supply is fine and you are just experience a growth spurt. Relax and hydrate. Baby is increasing your supply for the long haul!

What tips would you add to the list of tips for the first month of breastfeeding?

Audra Michelle has been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for more than 6 years straight. Her first nursed for 15 months, her second for 14 months, and her third weaned at 27 months! Her first baby girl is thriving on breastmilk and will wean when she chooses.  Audra Michelle is a wife, mother, daughter, girlfriend, Jesus lover, and musician. You can find Audra Michelle blogging at UP and at Naturally Well.


  1. My husband and I are going to try for number 4 this fall and I am so worried about the breastfeeding for two reasons. Reason one, I have large nipples and it is difficult to get a good latch without pain. Reason two, I have an oversupply of milk and am engorged a lot of the time and find myself pumping for relief, but then I end up making more because I am taking it out and it is a very vicious cycle. Any tips?

    • That cycle is hard to break. I was there with my third. My suggestion would be to have a lactation consultant help with your latch and pain as soon as you notice it. Every child is different and nurses differently, so where you struggled before, you may not struggle this time. For oversupply, once your supply is well established, you can do a few things. 1. Look at your diet. Are you eating a lot of food that can increase supply? A lot of oatmeal, for example? Try limiting those foods and maybe introduce foods that could lower supply such as peppermint. 2. You could use cold cabbage leaves in your bra a couple times to slow things down. 3. You could try block feeding to slowly reduce supply.

      Just remember, as I’m sure you know, that pumping does increase supply. Try to pump only when you are in pain and only a tiny bit for relief. An ounce. MAYBE two. Consider taking the supplement lecithin to prevent clogs as you let your supply regulate. You can do it, mama!

    • I had similar problems. My lactation consultant gave me a nipple shield since I was in so much pain. I used it for about month until I had toughened up a little, then I was able to stop using it. I would highly recommend talking with a professional. I couldn’t have done it without my lactation consultant!!

    • Jennifer Doherty says

      I also had oversupply issues and this method (by a nurse in Australia published in a medical journal) helped me, basically like a magic bullet.

    • For the pain you could buy a nipple shield is very helpful. For the over production of milk , do not pump that only makes it worse . Instead Enter the bathroom and get into the shower. Let the water fall on your chest and let the milk flow. This tells the body that it is producing more than necessary and it will start to reduce production

  2. I have a 6 week old and breastfeeding him every 2-3 hrs. I haven’t really been leaking milk at all the past few days…is that normal?? And he now sometimes eats for only 5-10 minutes instead of 20 like he used to! If I try to get him to drink more he gets fussy. I get worried that I’m not making enough milk. I feel the let down when he’s nursing and I hear him swallow! Is this all normal?

    • It’s normal for our bodies to adjust and not have a ton of extra milk. At 6 weeks, you are likely at the end of the last BIG growth spurt. Babies at this age can get very efficient. If you are concerned, keep an eye on wet diapers. You need at least 6 very wet diapers per day. That’s the best way to make sure baby is getting enough. If baby is having enough wet diapers, is generally content, and is gaining 4-7oz per week, you have plenty! There is a wide range of normal! Just feed baby on demand. Baby knows how to get what he needs!

  3. I am a first time mom, but been taking care of other young family members ever since I could hold a baby. I just had my little prince almost a month ago. He was born 6 weeks early, and stayed in the NICU for about 12 days. They of course had to feed him by bottle because he was to small and his lungs was still maturing. I have always wanted to breastfeed ever since I figured out at young age I wanted to have children. He was also given a pacifier for soothing because he was in a closed crib. Now Im having a very hard time trying to get him to latch. I would like to be able to mostly breastfeed straight from the breast. Do you have any tips or advice for a new but very determined mom????

    • Hugs! Nipple confusion is so hard! Have you tried a nipple shield? With a tiny baby who has had mostly bottles, you may even need to do steps to get him to the breast. Hopefully using a well fitting shield (check with a lactation consultant about fit and use) will be all it takes to get babe on breast. You can wean off of the shield over time. If that’s not enough, you may want to try a supplemental nursing system to mimic the more ready flow of a bottle nipple. In the mean time, make sure any bottles you use are slow flow or preemie flow so they are more like the breast. Take some time and search this site – there is great information about ways to get babe to latch.

  4. Lindsey A. says

    Hi!:-) My son is 11 days old and is a rigorous eater and I feel like my supply should be more (pumped 2oz 1 hr after nursing) considering how often he eats. When awake he is satisfied for no more than 30-45 minutes at a time and when asleep he will wake up every 1.5-2hrs to feed. So far I have fed on demand despite painful, sorry nipples and very little sleep…all to be expected!! 🙂
    My concern is in the last two days after an initial good feed (where he will empty both breasts) he will show signs of hunger within minutes after, so I follow his lead, have him latch on again and he will get frustrated and fussy as if no milk is coming out. In the last 24hrs, with a heavy stomach and heart, I have given 2 oz of formula just to see how he responds. Both times he was content for about one hour. So my question is does it sound like my supply is low, not enough to sustain his small, but growing tummy. Thank you so much in advance for any tips/info/reassurance you can give!

    • Lindsey A. says

      Oops…not sorry, but sore nipples.

    • He is a completely normal newborn! The formula is very hard to digest which is why most babies sleep after eating it – that’s all they can do while their bodies work to break it down. It’s ok. If you are getting 6 very wet diapers in a day, your supply is very likely fine. Normal pumping output for a mom who is exclusively nursing is 1/2 – 2oz combined breasts in a session. Pumping is only an indication of one thing – how much you are able to pump. It is no indication of your supply. It is something your body has to learn to be able to do. I’ve been nursing for 65 months. I am a horrible pumper and lucky to get 1/2 oz in a session. I still have an ample supply.

      In the first 6 weeks, it is normal and expected for baby to be latched on for 12+ hours in a day. It can be maddening and painful, but it is the best thing for baby’s development and for your supply long term. Breastmilk is very easy to digest and is usually digested within 90 minutes of eating – sometimes less. You will be going through some big time growth spurts where it seems like baby is never done eating. Just keep feeding on demand. Baby knows just what to do to get your supply where it needs to be. If you notice wet diaper count dropping off, then start looking at supply issues. As long as you are taking care of yourself by eating and drinking enough and letting baby nurse on demand, you are most likely perfectly fine!

  5. Hi, i have a 3 month old boy whos on just breast, hes only just started sleeping through the night and my breast feel to the point of no more they get very heavy and painful nd wen he feeds u can hear him swallowing it. But during the day he sleeps alot but my boobs dont seem to get full nd i cant hear him drinking it. If hes sleeping mostly after feeding during the day is he getting enough milk? He does sometimes getting upset and riggles wen feeding but still keeps latched

    • By 6 months, your body has adjusted its supply. You won’t have the extra that you did in the beginning. You likely won’t feel full unless baby misses a feed or changes feeding pattern. It takes a week or so, but your body will adjust to whatever nursing schedule baby comes up with. Way to go!

  6. Oand this is my 4 baby in 5 years and first baby ive been able to breast feed completely, my first was a boy and was always so hungry nd i was young so fed him breast, powder and rice up to 9 half months, my second a girl was milk intolurent so culdnt ave my milk and my third a girl was premature and wasnt able to latch

  7. Such great advice!! Our second baby was very sleepy and we couldn’t get him to nurse frequently. The lactaction consultant suggested formula. Since it was a LC, I took the advice as necessary. I wish I hadn’t. I’ll know when our next baby gets here!!

    • There is a time and place for formula, but so often, it is pushed far too early. If baby wasn’t nursing much or wetting enough diapers after a week, then it may be time to really explore other options (assuming the LC is working with you that whole time to make sure baby is safe and healthy).

  8. MedfordMama says

    Hi, my son is almost 6 weeks old and thank goodness is a great nurser. He was a small baby (5lb 5oz) but within his first 5 weeks is up to 8lbs. My question deals with gas. Starting a little before week 3, he started straining a lot with a red face and obvious pain and I can usually comfort him to make it stop but it seems to not be getting better. I started gripe water a week and a half ago and it helps a lot, especially at night so he’s comfortable but I don’t see this as a long term solution. His pediatrician told me to cut out dairy and soy, but before I do something so drastic, do you have any suggestions? Will this pass on its own or do l really need to eliminate something that’s in just about everything and hope it fixes his belly? What are your thoughts on baby probiotics?

    Thanks so much! This article was great and your answers to readers, even better 🙂

    • So glad you have a great nursing relationship! As for the gas and straining, I have found that with each of my four, around 3-4 weeks, they would do straining. My doc said that it was likely just baby starting to learn to control their bowel muscles and accidentally holding in gas when they mean to let it out. It passed after the big growth spurts on its own by about 6 weeks. I probably wouldn’t eliminate foods quite yet – there is usually a tell in the texture of the poo that indicates a sensitivity. You can check with a lactation consultant to be sure as they know worlds more than doctors about breastfeeding. As for probiotics, I have heard good things, but check with your doctor first.

  9. I have placenta praevia and it’s looking like a c section for the birth. We has a great all natural birth with our daughter so the idea of a c section is daunting. Any hot tips? My daughter breasted for 2 years 🙂

  10. That breast crawl video is amazing!! this needs to be taught/shown by every ob and midwife. The rate of women who are told that they can’t breastfeed would plummet. Thank you for sharing that.

  11. With my first she suffered nipple confusion after I had to supplement with formula because of her jaundice. I’m currently pregnant again and I feel more prepared to be successful with breastfeeding. If I’m forced to supplement again I know that hospitals carry sns (supplemental nursing system) which will keep baby on the breast while still giving them the formula. I’m determined to be successful this time. Also make sure that the nurse you have is helping with your breastfeeding goal instead of undermining you. I was pretty out of it for most of my hospital stay because of all the drugs during the delivery (long story) but I remember asking for help, asking for the lactation consultant, and a breast pump and I received nothing. She just pressured me to give her the bottle.

  12. So, I am due in about 3 weeks. Unfortunately there are NO services in my area that I can find to help with learning about breastfeeding. I know this is an older post but I was just hoping for some advice. I AM COMPLETELY lost. So far all I know about breastfeeding is that I want to do it. I know nothing else. I have bought nursing pads and nipple cream. I also have my prescription for my pump that I am going to get today. I’m at a total loss though. Honestly I’m a bit overwhelmed with everything I am reading. I’m really nervous that I’m bot going to be able to do it. I just ordered “breastfeeding for dummies”. I’m just really nervous that I’m going to be completely unprepared when he gets here in just a few short weeks and I’m going to end up having to use formula to feed him.

Speak Your Mind