Breastfeeding and Self-Care: A Guide for New Mothers

Jennifer Campbell - Doula In Reno
4 min readAug 15, 2023


Becoming a new mother brings immense love and joy, but the experience also comes with new challenges and responsibilities and breastfeeding can be one of those. While breastfeeding can be a beautiful bonding experience, it can also be physically and emotionally demanding, so here are some tips to help in this transition.

Practicing self-care will help you feel like yourself again so you can be the best possible mother to your newborn. Let’s explore a few practical tips and strategies to help you prioritize self-care during this challenging and rewarding time.

Embrace Clean Eating

Clean eating involves consuming minimally processed, whole foods that are rich in nutrients. Consuming a nutrient-dense diet is particularly important when you’re breastfeeding. Not only will a clean, balanced diet support your baby’s nutritional needs, but your own strength, stamina, and well-being as well. Your body will produce breast milk containing all of the nutrients your baby needs, so replacing these nutrients is essential to maintaining your own health.

Declutter Your Home to Relieve Stress

Stress can have a significant effect on your milk supply. Medela explains that stress impacts your let-down reflex, increases cortisol levels in your breast milk, and affects feeding frequency. Take steps to relieve stress and turn your home into a calming, comforting oasis.

Cluttered spaces can contribute to feelings of stress and overwhelm, so consider doing a little cleaning to make your space more relaxing. Removing clutter will help you clear out negative energy and make room for positive vibes! By creating a peaceful and stress-free space, you can optimize your breastfeeding experience and promote your overall health and well-being.

Carve Out Time for Your Older Children

As a breastfeeding mother, it can be challenging to balance the demands of caring for a new baby with the needs of your other children. However, finding ways to prioritize your other children will ensure they feel loved and supported during this time of transition, taking some pressure off yourself.

For example, you might make it a priority to be available for bedtime every night and enjoy some quality time with your children at the end of the day. Planning new experiences together, such as a family outing or a fun activity, can also give you and your children something to look forward to and create positive memories during this busy time. Or you can even brainstorm and create a business idea together! Teens can really benefit from learning about entrepreneurship, and kids of all ages can enjoy contributing to your projects.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

Staying hydrated is incredibly important for breastfeeding mothers, as breast milk is mostly composed of water. Dehydration can affect your milk production and lead to fatigue and headaches, which can make it difficult to care for your new baby. To ensure you’re getting enough fluids, MomLovesBest recommends increasing your daily water intake by about three glasses each day.

It’s also important to limit caffeine, as it can actually dehydrate you. There is still conflicting advice regarding how much caffeine can pass through your breastmilk to your baby, so be cautious.

Find Comfortable Nursing Clothes

Breastfeeding is an important aspect of caring for your newborn and can be a demanding task. Investing in comfortable nursing clothes and bras is crucial for your comfort, as well as your baby’s. Comfortable underwire-free maternity bras provide the necessary support, especially during those sleepless nights. Nursing clothes allow for easy access to the breast, making feeding sessions much smoother.

A comfortable wardrobe also boosts confidence and makes nursing in public less daunting. It’s important to invest in quality and comfortable nursing clothes and bras to ensure a successful and enjoyable breastfeeding journey.

Acknowledge Your Own Needs

As a breastfeeding mom, it’s easy to put all of your energy and focus into caring for your baby, but it’s important to acknowledge your own needs as well. Prioritize self-care activities like exercise and sleep. Don’t hesitate to schedule time for yourself by asking for help from a partner, family member, or friend. This can give you a chance to recharge!

It can take a while for you to find your balance as a new mom, but you can try to find ways to blend self-care with your new family dynamic. For instance, if you live close enough to walk to stores, use the stroller and take a walk to run a few errands instead of driving.

Be Kind to Yourself as You Adjust

From decluttering your home to alleviate stress to carving out time to spend with your children, the self-care steps you take during this period will ensure your breastfeeding experience is positive. Taking care of yourself will help you navigate the challenges of this exciting time, so you can focus on bonding with your new little one!

If your baby has not yet arrived, consider working with me. She can provide you with support during your pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and in the fourth trimester to help facilitate a smoother transition into motherhood.

This post was a collaboration with Nadine Reid



Jennifer Campbell - Doula In Reno

Certified Birth Doula, Bereavement Doula®, Adoption & Surrogacy Doula, Certified Breastfeeding Educator Reno, NV, Mom Of 18, Blogger, Podcaster