Most likely, your OB/GYN office will inform you of classes offered to you as a soon-to-be mom. Basics of Infant Care, Avoiding a C-Section, Labor and Delivery 101 are some that you might be interested in attending. But what about entire courses devoted to breastfeeding? Should you even bother?
Most moms are highly focused on the delivery (as they should be) but in turn, they don’t think too far beyond that event. If you do end up breastfeeding your baby, you will be spending a great deal of time nursing him or her. It is definitely worth preparing for.
When I was expecting my first baby, at a friends’ urging, I decided to sign up for a breastfeeding class at my local hospital, without having any idea of what to expect.
Two hours into the class, I could not believe the amount of information I was learning! Who knew there was so much involved? We were given booklets, we watched videos, and listened as a lactation consultant spoke and answered questions.
I left this class knowing I needed to continue researching and preparing if I wanted a better shot at successfully breastfeeding my baby. I had never really been around another mom who breastfed her baby, so to say I was uninformed would be putting it kindly. I realized that educating myself about breastfeeding was up to me, and I had a lot to learn.
Probably the worst thing you can do for your breastfeeding relationship is “just wing it”. Just like moms who want to experience a medication-free delivery, it requires pre-planning by educating yourself and readying yourself mentally. In-person and online classes are among the best ways you can do this!
There are innumerable online resources available for those moms who plan to breastfeed, or would just like to know more about it. Lactation Link is a popular and helpful source we highly recommend. They offer several breastfeeding videos covering basics, overcoming obstacles, and a run-down on pumping. The advantage of online courses is that you can watch them at your leisure and refer back to them as needed. The best time to take these video classes is before.
If preferred, in-person classes are offered as well! There are several avenues for these, such as through some doula services, most hospital systems, and local lactation consultants. To find one, just search “breastfeeding classes near me” online and you should have multiple options to choose from. Many of these are even free!
We would even recommend taking both an in-person as well as an online course – you really can’t be too prepared! Hearing from multiple teachers will widen your knowledge and increase your confidence.
Even if you’re not a first time mom, we are still proponents of breastfeeding preparedness! Every baby is unique, and in the time between pregnancies you may even forget some important information. It’s always good to get a refresher so you aren’t struggling to remember all the little details that often become fuzzy with time. It’s also important to note that you can take these classes after delivery as well – it’s just not as ideal since you are short on time and sleep and focus. But we would agree that any time is better than no time!
So as you prepare for your baby’s upcoming arrival, don’t just focus on labor and delivery preparedness. Every mom can benefit from learning more about breastfeeding through a class! Trust us – this is time well invested.