Breastfeeding provides newborns with the right amount of nutrition that helps with immunological, psychological and developmental growth. It’s not too early to get started, and a prenatal breastfeeding class can help soon-to-be moms prepare for the labor and delivery experience, know how to start the breastfeeding routine and what to expect.
What is a prenatal breastfeeding class?
Prenatal breastfeeding planning is an important step for expectant parents and can lay the framework to help you prepare for bringing your newborn home. These classes teach you and your support person everything you need to know about breastfeeding, including the steps you can take before birth, so the breastfeeding experience is smoother for mom and baby.
Attending a breastfeeding class with a qualified nurse or international board-certified lactation consultant can help you better understand how to establish a healthy supply of breastmilk, how to help the baby latch, different breastfeeding positions and who to call if you need help.
In general, prenatal breastfeeding education class topics should include the following:
- Benefits of breastfeeding for parents and newborns
- Correct positioning to help an infant latch onto the breast effectively
- Guidance for parents about anticipated situations and signs of effective breastfeeding or breastfeeding problems
- Resources that are available to help with problems that may arise
- Specific needs in the early days of breastfeeding
- When your milk supply comes in, and what to do if it doesn’t
When should you start taking prenatal breastfeeding classes?
Prenatal breastfeeding education is often most beneficial for parents who may be unsure or uneasy about breastfeeding and have questions, and these classes offer you and your partner a chance to ask questions before your baby is born.
In general, signing up for prenatal breastfeeding classes at the end of your second trimester or early into your third trimester is helpful timing, as your body is preparing for childbirth and the information will stay fresh in your memory.
Your OBGYN or health care provider can also assist you in determining the right time to take a breastfeeding class during your pregnancy.
What are the benefits of prenatal breastfeeding classes?
There are many steps you can take to prepare for breastfeeding, and you don’t have to wait until after the birth of your baby to start. Prenatal breastfeeding classes can provide more information on the breastfeeding process, alleviate stress and build confidence.
What a prenatal breastfeeding class can teach you
Breastfeeding classes will teach you how to enhance your milk production, support you in setting up a nursing station for your baby, all of the necessary items you’ll need to nurse and also show you the resources you may need, such as nipple cream.
You’ll also learn how to handle issues that may come up, such as mastitis and clogged ducts. Even though you may not experience any or all of these situations, having an understanding will help you feel more comfortable throughout your breastfeeding journey.
Knowing what to expect
The preparation you receive during prenatal breastfeeding classes help you prepare physically, mentally and emotionally. Knowing what to expect – and the resources available to help you along the way – can give you peace of mind before labor and delivery.
Learn more about the maternity care services we offer at Bon Secours.