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Do you know what is really silly? While most pregnant women are advised to take a childbirth preparation course they are rarely told to take a class to prepare for breastfeeding. That’s kind of ridiculous when you think about it.
Labor and birth last an average of 12-24 hours. Breastfeeding can last months or years. Does it make sense to spend hours learning about something that will probably be over in a day but not spend any time learning about breastfeeding?
One piece of breastfeeding advice I give all expectant moms is to take a prenatal breastfeeding class.
REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO TAKE A PRENATAL BREASTFEEDING CLASS
Moms often say they are going to “try” to breastfeed. You can hear the doubt and worry in their voice. They’ve listened to the horror stories. They probably know more than one mama who didn’t have enough milk or struggled with sore and cracked nipples.
While breastfeeding is natural, there are a lot of potential bumps in a woman’s breastfeeding journey that can leave her feeling frustrated. Checking Google when you have a question or problem can leave you feeling confused and overwhelmed.
Don’t worry, taking a breastfeeding preparation class is the best way to avoid all that craziness. A prenatal breastfeeding class will help you with your breastfeeding goals. That is not just my opinion.
Don’t make the mistake that so many moms make and skip this essential step in preparing for breastfeeding! Set yourself up for a positive breastfeeding experience.
A woman who has never breastfed before, maybe never even seen a baby breastfeed, will have no idea what to expect. A class will prepare you so you can do the right things. You will know what things to avoid that could derail your breastfeeding efforts.
A breastfeeding class will let you know what is normal and reassuring and what is a possible warning sign. You will know how to tell your baby is getting enough to eat. You will know what to do to support a good milk supply. You will be prepared for the most common problems and how to deal with them.
A good course about breastfeeding will set you up for breastfeeding bliss and help you avoid breastfeeding disappointment.
The good news is that today your options are better than ever to learn about breastfeeding. I will share tips on how to choose the right breastfeeding preparation class for you.
WHERE CAN I FIND A BREASTFEEDING CLASS?
- Breastfeeding Centers
- Prenatal Education Centers
- Private Practice Lactation Consultants
- Parenting Centers
- Online breastfeeding courses
BENEFITS OF AN ONLINE BREASTFEEDING CLASS
More than ever before expectant moms are turning to online sources for their prenatal education needs. The internet has provided them with an incredible array of learning options.
There are many benefits to taking a breastfeeding class online:
- You can watch the videos at a time that is convenient for you. One reason moms give for not attending a breastfeeding class was the challenge of going to an in-person class after working all day. They are tired, and they just want to go home and put on their comfy clothes.
- Privacy. Many moms attend breastfeeding classes solo. But when their partner attends with them, they have the benefit of an extra set of ears and someone else to remember things. If your partner feels self-conscious about going to a breastfeeding class an online class eliminates this obstacle.
- You can re-watch the videos as many times as you want. Pregnancy brain is real!
- You can go back after your baby is born and watch videos that are relevant to your baby’s age.
- You can watch them while you are in your pj’s!
- You can eat and drink whatever you want while you watch.
- You don’t have to listen to other people ask questions that are not helpful for you.
- You don’t have to go into a hospital where there are sick people.
WHAT WILL I LEARN IN A BREASTFEEDING CLASS?
A prenatal breastfeeding class should prepare you for what to expect with breastfeeding without overwhelming you with every little detail.
- Why breastfeeding is important
- How to get ready for breastfeeding
- Basic anatomy
- How to latch your baby
- Importance of skin to skin
- Second Night Syndrome
- When to expect your milk to come in
- How to deal with problems like engorgement or sore nipples
- How to have a good milk supply
- Newborn weight loss
- How to tell your baby is getting enough
- Average weight gain in babies
- Pumping basics
- Reasons a baby might need to be supplemented
- How to find breastfeeding help
- Breastfeeding must-haves
Look for a breastfeeding class like my Clueless to Confident Breastfeeding Preparation Course that won’t overwhelm you by trying to teach you everything you might possibly want to know about the entire time you are breastfeeding. The best breastfeeding class will give you the basics to get breastfeeding well established.
WHO TEACHES BREASTFEEDING CLASSES?
Most breastfeeding classes are taught by someone who has specialized lactation training. It can be a real alphabet soup! These are many different titles and certifications you may encounter in your search for a breastfeeding course (Source).
- IBCLC – International board-certified lactation consultant
- Certified lactation educator
- Certified lactation specialist
- Certified breastfeeding specialist
- Certified lactation educator counselor
- Breastfeeding counselor
- Breastfeeding educator
- Lactation educator
- Community breastfeeding educator
- Certified lactation counselor
- Certified breastfeeding educator
An instructor may or may not be an actual lactation consultant who works with breastfeeding moms.
The best classes are taught by someone who has experience working with breastfeeding moms. Breastfeeding can be affected by so many different variables.
An instructor who only has the experience of breastfeeding her own children may have a very narrow view of what breastfeeding can be like.
A lactation consultant who has spent years not only teaching about breastfeeding but has actually helped moms with breastfeeding knows that things don’t always happen the way the books describe.
I recommend classes that are taught by an IBCLC who has experience working with nursing moms.
I have taught moms about breastfeeding for over 30 years. I became a much better teacher after I became a lactation consultant.
WHEN TO TAKE A BREASTFEEDING CLASS
I have always encouraged moms to take their breastfeeding class about a month before their baby is due. That way, if the baby arrives early, they will be ready.
Taking the class before the beginning of your third trimester could result in you forgetting what you learned. This is especially true of an in-person course. With an online class, you always have the option to go back and review.
HOW MUCH DO BREASTFEEDING COURSES COST?
There is a wide variation in course fees. Some are free. Free programs are usually not very comprehensive. I have seen a range of $20 up to over $100.
I created this online breastfeeding course to meet the needs of today’s busy woman who wants to be prepared for breastfeeding. I have answered the most common questions new moms have. I talk about the most common problems that can occur during the early weeks of breastfeeding.
I have taken my 26+ years of experience and all that moms have told me is important and created the ideal online breastfeeding program.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BREASTFEEDING CLASSES
It is pretty obvious that I think a prenatal breastfeeding course is essential. I encourage you to find the course that best meets your needs and register today.
Andrea Tran RN, MA, IBCLC
Andrea has been working with new families as an RN for over 35 years and a Lactation Consultant for over 25 years.
She has her MA in Health and Wellness with a focus in Lactation.