successful breastfeeding

Tips To Ensure A Successful Breastfeeding Relationship

As a certified pediatric sleep consultant, a certified lactation consultant, and a newborn care specialist, I give families the resources and support they need to thrive during the newborn period.

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Breastfeeding is an amazing phenomenon. Breastfeeding is the gold standard for feeding and there are many benefits of successful breastfeeding for both you and your baby. Despite the benefits, it can be extremely challenging and emotional. Some people choose not to breastfeed their baby, while others are unable to breastfeed and that is ok! The most important thing is that your baby is fed.

If you choose to breastfeed your baby, I have included a few breastfeeding tips below on how to ensure a successful breastfeeding relationship from day one.


Babies are born with an innate ability to slide or crawl themselves and self-attach to the breast. The easiest thing you can do to help ensure a successful breastfeeding relationship is to spend time skin to skin immediately after birth. It is best to initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth. This is sometimes referred to as “the golden hour.”

After the delivery of the placenta, your body will experience a rapid drop in progesterone. This drop in progesterone opens up milk making receptor sites. Once these sites are open, it’s a use it or lose it type of situation. Beyond the first hour after birth, these sites slowly begin to close up. This doesn’t mean that beyond the first hour after birth your body won’t be able to produce mature milk, but it can result in limited milk storage capacity. In order to ensure maximum storage capacity and successful breastfeeding, nurse early and often to keep those receptor sites open.


breastfeeding newborn

Feeding on demand is such an important step in fostering a successful breastfeeding relationship. This is especially important in the first few weeks. Feeding your baby on demand has many benefits for you and your baby.

Feeding on demand allows you and baby the chance to practice breastfeeding. The more often you are able to nurse, the more practice you both get. The first milk your baby will get is called colostrum. Colostrum is nutrient dense, full of protein, and is intentionally thick and slow flowing. Think of it as “practice milk” for you and baby.

Feeding regularly also helps increase prolactin levels. Prolactin is the milk making hormone. Prolactin levels rise during nursing sessions. The more often you nurse, the more milk your body will make!

Lastly, feeding on demand will ensure that your milk supply is perfect for your baby. 40% of parents worry about their milk supply, but statistics show that milk supply is often not an issue. If you feed your baby when they show hunger cues, your body will begin to produce exactly what YOUR baby needs.


The fastest drop off in breastfeeding rates are due to lack of timely interventions. Many parents will stop breastfeeding within the first 10 days after being discharged from the hospital. Support is the key to a successful breastfeeding relationship. Many hospitals have lactation consultants on staff to help newborn parents during their hospital stay – USE THEM! If this isn’t a service that your hospital provides, look up lactation services in your community and schedule an appointment with them as soon as you can.

Breastfeeding might not be easy, but it should not be painful. To set yourself up for success, meet with a lactation consultant to have baby’s latch assessed, learn about appropriate expectations for the coming weeks or months, and find out who you should call in the event you encounter any troubles or setbacks.  


successful breastfeeding

There are several breastfeeding positions. I detail all of them in my Beginner’s Guide To Successful Breastfeeding. Different feeding positions have also been shown to be beneficial for specific scenarios. For example, cradle, cross cradle, and the football hold are all great options for newborns, while the laid back or side lying posture could be a preferred position for mothers with an oversupply or fast let-down.

It is important to try multiple feeding positions to find the best one for both you and baby. It can be easy to get complacent with how you feed your baby. By switching things up, you may find that baby is able to transfer milk more effectively or that you are more comfortable in a different position.


Whether you’ve breastfed multiple babies or this is your first one, there will be a learning curve. Every baby’s personality and anatomy is different. It will take time to get to know your baby and learn their habits and preferences. Extend yourself all of the grace in the world on your journey to successful breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a sacrifice – it takes time, perseverance, and practice!  Be patient with yourself and your baby. Seek help if you need it and lean on others for support. Trust yourself and know that whatever you are doing is the best thing for your baby and your family!

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I'm Kristen

The expert & woman behind the screen. I'm also your new best friend who is ready to empower you on this incredible journey.

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