If you are preparing for your new baby’s arrival, you may be curious to know what to expect from a breastfeeding class.
Breastfeeding can seem scary, and the thought of taking classes can be even more stressful. However, breastfeeding classes can help keep you informed and on the way to a successful breastfeeding journey for you and your baby.
Knowing as much information as possible will improve the breastfeeding experience for both you and your baby.
I know that I wish I had more information on breastfeeding before my baby was born.
What should you expect from a breastfeeding class? A breastfeeding class provides great information on various breastfeeding topics, such as:
- Breastmilk properties
- How to position your baby
- Proper latching techniques
- Interpreting your baby’s signs
- Understanding your baby’s feeding needs
- Pumping and storage
- Keeping an adequate milk supply
- Common breastfeeding problems and solutions
- Additional resources for after baby is born, such as support groups
Below I go into more details on the different areas that are covered by breastfeeding classes, where you can find them, as well as what you should expect after your class.
Breastfeeding classes also teach about all aspects of breastmilk and feeding your baby. This helps to ensure that your baby is getting proper nutrition.
What to Expect From A Breastfeeding Class
Breastfeeding classes cover an incredible amount of information regarding breastfeeding. The goal of the class is to help you understand what it takes to breastfeed your baby.
This will help you to breastfeed successfully for as long as possible.
Topics Covered In A Breastfeeding Class
When you are taking a breastfeeding class, you can expect the instructor to teach you a variety of topics.
These topics will cover:
- The various properties of breastmilk
- The benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby
- How to properly latch and position baby for feedings
- How to interpret your baby’s feeding signals
- How to pump and store breastmilk
- How to maintain a proper milk supply
When addressing breastmilk properties, it is essential to understand what its purpose is for you and baby.
Also, knowing the changes that can happen to your breastmilk during your baby’s first few days and weeks can help you to feel confident when you are beginning to breastfeed your newborn.
This will also help you to better address your baby’s needs.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom
There are many benefits of breastfeeding for the mom. Mothers typically recover from childbirth more quickly when breastfeeding. This is because it helps your uterus to contract back to its pre-baby size.
According to the AAP, breastfeeding is said to reduce ovarian and breast cancers. It may also reduce the risk for other health issues such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure.
Breastfeeding can delay the menstrual cycle, acting as a natural contraceptive. It is important to note that this method is not foolproof, and you should always discuss contraceptive options with your doctor.
It is less costly than formula-feeding, and is more convenient with fewer bottle washings.
Breastfeeding mothers may experience faster weight loss after delivery.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby
According to WomensHealth.gov, when a baby drinks breastmilk, the baby is given antibodies from the mother to help fight off viruses and bacteria that may come in contact with the baby.
Breastmilk helps in brain development and learning.
Breastmilk helps fight against childhood illnesses such as diabetes and certain cancers.
Breastfeeding also provides more bonding time for mother and baby.
How to Position Your Baby
Positioning yourself and your baby correctly helps your baby latch and protects you against physical pain, as well.
It also provides more comfort for your baby. Correct positioning allows a baby to swallow more easily.
The correct position also reduces your baby’s risk of gulping extra air. This extra air can lead to uncomfortable gas and a crying baby.
Proper Latching Techniques
Latching is crucial, as it is the process by which your baby fastens their mouth on your breast during breastfeeding.
It is essential to know when your baby is latched correctly so that they are getting the amount of breastmilk that they need.
If your baby is not latched properly, then this can cause pain for the mother. It may also result in the baby being unable to drink enough milk during the feeding.
Interpreting Your Baby’s Signs
You must know to interpret the signs your baby is giving. Knowing when your baby is hungry and full helps you better address their needs.
For example, many babies have tightly clenched fists when they are hungry. Their fists will relax and open up as they drink and their hunger is satisfied.
In most cases, you can schedule and plan your baby’s feedings once you know their signs.
Understanding Your Baby’s Feeding Needs
Understanding your baby’s feeding needs is very important. Knowing what they need can help you spot potential feeding issues.
You will be able to notice when your baby is overeating or not eating enough. This will help you to spot any situations that may be arising, such as weight loss, sickness, or digestive problems.
Pumping and Storage
If you are a working mother or find yourself in a situation where you need to separate yourself temporarily from your baby, it is vital to know the correct way of pumping and storage.
This allows you to keep your milk supply up while providing for your baby while you are away.
Keeping an Adequate Milk Supply
During a breastfeeding class, you can expect to learn how to keep your milk supply up.
This is crucial so that you can provide enough breastmilk for your baby. You can also spot problems before it gets too far if your supply begins to dip.
Stress, pain, and sickness are a few of the reasons which can cause your supply to dip.
Common Breastfeeding Problems and Solutions
Knowing common problems and knowing what to expect can take the stress out of your breastfeeding journey. It can also help you stay ahead of the game in what to do if something such as sore nipples or infections arises.
Breastfeeding classes also go over resources that can help mothers and their babies throughout the breastfeeding journey.
These resources include lactation consultants and health department numbers, along with programs that may benefit you.
Many times, there will also be hotlines and other resources that will help both mother and baby.
Usually, a breastfeeding class is offered by the hospital where you deliver your baby or your doctor. If you are busy taking other child care classes, you may want to check out a breastfeeding class online.
My favorite online breastfeeding class is taught by a Certified Lactation Educator.
She covers all of the same topics in this online class that you would get at an in-person class, but you can take it in your pajamas! As a bonus, it is super affordable. Here is a link to the online class.
You should take advantage of all of these prenatal classes. Even if you have delivered a child before, there may be new information that can make your job a little easier.
In-person Breastfeeding classes are generally held in a small conference room so that there is a sense of privacy. Other expecting mothers and fathers will be there as these classes are taught in a group setting.
Why Should I Take a Breastfeeding Class?
Breastfeeding is not an easy overnight task. It is something that takes time, as does learning any new skill.
There are different aspects of breastfeeding that need to be learned and a lifestyle that needs to be adapted.
Classes will also help you understand that you are not alone and allow you to meet a few other couples who are also expecting.
Here are some other reasons you may find breastfeeding classes beneficial:
- You can weed out the misinformation. Reaching out to loved ones can be beneficial to some extent. However, there is much misinformation spread concerning breastfeeding.
- You will know what to expect. You will be able to spot signs if anything comes up and be able to handle it.
- You will experience less stress. With your knowledge, you will be able to feel more secure and confident in you and your baby’s breastfeeding journey.
- You will have resources. You can rest assured that you have a group to help support you that you can reach out to any time you need them.
Other Breastfeeding Resources
Are you still not sold on taking a breastfeeding class? Well, other resources can help you with breastfeeding, as well.
Here are some other breastfeeding resources you may find helpful.
Lactation consultants are professionals that help mothers with any breastfeeding concerns or problems that may arise during their journey.
This includes baby observation, examination, positioning, latching, and feeding help, as well as any other issues that you may face.
Online breastfeeding classes are also available if you feel that is best for you. Here is a link to to my favorite online breastfeeding class.
YouTube contains videos that show you step by step in how to breastfeed correctly, including positions that are comfortable for you and baby.
Social media groups are also great resources. Many times, breastfeeding professionals share useful information.
Breastfeeding and parenting websites (like this one!) are also readily available to you with tons of information. They can cover hot topics, pregnancies, breastfeeding, and anything else that you may need assistance in.
There is a printable guide available on the Office of Women’s Health website. You can also find videos, webinars, infographics, fact sheets, and more.
For more information, you can also check out books from your local library – or purchase them!
Here are some books you may be interested in:
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding – One of the highest rated books on the topic
Breastfeeding can seem daunting at times; however, it is worth every moment. You must understand that it is a natural process that is completely normal.
Learning all that you can now about breastfeeding and understanding you and your baby’s journey can help you better prepare for the days to come.
More Breastfeeding Tips
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