Written by Suma rp
Breastfeeding is something that comes naturally to all women, right? Wrong! Many women have trouble navigating through this testing phase without any help or guidance. Society over time has conditioned us to think, breastfeeding is one of the most natural acts by a woman, and being unable to do so with ease means there is something wrong with her. The role of breastfeeding classes during pregnancy and the importance of a lactation consultant cannot be underestimated.
If you are having doubts, concerns or even difficulties while breastfeeding, a lactation class will be the right place to get all your information and a lactation consultant can clear all your doubts.
In This Article
A lactation class, also known as a breastfeeding class is a class aimed to educate expecting parents, on breastfeeding. Breastfeeding may seem very natural and the perfect thing to do for a newborn. However, it is also an art that you can learn and perfect with the right guidance and support.
Breastfeeding can be a daunting task for not just new mothers but even mothers who have breastfed babies before. It could be due to a rough experience the previous time, lack of knowledge, societal pressure, etc. A lactation class can help through such issues and mentally prepare the mother for breastfeeding with a positive mindset.
You will find other expecting mothers in the class with their own set of doubts and concerns as well. Many such classes will seem more like a community of pregnant women and husbands rather than a class.
Breastfeeding classes can teach you a lot about breastfeeding, your hormonal fluctuations, body changes, and how to maneuver them. They arm you with the knowledge and confidence you need, to not only breastfeed but also face societal pressure and unrealistic expectations.
When you are confident, you won’t find yourself stressing to fit in and abide by the numerous unspoken rules set for breastfeeding moms.
Some of the benefits of joining a breastfeeding class are
Many women get their “idea” about breastfeeding only when it is time to feed their newborn. Breastfeeding involves the latch, hold, tongue tie, reflux, and more. Everyone knows how important breastmilk is for a baby. Many fail to highlight how breastfeeding can be beneficial to the new mother too. These classes help you understand the various benefits of breastfeeding to both the baby and the mother.
[Read : Baby Latching]
These classes help you breastfeed and face related issues with more confidence.
Many women fear breastfeeding. They are scared to start the journey due to the infamous long nights, sore or cracked nipples, and various other negative experiences. In a lactation class, you can openly accept and face your fear. The lactation consultant will help you overcome your fear by answering your doubts and addressing your concerns.
Many women are unable to breastfeed for various reasons. Lactation classes can help you learn about alternatives to breastmilk. Though breastmilk is the best you can offer your newborn, not everything is under your control. Learning about alternates will not only help keep the baby full and calm but will significantly reduce parental stress too.
Having a support group to go through your journey with can make a big difference. Lactation classes are the perfect places to find fellow pregnant women, and get support from people in the same walk of life as you. This support group can be a big asset when you go through your sleepless nights, colic episode, and more.
Lactation classes also educate you on abnormalities. With this knowledge, you can identify when your baby is not latching or breastfeeding as it should be. When you identify the problem early, you can seek medical help immediately and reduce the period of suffering for both the mother and the baby.
You will also learn more about your breasts. You will learn how to massage them the right way, how to care for them, how to identify lumps or mastitis, and how to manage the flow and letdown as well.
Some mothers cannot breastfeed directly even if they lactate well. Though many still frown upon pumping and feeding the baby through a bottle, lactation consultants don’t. They will teach you the right way to pump, the frequency, duration, and even how to select the right pump.
[Read : Benefits of Breastfeeding]
Looking for a good lactation class? Here are a few aspects to consider while choosing one
Not everyone can advise a new mother on how to breastfeed her baby. Find out if they are certified, their experience, and general feedback about their classes.
A good lactation class should teach everything about lactation and breastfeeding. It should enlighten you about the good, bad, and ugly when it comes to breastfeeding. The consultant should not favor or oppose any breastfeeding practices.
Pregnancy and a new baby can be quite expensive. So, do check the cost of such classes and choose one that fits within your budget.
Long commutes can be difficult as your pregnancy progresses. Find a good consultant or class, very close to the area that you live in. Many consultants offer online classes too.
When your group is small, you get to ask more questions, understand and remember others’ questions and the solutions offered for them, and is also easier to mingle with. If you tend to shy away in front of a crowd, opt for smaller groups or a one-to-one session.
Though only the mother can breastfeed, the partner/father can help too. Breastfeeding can be a very lonely journey in the initial few months. If the father also attends these classes, he can learn how to support and help the mother. Having someone with you can be a big morale boost – something every new mother at the risk of postpartum depression, definitely needs!
Lactation classes during or after pregnancy are not compulsory. Similarly, there is no rule about consulting a lactation specialist. You can always rely on the knowledge and experiences passed down by the generations of women in the family. However, a well-educated consultant who specializes in lactation can give you scientifically backed and proven answers and solutions for your problems.
It is not compulsory to take a breastfeeding class before giving birth but it can be advantageous. These classes can help you prepare yourself for breastfeeding with more confidence and clarity.
Many husbands do. Attending breastfeeding classes can equip husbands to help their partners during the breastfeeding phase. When both partners work as a team, bringing up a child can be a better experience.
Though breastfeeding classes are designed to educate mothers, fathers can go too. By attending these classes, fathers can learn to help and support their mothers while breastfeeding their babies.
Read Also: How To Choose Lamaze Classes?
Suma is a passionate content writer with a strong keenness to understand the miracle of pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Suma has successfully transitioned into a full-time content writer and a key contributor at Being The Parent. She leverages on her experimental background in chemistry and experience in writing to come up with well-researched content that helps parents struggling to deal with various medical conditions of their children.Read more.
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