Prenatal Breastfeeding Classes – The 7 Most Important Things Pregnant Mothers Need to Know
Are you eager to learn everything you need to know about breastfeeding? Surf the internet for breastfeeding and you will find thousands of sites. How do you know if the information is accurate and up to date? What about books–dozens of books on the subject. What about classes–most hospitals offer monthly classes for women who are planning to deliver there. But is the information presented in a class more than you can learn on your own?
Here are the 7 most important things what you want and need from a breastfeeding class.
1. Understand the connection between skin to skin contact and long term breastfeeding.
Many healthcare professionals and childbirth educators do not yet understand this very important aspect of breastfeeding. Skin to skin contact or Kangaroo Mother Care(KMC) is the secret to successful breastfeeding. You need to be empowered by your teacher to implement this in the hospital. For some hospitals it is still like swimming upstream to convince the hospital staff that KMC is vital. By you learning about it before delivery, you will know what to say to the hospital staff when you come in to the hospital.
2. Understand what babies need.
Being in a brand new environment can be exhausting for anybody. Your baby has spent nine long, wonderful months inside of you. The transition to the real world is not easy. Knowing what your baby needs will make a world of difference with breastfeeding.
3. Watch women breastfeeding in person.
How does one learn how to breastfeed without a baby. Do you learn to ride a bicycle without a bicycle? No, it is impossible. The next best thing? Watch other mothers feeding their babies. Even gorillas in captivity need to watch mothers breastfeed. A good class will have at least one mother and baby breastfeeding during the class so you can observe and ask questions. Go to a breastfeeding support group while pregnant. Make friends with breastfeeding women.
4. Learn hand expression.
Every mother needs to learn hand expression before delivery. You may need to help your baby get your colostrum in the hospital, if he is sleepy or having a hard time feeding well, which happens very frequently. How tired are you after a long journey? If you get any pain medications, including an epidural during labor, your baby will be extra sleepy.
5. Learn the how and why of milk production.
One of the keys to successfully breastfeeding is knowing how and why your body makes milk. You want to leave the class knowing how to produce all the milk your baby needs.
6. Learn how to tell if your baby is really drinking. I mean really learn it.
Many new parents leave the hospital and don’t understand the difference between nibbling and drinking. This is crucial to understanding breastfeeding. Think about chewing gum versus drinking. Chewing or nibbling can fool even the nurses into thinking that your baby is drinking.
7. Get a list of the names and numbers of the breastfeeding resources in your community
Breastfeeding is about connecting with other women.
- You need a woman or women that specialize in helping mothers and babies learn to breastfeed. Don’t think you can do it alone–if you can you are one a million. Line up help long before you go into labor.
- Meetings with breastfeeding mothers on a regular basis to encourage and cheer you on.