Today, there are classes for everything. One popular choice is a breastfeeding class, offered to women while they are pregnant. These are often offered by your local hospital, or by a lactation consultant or peer counselor. Essentially, they are designed to not only encourage women to breastfeed by going over the benefits of breastfeeding versus bottle-feeding, but also to help you learn some tricks of the trade that may make the transition to breastfeeding after delivery easier. But do you NEED these classes before the baby is born? Here are two sides to the debate for you to consider:
This mom says no. For one thing, the decision to breast or bottle feed is a personal one. Chances are you have all the information you need to make an informed choice. Secondly, no matter what your decision is, your baby may have a different plan once he or she is born. You may have had one child that breastfed perfectly, only to have a second child that doesn’t seem to take to the nipple well. And if your baby is not thriving after delivery and you are breastfeeding, the doctors may encourage you to switch to a bottle.
In fact, the time to take a class, would be AFTER delivery, especially if you are having trouble with breastfeeding. Most hospitals today staff lactation consultants who will also help you through the process while you are in the hospital having your baby. Most often, this is enough instruction for you to breastfeed successfully!
I’m, of course, a little biased – I’m a lactation consultant, La Leche League Leader, and mom of 4 children who were all breastfed well past the national average. From a professional standpoint, I definitely recommend these classes to all pregnant moms. They are a great place to meet other like-minded moms. Because breastfeeding is rarely encouraged in public in the US, it can be nice to know others are making the same choices you are, and it can be helpful to make connections with those moms during pregnancy to start your support network for the postpartum.
Breastfeeding classes also give you the chance to learn about the myths and realities of breastfeeding. Your Aunt Sally tells you that you need to drink tons of cow’s milk in order to make milk for your baby – but is that really true? Having a trained instructor to ask can get you started on the path to success. The other benefit of these classes is that, while you can’t actually latch a baby to your breast, you may be able to practice positioning and holds to make you more confident as you bring your baby to the breast for the first time after birth.
What Stef and Michelle agree on is that whatever you decide, make sure that you make the decision that works BEST for YOU!
Did you take a breastfeeding class during pregnancy? Was it helpful?
Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational
Michelle, writer, editor, childbirth educator, lactation consultant, and mother to 4 busy kids
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.