BF class vs. LLL meetings? — The Bump
Breastfeeding

BF class vs. LLL meetings?

I'm undecided if it's worth taking a breastfeeding class. I photocopied the information packet a friend had from her class, and it had some useful info and a whole bunch of web links. It also had a flier from our local La Leche League, and it listed meeting dates and times, and recommended attending a few meetings before the baby is born. (I'm due Aug. 25)

Would a combination of research, reading (I have the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding at home, as yet unread), and a few LLL meetings be a good prep, or is a class really worthwhile?

Thanks!

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Re: BF class vs. LLL meetings?

  • I swear by LLL meetings. I did not take any classes and the nurses at my hospital were very helpful. When I got home I freaked out about him latching on and our LLL leader was very helpful to get us back on track. I was lucky also that my doctor is very pro-breastfeeding. And LLL meetings will provide you with other moms that are breastfeeding and build some really nice relationships. That is what I like about it as well, I made mom friends. 
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  • I took a class but it was nothing I hadn't already read.    The LLL meetings have been great and super helpful!
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  • I think the quality of LLL groups varies a lot, as would BFing classes. The nearest LLL group for me has a lot of enthusiasm for BFing but very little practical advice: when a mom comes in with any non-latch challenge, she's just told that it will pass & BFing is wonderful. The group run out of my hospital, on the other hand, was so amazingly helpful & practical. It really just depends on the luck of the draw. 

    I didn't take a class & I wish I had. topics that should be covered: latch techniques, where to find support with a bad latch, pain management in the first 2-4 weeks, safe milk storage & bottle preparation, pumping, and supply management - for both under & over supply.  

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  • To read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, you either need to be 100% on board with LLL's agenda (homebirth/natural birth, women should be SAHMs, BFing being the best thing that's ever happened to you) or you need a strong stomach. I chucked it because I just wanted practical advice, not to be told that I caused all my BFing problems by getting an epidural, and that daycare is going to make my child aggressive. Between all the judgements and the fluff about the beauty of BFing, the real useful information was difficult to find. IMHO the website Kellymom.com is a million times more helpful than that book. Heck, I found the chapters on BFing in What to Expect the First Year more helpful than that book.

     Definitely go to the LLL meeting and check it out and see for yourself how useful it is... it may be more of a social group for moms, or it may be more helpful if it's facilitated by a LC.

    I went to a 4-hour BF class when I was pregnant, and I felt like I knew most of the stuff it presented already, but it felt good to actually talk to others about BFing somewhere other than the internet, and I learned what BF resources were available at my hospital and in my area. I'm going to my first (non-LLL affiliated) BF group today and I know it's facilitated by a LC who used to work at the hospital I delivered at, so I have high hopes for it.

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  • LLL is great because you can continue to get support as long as you bf! :) I go to meetings each month and my LO is 10 months old. If you read lots of bf material you should be fine not taking the class.
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  • I enjoyed my class but I also haven't attended any other BF classes or LLL meetings.  All the info was great for me because I was new to BF'ing.  I also learned a lot just from reading posts here on The Bump too.  I don't think a class is a must-do thing but it definitely doesn't hurt to learn in all different ways.
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  • The only helpful thing about a class is that your DH can go. Men aren't typically welcome at LLL meetings. 
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  • Personally, I didn't find the bfing class all that helpful. I had learned everything all ready by just lurking on this board. 

    I imagine a LLL meeting might be more helpful though.  

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  • image PotomacSt:

    To read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, you either need to be 100% on board with LLL's agenda (homebirth/natural birth, women should be SAHMs, BFing being the best thing that's ever happened to you) or you need a strong stomach. I chucked it because I just wanted practical advice, not to be told that I caused all my BFing problems by getting an epidural, and that daycare is going to make my child aggressive. Between all the judgements and the fluff about the beauty of BFing, the real useful information was difficult to find. IMHO the website Kellymom.com is a million times more helpful than that book. Heck, I found the chapters on BFing in What to Expect the First Year more helpful than that book.


    WHAT?  That is such BS. That book is my go to resource...as with all LLL materials you take what you need and leave the rest. 

    Also, I have found the new format of kellymom to be a PITA. I can't search for anything anymore. 

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  • vaoharavaohara
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    I took a class, read womanly art and went to 2 LLL meetings. But the most useful thing I did was find a good IBLC that talked to me on the phone while I was still pregnant, when I was in the hospital and then came to my house 5 days pp. she was amazing and I'm glad I took the time to speak with her and develop a relationship and confidence in her before giving birth. It gave me a plan and the peace of mind that someone would come help with breast feeding should I need it. And boy did I need it! It would have been more stressful finding someone I trusted immediately pp. google search IBLC and talk to a few to find the right fit.
  • 102007102007
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    Thanks so much for all the feedback. I suppose at this point I have time to attend a meeting and decide from there whether I want to supplement with a specific class.
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  • mvhydemvhyde
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    Like a pp said; the classes are good for hubbies. Especially if they are not completely on board about BFing.

    I got the most support from my nursing support group at the hospital where I delivered. Not all hospital groups are the same. It is attended by at least 2 IBLC lactation consultants. There are 3 who rotate and all have breastfed and one did extended BFing. So no one is pushing formula or looking down at you if you don't wean at one or co-sleep (like some hospital groups might). I still go to mine even though LO is 10 months old because I love the support and interaction with other moms.

  • image cecilyandgautam:

    I think the quality of LLL groups varies a lot, as would BFing classes. The nearest LLL group for me has a lot of enthusiasm for BFing but very little practical advice: when a mom comes in with any non-latch challenge, she's just told that it will pass & BFing is wonderful. The group run out of my hospital, on the other hand, was so amazingly helpful & practical. It really just depends on the luck of the draw. 

    This is an excellent point.  I always recommended taking a class, because the class I took was incredible.  I never felt the need to attend an LLL group - although I have nothing bad to say about them, because every question I've ever had was already answered by the class or the resources they provided for us.  In fact, the resources were so great, I gave them to a friend who was having difficulties with breastfeeding and she found them as useful as I did. 

    That being said, based on conversations with friends my experience is not the norm and a lot of people don't have the same level of resources available in and through their classes.

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