By: Heather Pladna
If you’re pregnant and planning on breastfeeding, you may be wondering if you should bother taking a breastfeeding class, especially one designed for you to take before the baby even arrives. However, there are some solid reasons why this type of preparatory class may be just what you need to help get your nursing journey started smoothly and on a solid foundation.
Connects you to an IBCLC
Having an IBCLC you are already acquainted with makes seeking help later, if needed, far easier once baby arrives than if you were to try to locate someone in the moment. Having feeding difficulties when baby arrives is generally a very stressful situation and the relief of having one less thing to be concerned about and having an IBCLC “on-call” to assist if you wind up needing it, makes for a much smoother experience.
Connects you with other Expectant Parents
Becoming a new parent adds lots of dynamics that one doesn’t experience before having children. One of the things that can happen is a sense of loneliness for the expectant parents if they don’t already have a network of friends who also have children. Attending an in-person breastfeeding class allows soon-to-be parents in a similar season of life to connect with one another and to potentially form friendships with like-minded parents-to-be.
Provides Consolidated Info from an Expert
Reading books and checking websites certainly have their place in this journey to your introduction to nursing but there is something significant about having important information bundled and taught by an expert. You have the ability to ask questions in real-time and you save yourself the risk of finding inaccurate information that may come up in a quick Google search. It also allows you to hear the questions that others have that you hadn’t yet thought of yourself and of course will introduce you to new information you otherwise wouldn’t have come across on your own.
Increases Likelihood of Partner-Support
Attending a breastfeeding-preparation class as a couple helps to put you and your partner on the same page regarding breastfeeding. Having information presented by an expert can definitely help an otherwise reluctant or apathetic partner to understand the significance of both the breastfeeding itself as well as the need you will have for your partner’s support. It can also help open the lines of communication between the two of you to discuss your expectations, concerns, and hopes surrounding your upcoming nursing experience.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of reasons to consider taking a breastfeeding class before your baby arrives, the reasons provided above will help you to better understand what this type of class can offer to you and your partner as expectant parents. Not only can a breastfeeding-preparation class set you up to reach your breastfeeding goals but it can also act as a catalyst to improve communication with your partner and may even provide some new friendships for those future playdates.