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Breastfeeding tips: it’s much more than just your latch

Posted on 20 Jan, 2022 by Sarah Hart

Breastfeeding tips

Guest blogger Rachel from Strong Like Mama, has written a fabulous piece here for those of you who are interested in breastfeeding tips as a new mum……

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. So I did some googling and watched a few You Tube videos about How to get a good latch when breastfeeding. Everyone talked about the importance of a good latch, and how it had to be a deep latch to feel comfortable, and so this was what I honed in on. I thought I was doing pretty well to even be thinking about the mechanics of breastfeeding!

So often I hear the importance of latch being discussed – and it is really important! But actually it’s just half the story. You can have a great latch but still find breastfeeding really challenging – for a whole number of reasons. That’s why my breastfeeding courses and support are holistic in their approach. Because latch is just one small part of the equation. Here are some other things which I encourage you to think about when you’re planning to breastfeed your baby.

1. What does normal baby behaviour look like?

“Is my baby feeding too little? Or too much?!”

“Is she feeding for long enough?”

“Is he getting enough milk?”

“He just wants to be on me all the time!”

“She wakes up so much during the night”

All of these questions and worries can lead you to doubt yourself, your baby, your body and your ability to breastfeed.

You might have your latch totally nailed – but if your baby is doing something that makes you doubt your milk supply, you’re going to be very tempted to seek out other ways of feeding your baby to make sure they’re getting enough milk. Knowing what is normal baby behaviour is key. It means that you can relax knowing what is or is not a sign of your baby being happy and well fed, rather than abandoning breastfeeding because you don’t think its working for you. I teach all about normal baby behaviour on my antenatal breastfeeding course – you can read more here: mindful-breastfeeding-course

breastfeeding tips for a new mum

2. Your mindset is key

The biggest of breastfeeding tips – your mindset is super important! A number of studies have shown us over recent years that mindset has a big impact on breastfeeding – both when it comes to the amount of milk that the baby receives and also the length of the breastfeeding journey.

The first reason for this is the way in which your hormones are affected by your mindset and emotions. Anxiety and stress cause us to produce stress hormones which are ​unhelpful for the breastfeeding process – they actually inhibit our let down and the amount of milk that we provide for our baby. It’s therefore really important to arm yourself with ways of reducing that anxiety and restoring calm when you most need it. That might take the form of breathing, seeking support from a friend or getting some gentle exercise.

Secondly, your perspective on your breastfeeding journey can be fundamental in how positive it feels to you. We have such high expectations of ourselves and want the best for our babies – but we can be gentle with ourselves in the process! Sometimes things don’t go to plan and sometimes things look a bit different to how we imagine, but that’s all ok! A simple change in language can sometimes be enough: how about “I managed to breastfeed my baby for 4 months” rather than “I only breastfed my baby for 4 months”.

3. Not all breastfeeding journeys look the same

Your idea of “what breastfeeding looks like” will almost certainly be different to that of your sister or your partner or your mum. You might breastfeed exclusively or you might combi-feed, you might pump or you might not, you might breastfeed for 6 weeks or for 2 years. I speak with so many women who are sad that they had to give up breastfeeding because they couldn’t make exclusive breastfeeding work for them at 3 weeks post-partum. However the benefits of breastfeeding are still there however you breastfeed – sometimes a temporary period of pumping or a switch to combi- feeding can be all that’s need to keep things going for longer.

Being open-minded about how breastfeeding might work for you can be really helpful – and its one of the key things that I discuss with the parents that I support 1:1 post-natally. How do you want this to work? If you’d like to know more about my 1:1 support, visit my website here:

4. Parenting can feel overwhelming – however you feed your baby

Very little can prepare you for the shock of having a newborn baby! Your pregnancy will be full of quips about how life is about to change and that you should “sleep now whilst you can!” But it’s a whole other thing navigating parenthood yourself. It’s a rollercoaster full of the highest highs and some of the lowest lows, and when you’re trying to find your feet breastfeeding can feel like just one more thing for you to cope with. As a result, breastfeeding is often the thing that gets the blame for mental health struggles in new mums.

If you’re breastfeeding it can feel like its “all on you” because you’re the one doing the night feeds and the day feeds and the everything-in-between feeds! But actually, new parenthood is never easy, however you are feeding your baby. I really encourage my clients to prepare for ​the post-natal period so that in those moments when its all feeling a bit too much, breastfeeding isn’t where the blame falls. It is possible to breastfeed and still get some sleep. It is possible to breastfeed and still have a partner who feels involved and bonded with your baby. So make sure that some of your post-natal planning includes thinking about your support network, the division of day to day responsibilities and how you will have some restorative time for yourself.

5. There are a whole lot of myths out there!

Many people say to me that they just don’t understand how something so natural can be so difficult. What we so easily forget is the truth in that saying that “it takes a village to raise a child”. In 2022, parenting is much more isolated than its ever been before, and the same goes for breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is natural like walking – not natural like breathing! Its not something that’s done automatically, its something that takes practice and support. So if we don’t have a really great support network of other breastfeeders around us, how do we learn? And how do we overcome the challenges that so many of us face?

The other issue is that our mothers’ generation saw the introduction of formula feeding. This came with a lot of parenting and feeding guidance which supported formula feeding. But it was actively unhelpful for breastfeeding. Feeding schedules, higher milk volumes and less responsive parenting has led to all sorts of myths about breastfeeding. Some of these breastfeeding tips are still doing the rounds today! Whether you’re being told not to spoil your baby, that you need to be reducing breastfeeding to make your baby sleep more or that you’re making a rod for your own back by breastfeeding so much – all of this has the potential to damage your breastfeeding journey.

Knowledge and support really are key when it comes to breastfeeding. Both my antenatal breastfeeding course and my 1:1 post-natal support provide both of those. They are designed to make your breastfeeding journey calm, enjoyable and able to work for you! Based in Tonbridge, Kent, I work both face to face and online. This means I can provide the support that you most need, when you most need it.

If you are pregnant and would like to prepare to breastfeed your baby, or if you are currently struggling with breastfeeding and would like some 1:1 support, please get in touch (E: , W: ). I would love to support you in making breastfeeding a calm and enjoyable experience for you and your baby.

smiles from a baby after he's been breast fed in Tonbridge photography studio
Smiles captured just after a breastfeed!

Thank you Rachel, for some fabulous breastfeeding tips!

If you have any of your own breastfeeding tips, pop them in the comments below.

And if you’re reading this and expecting a baby, or have just given birth, and are interested in having beautiful portraits of your baby at this fleeting newborn stage, you can find out about my newborn photography sessions and pop me an email:

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