On Shabbos morning, is my wife required to hear kiddush prior to eating anything, or is it enough to make berochos before eating in order to be able to nurse?
It depends on how much your wife normally davens. If she does not eat until she davens shacharis, then she may drink water before davening. A nursing woman who feels that she must eat before nursing and must nurse before davening may eat food before davening. A person who is ill or extremely hungry or in a state in which he or she cannot daven properly without eating first may eat first. (( או”ח סימן פ”ט ס”ד ע”ש במ”ב ובביה”ל. ))
If your wife usually says shevach, bakoshoh and hodo’oh (i.e., a simple tefilloh to Hashem, not necessarily in the nusach prescribed by Chazal) and considers that to be hertefilloh, immediately after her tefilloh she is chayov in kiddush and cannot drink anything until she makes her own kiddush or hears someone else make kiddush for her. A woman who does not daven at all is chayov in kiddush as soon as she wakes up on Shabbos morning and should make kiddush before she eats or drinks anything.