Breastfeeding class? — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Breastfeeding class?

I'm zoning out and can't remember if I've asked this before so I apologize if it's redundant!

What do you think about the breastfeeding classes...worth it? I've shopped around and most seem like they are a one time thing for 2-4 hrs in duration. I'm reading books but I don't want to short change myself if people feel that this class is invaluable.

 TIA! :-)

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Re: Breastfeeding class?

  • I went to two different classes.  One put on by the hospital I delivered at and the other one by the Washington DC Breastfeeding Center.  The WDC breastfeeding center class was free and well worth it.  They have several different classes as well and offer free nursing bra fittings.  A lot of what they went over was things I had read in books but it was nice to actually "hear it".  I think no matter how much you read/learn in a class you still won't feel 100% ready when the baby comes, because you never know what challenges you will face.  I had some minor issues with breastfeeding and in the end had to see a lactation consultant, which was totally worth it.  Just my two cents! :)
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  • I didn't think it was worth it. For me it was something I had to figure out by doing.  I got much much more out of a few minutes with the hospital's lactation consultant.
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    m/c July 2007
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    m/c December 2009
    m/c January 2010
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    m/c May 2010
    m/c August 2010
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  • I'd save the money and use it on a LC afterwards or a prenatal visit with a LC at Northern VA Lactation Consultants.  Much more useful.
  • image AnnaBananaBelle:
    I'd save the money and use it on a LC afterwards or a prenatal visit with a LC at Northern VA Lactation Consultants.  Much more useful.

    ditto this.

    don't go to a "class" unless it's free or cheap.

    but, i highly recommend setting aside $100 or so, and getting a LC sometime in the first week/week and a half postpartum (right after your milk comes in!)

    also, make sure the hospital LC *watches* you bf, so she can see if the baby's latching properly, etc.  my hospital consultation sucked b.c the lady was rushed.  (and if the baby's not latching properly - you won't necessarly know... until your boobies hurt SO bad that they feel like they're going to fall off...)

    believe it or not, i actually got some useful little tidbits from the free book that came with a formula sample, and the little 5-10 min tv segments they have on the hospital tv.

    ultimately bf didn't work our for me, though... i'm still sorta doing it, but mostly ff.

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  • This is all awesome info, thanks. I'd never even heard of the Breastfeeding Center (free!!??) or NOVA Lactation Consultants. In truth, I hadn't looked much beyond INOVA Alexandria's offerings or the Lamaze group that also provides breastfeeding classes. My "shopping around" was sad.. ;-)

    For those who used a lactation consultant after baby was born, was this easy to set up? I can imagine I would be feeling a sense of urgency.

     

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
  • If you still want some info ahead of time, you may want to read a book. I have decided to skip the bf class and I'm reading a book recommended to me by the LCs I have access to through DH's work.

    http://www.breastfeedingmadesimple.com/

    Since I haven't actually had my baby yet, I can't really say whether or not I can actually apply what I've learned from reading the book. But so far, it's been very informative.

  • our pediatrician had a lactation consultant on staff and I used the ones in the hospital.  When I was in the hospital (Inova Fairfax)  I had them come in about 4 times.  The first few weeks of bfing are hard.  There's a big learning curve for you and the baby.  My best advice is to have the name and number of a lc near you handy those first weeks home.  I loved having one at our pediatrician's office right around the corner.  I had a c-section and the first week or so there is no way I would have wanted to haul into DC.
    [IMG]http://i40.tinypic.com/2afwvth.jpg[/IMG]

    m/c July 2007
    Patrick born August 2008
    TTC #2 since March 2009
    m/c April 2009
    Ectopic September 2009
    m/c December 2009
    m/c January 2010
    m/c March 2010
    m/c May 2010
    m/c August 2010
    diagnosed with thyroid disease, clotting disorder
    BFP 3rd iui April 2011
    m/c April 2011
    Started ivf June 2011, ER 8/19, 9 eggs retrieved, 3 fertilized, 2 embryos transfered 8/22
    BFP 8/28
  • image mstavish79:
    The WDC breastfeeding center class was free and well worth it.  They have several different classes as well and offer free nursing bra fittings.  A lot of what they went over was things I had read in books but it was nice to actually "hear it". 

    Ditto this.  The class is free and the head lactation consultant (Pat Shelley?) really knows her stuff - I've had multiple friends have a paid consultation with her and they said hands down she's the best.  They have a free prenatal class every other Wednesday and then a free breastpumping class (which they recommend you attend before birth) on the alternate Wednesdays.  I've been to both and thought they were both great (other than the fact that it's free and therefore crowded! - get there early) Once you're bf'ing, they have a free support group that meets weekly.  Overall it is a great resource that is good to be familiar with, whether or not you have time to attend the classes before giving birth. 

    Re your question on setting up a consultation, I asked the center about this and they said one can be set up on short notice - either at your home or at the center.  You do have to pay for those.  Not sure of the rate.

    link to center

  • I think there are better options out there than taking a bf'ing class AS LONG as you still prepare by learning on your own ahead of time. You don't want to be completely clueless about bf'ing when baby comes. A book I'd recommend is called The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I would seriously consider joining your local La Leche League group...a non-profit that supports and encourages bf'ing. I think some of the best advice I ever got was from their leaders and other moms there. The Virginia site is http://www.lllvawv.org/ and you can find your local group from there. In addition to their monthly meetings you can call one of the leaders if you ever need help/advice. There are a wide range of women who attend...from pregnant mommas to moms with toddlers. I think the yearly membership fee was $40...totally worth it because you can attend as few or as many meetings as you want. At the last meeting I went to there were quite a few pregnant moms there asking some great questions about preparing to breastfeed and which kinds of supplies were necessities and which were not. Even though I breastfed my first for a year and a half I still learned a lot at that meeting.

  • Thanks for the advice ladies and the recommended resources. I'll definitely be doing some reading and research. :-)

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
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