Is a breastfeeding class a requirement? No. Will it help you know what to expect and help you prevent problems? Yup! So if you can fit a breastfeeding class into your schedule, we definitely recommend it.
“It’s always a good idea to be as educated as you can,” says Myra Wick, MD. “A breastfeeding class can introduce you to some of the different holds and offer some reassurance that breastfeeding is not something that’s going to happen immediately. You and baby are both going to need some time to get the hang of it.”
Of course, you might need more help right after baby is born. Even if you’ve taken a class and learned what a perfect latch is, that doesn’t mean actually doing it—and doing it right—it will be a breeze. It takes practice—and maybe even some hands-on instruction! Most nursery nurses are pros at helping moms and babies get the hang of breastfeeding. Your hospital might also have special lactation specialists or consultants on staff. Take advantage of any help you can get! Breastfeeding is definitely a learned process, and the more help you get in the hospital, the better equipped you’ll be to handle it at home.
If you can’t get to a breastfeeding class, try to set aside some time to read a breastfeeding book. (The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is excellent.) Talking to other moms or watching how-to-breastfeed videos online can help too.
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