Here's some tips I've learned after nursing six babies:
1. I read so much before I had Isaac. (Dr. Sears' book on breastfeeding). I loved knowing what to expect (somewhat)...I was glad I had the knowledge and basics already, and didn't have to rely on other's opinions. (Not that others don't have great advice, but some of it was wrong and I'm glad I knew the basics.)
2. Boys are hungry. I fed my boys every two hours and that two hours begins at the start of nursing! This slowed down as they got older for sure but I tell mothers of boys to be prepared for a lot of feeding time.
3. I learned how to nurse in bed, laying on my side. God Almighty, I'd be dead of sleep deprivation if I didn't do this. I thank a sweet nurse at the hospital with my first baby who taught me the importance of learning that little trick.
4. Remember it only gets easier! So many moms stop at 4 or 5 months and once they start solids at 6 or 7 months, the feedings really ease up and become so predictable.
5. I keep a schedule of nursings in the very early months. Not so I can keep the baby on a strict schedule, but so I felt some order and predictability to my life. Those are two words that I thrive on, and if I find myself not keeping track it feels like I'm a fish swimming upstream. Just by writing down what time I started nursing, I knew what to anticipate and could predict a little rhythm to my days.
6. On frustrating days, I reminded myself of the benefits. I remember googlin '100 reasons to breastfeed', to get a little boost of encouragement! I know it was really hard for me sometimes when I felt fat, and frumpy and I was the one who had to leave book club early.
7. Lactation consultant are awesome. I learned that almost every problem in surmountable...sore nipples, low milk supply, latching on issues. There are SO many people who will be willing to help now!
8. Pacifiers are a nursing mother's best friend. Yes, in the beginning I was careful to not use a pacifier in place of nursing when they are hungry or you will mess with your milk supply, but once we would get going, it helped me not become a human-pacifier. (But I had two babies who didn't take them and I survived.)
9. Growth spurts are real and lead to massive feeding frenzies. I swear one day I nursed one of my little boys it seemed like ALL day. Crazy. This is how they regulate your milk supply and when they are growing so fast their needs change.
10. Finding a good nursing bra was key. Especially if you are like me and get Pamela boobs and don't appreciate the added weight, pain and cleavage. I have used the Leading Lady brand that I found on-line, and keep some Target cheapies for night-time.