Do I need a class for breastfeeding?

Updated: Jun 26, 2021

You may wonder if you need a class for breastfeeding?

A breastfeeding class prepares parents for the fundamentals of breastfeeding.

In an ideal world, you would have breastfed, watched your siblings breastfeed and all your sisters, aunties, co-workers and friends would have taught you a bit about normal breastfeeding throughout your life.

In a traditional culture, your mother, or mother-in-law, would move in after your birth for a month or two, bringing her knowledge about breastfeeding. She would prepare traditional foods to support lactation and provide plenty of mompower to keep your little household running smoothly during your recovery.

In lieu of that, a two-hour course will cover the fundamentals of breastfeeding.

It will help give you a good start, even if your mother is coming to live with you.

Prepare during pregnancy for breastfeeding.

You will learn how to receive a breast pump through insurance and what you need to do, so it's ready to go if you need it.

Pregnancy is also the time to talk to your employer about your plans to return to work and what kind of accommodations you will need if you're pumping. In New York State, the law protects your right to pump at work until your child is three years old.

Somebody probably told you how to toughen your nipples by rubbing them with a washcloth. Rather than doing this, learn to massage your breasts to wake them up. In a breastfeeding class, you will learn about expressing your colostrum prenatally so you have supplemental food, should your baby need it in the hospital. 

And you will hear about how wonderful and awful, breastfeeding can be.

Beginning breastfeeding

The first five days are challenging and many parents are overwhelmed by their new responsibilities. You will learn how to negotiate the first hour of your baby's life and why it's important to keep your baby on you skin-to-skin, even though not every hospital allows it. The law protects your rights to have this time, and you will learn how to advocate for it.

In addition, you may not have access to a Lactation Consultant in the hospital because either your schedule and hers don't line up. You will watch and receive a short list of excellent videos that can help you through this time.