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Are you wondering, “Should I attend a breastfeeding class before birth?”
First, what is a breastfeeding class?
A breastfeeding class is a class / workshop that will teach you things related to breastfeeding. Though every breastfeeding class is unique, most of the time, you'll learn the following inside a breastfeeding class.
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THINGS YOU'LL LEARN IN A BREASTFEEDING CLASS
Things you'll learn in a breastfeeding class:
- How you can prepare for breastfeeding before birth
- Things to do right after birth to promote exclusive breastfeeding (something like skin-to-skin contact, rooming in, and so on)
- Feeding cues: How to tell if the baby is hungry or just crying due to other things
- Positioning and latching the baby to nurse
- What to expect when nursing a newborn
- How to tell if the baby gets enough milk
- How to deal with common breastfeeding struggles in the early days
- What to do if you plan to return to work and want to continue breastfeeding
Some even give extra lessons about pumping / expressing milk, including:
- When you need to express milk
- How to pump with a breast pump or do hand-expression
- How to handle expressed breast milk
Wow.. quite a lot, right..
So again, if you are asking me, "Should I attend a breastfeeding class before birth?"
The short answer is YES!
You may think that you can get all breastfeeding related articles online, right?
So why attend a class?
WHY ATTEND A BREASTFEEDING CLASS
Here are the benefit of attending a breastfeeding class:
(1) You will be taught about breastfeeding in an organised way. Imagine if you just Google things, you switch back and forth between numerous tabs to find specific information. Honestly, if you do this, especially postpartum, it can be quite confusing and stressful.
(2) You get access to a lactation expert: that means, a chance to ask numerous questions, what-if, and get instant answers. This is priceless. For example, since my first-born was jaundiced, we asked a lot of questions during the class on how to deal with jaundice and still continue breastfeeding. The answer given made us more confident that continuing exclusive breastfeeding while managing jaundice is totally possible.
(3) Attending a breastfeeding class with your husband is the fastest way to get your hubby in the same ‘level of understanding’ with you, making him your very first supporter and pillar to support your breastfeeding journey ahead
(4) Opportunity to meet other moms who plan to breastfeed, too. Don’t forget to stay in touch so you can support each other. We breastfeeding moms do need a lot of support and having breastfeeding friends who undergo similar things with us really helps to boost our motivation and confidence.
Now that you understand the benefit of attending a breastfeeding class, the next question would be where to find these classes.
WHERE TO FIND BREASTFEEDING CLASSES
Nowadays, there are so several options in attending breastfeeding preparation class, and I’ll share some of them with you. See which one you can afford / find in your local community.
(1) In-person workshop
This is the best option.
More hands-on practice, ability to ask unlimited questions, possibilities to meet similar moms on board who can be your breastfeeding peers later on.
(1a) Free breastfeeding class in hospital
If you plan the give birth in the hospital, and the hospital is BFHI-certified, check if they have a complimentary workshop for breastfeeding.
The hospital I gave birth in has this, and seriously, the best thing that I did before birth is to come to this class with my husband and ask about all possible questions.
Mind you, this is the fastest way to get your hubby on board about breastfeeding and fill up his knowledge tank full, without nagging or trying to ask him reading breastfeeding-related articles, lol.
(1b) Paid workshop from local IBCLCs
If the complimentary one is not available, do check with the local lactation Consultants if they are conducting a paid workshop. Click here for example of one paid workshop. Don’t worry, paid workshop usually gives a lot more hands on practice, giving out printed handouts, and even some freebies, so it is totally worth it.
One of the local breastfeeding workshops shows exactly how does it feel to have milk-filled boobs (yeah there will be a fake boob that you are going to wear), how to hold a newborn (using a newborn doll) to nurse in various positions, plus how to hand-express to a cute hand-expression bowl. Isn’t fun?
(2) ONLINE BREASTFEEDING CLASS
Cannot find a local breastfeeding class?
Don’t worry. You can opt to access breastfeeding class online.
This class is usually called online course or e-course.
What you will get inside an e-course?
Depends on the instructor, the material can be a combination of text-based resources (which you can download or access via email), audio and video recordings.
Benefit of taking breastfeeding e-course:
(1) Typically you’ll have life time access to the material so that you can access it anytime you want, as frequent as you wish.
That also means you can purchase the e-course at the beginning of your pregnancy, and refer back again to the same material as you approach your due date, or even after you start breastfeeding (because you know, you realize you are in trouble once you experience it, right).
And not only that, you can even re-read all the materials for your subsequent babies. One-time investment for life time usage, how good is that?
(2) Some breastfeeding e-course comes with additional supports (whether it is via private Facebook groups or regular live calls with the instructor). So rest assured, your breastfeeding questions will be answered.
(3) Supporting community. If you opt to get the community support, you’ll get access to a private community whereby you can meet your ‘classmates’ who are in the same boat with you. All of you are breastfeeding, sharing and encouraging each other. How wonderful is that?
As for now, there’s not so many breastfeeding e-course available, but I’d like to recommend Lindsey’s confident breastfeeding course bundle.
Not only the course discusses the details on how to prepare for breastfeeding (even before your baby is born), it also covers common breastfeeding hurdles and how to overcome those. And if you are a working mom, you will be glad that her course also covers the pumping how-to as well, plus preparation to returning back to work.
All of these inside one course bundle.
Should you go for breastfeeding class? Definitely yes. The benefit outweighs the cons of having to spend extra time (and money).
Where to find a breastfeeding class:
- complimentary breastfeeding class in hospital
- in person workshop (bring your husband along!)
- online breastfeeding course (such as Lindsey’s confident breastfeeding course).
I hope this article helps you to understand the importance of breastfeeding class, what you'll learn and where to get one.
Have you attended a breastfeeding class before?
Did it help you to prepare for breastfeeding?
Share with us in the comment.