What Do You Learn In a Prenatal Breastfeeding Class?

You’re pregnant and you’re planning to breastfeed your baby. But how? Putting your newborn baby at the breast seems pretty basic. Still, you may have many questions, and that’s why many moms are choosing to take a prenatal breastfeeding class! What can you expect from taking one of these classes? What do you really need to know before your baby is born?

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The Boob Group
What Do You Learn In a Prenatal Breastfeeding Class?
Episode 159, May 18th, 2016

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

SUNNY GAULT: This Episode of The Boob Group is brought to you by Rumina nursing-wear. Hands free pumping and nursing tanks and bras to support your breast feeding goals. Visit www.pumpandnurse.com and save 20% with promo code BoobGroup20.

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: You are pregnant and you are planning to breastfeed you baby. But how? Putting you newborn baby at the breast seems pretty basic. Still, you may have many questions. And that’s why many moms are choosing to take a pre-natal breastfeeding class. What do you really need to know before your baby is born? We are The Boob Group.

[Intro/Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: Welcome to The Boob Group! We are here to support all moms who want to give their baby’s breast milk, I am Sunny Gault. How do you listen to The Boob Group? Our episodes are available via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Sprinkler, Google Play Music and much more. So you can check us out on a bunch of different platforms. You can also download our free apps and listen to our episodes wherever you go. If you are a regular listener and you want more great information such as bonus content and PDF transcripts of all of our episodes and much more, than please consider joining The Boob Group Club, and there is more information on our website at www.NewMommyMedia.com.

So let’s meet everyone that’s joining our conversation today. We have a few mammas in addition to our expert on the call. So let’s start with Alicia. Alicia, tell us a little bit more about yourself and your family.

ALICIA: Hello! I am Alicia. I am actually currently pregnant still. I am taking my breastfeeding class tomorrow. So it’s going to be fun to have a little bit preemptive knowledge about that. I am due with a little girl on June 9th.

SUNNY GAULT: Awesome! Well, welcome to the conversation! And Terryana, tell us a little bit about yourself.

TERRYANA: Hi! I am Terryana. I have two kids, a 4year old and a 1year old. And I have breastfed both my children. And I am currently still breastfeeding. And it is like it never ends. And it is great!

SUNNY GAULT: Good for you, good for you! And Kristen, I know you are our expert, we’ll introduce you as an expert a little bit later on. But are you a mamma as well?

KRISTEN DAVIS: Yes, I am. I am a mom of three kids. I have a 7year old, a 5year old and a 2year old, breastfed all of them. I agree, it is like it never ends. And I actually did not take a breastfeeding prenatal class, if that’s a funny…

SUNNY GAULT: That’s why you are teaching them now! That’s why you are teaching!

KRISTEN DAVIS: Yes, I had to learn the hard way.

SUNNY GAULT: Oh, that’s awesome! Okay, and you guys know me. I am Sunny. I have four kids. I breastfed all of my kids, but I also needed to supplement it with formula with my first two kids as well. My second two are twins and I’m still breastfeeding them and they are about two and a half years old. I did take a breastfeeding prenatal class, but just with my first. So I can certainly participate in today’s conversation as well.

So ladies, thanks so much for being with us and we’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: Okay, so before we kick off our conversation today, we’re going to talk about an app. And this isn’t exactly an app review, because it’s not an app that’s currently available to the public. So we didn’t really have a chance to download it and be able to thoroughly test it out like we typically do in our app reviews. But it’s still something we wanted to talk about because we do love to talk about apps on The Boob Group. And encourage them. And you know, as we said earlier The Boob Group has its own app. New Mommy Media has its own app. And apps have just become a way of life and they can really help when you are trying to breastfeed and pump for your baby.

So this app is called “MothersMilkMessaging”. And what’s really neat about it, it is a way to gain support. For moms to gain support and receive text messages. Encouraging text messages as well, as well as text messages that may have some questions about how their baby is doing in very beginning. So it’s really someone following up with you to make sure everything is going well. And from what we gather from this app… Because again, we hadn’t had the chance to fully test it yet. We did receive some information about it, because it is a part of a study that’s happening right now with the University of Colorado. And believe it or not, some professors put this app together. And they are tracking it. They are tracking some of the results.

Basically what happened is for the women that participated in this, it says for the results 95% were currently breastfeeding 3months after giving birth, compared with 83% of their control group. It says the same amount which is 95% were feeding babies breast milk more than 80% of the time, compared with 78% of women who hadn’t used the app.

So you can see just a little bit of difference in the numbers there. And this is interesting, because… Why we promote apps on our show all the time? We don’t have a lot of information about how it’s impacting moms, you know. Moms say: oh, I used this app and it helps me, but we don’t have anything to really quantify that. And we know that support is so important. So definitely wanted to get everyone’s take on this. You know, just as something that: hey, if you got a little text message here and there… Again, some of this is interactive; you do need to respond to it. But it’s someone that’s kind of following up with you to see how things are going, you know. How do you think that would help you? Do you think it would help you as you breastfeed or even pump for your baby’s? So Kristen, let’s start with you as our expert. I know you run support groups and you teach breastfeeding classes. So what do you think of this concept, of this app and what they’ve been able to do?

KRISTEN DAVIS: You know, I absolutely love the idea of an app. As a mom, I know sometimes leaving the house to go a support group is not easy with a newborn, particularly if it’s not your first baby. I know personally that was something I struggled with was to get to a support group. And I love the idea that you are being checked in on and you don’t have to go anywhere. But just that moms are getting support and education and they don’t have to go out and seek it. It’s right there on their phone, which is, you know, we all can’t live without our cell phones, so…It’s right there, it’s easy and it’s convenient, and it’s educating moms, it’s giving them support, and giving them resources that… One of the things that I read about the app was that it will send them helpful link sometimes for whatever information they are seeking. And I just… I love the idea of it. It’s just so vital to have that support as a new mom.

SUNNY GAULT: Absolutely! As the moms started receiving the support, so started using the app roughly six weeks before and after their delivery date, they receive five to seven messages from the app as push notifications. So you guys know push notifications are those things that automatically pop-up on your phone, right? So you really can’t ignore it, even if you wanted to. You kind of have to “X” it out of it or something. And so yeah, that’s kind of how these moms were being communicated with. And obviously someone was on the other end and you know, giving out this information and asking for information to help guide them.

It doesn’t indicate if this is going to go to the public, which is something we would obviously need in order to officially review this, but it does say that a larger trial is being planned for this. So maybe at some point, I would have imagined, if they find that this is helpful that they would release it to the public. But Terryana, what do you think about this app?

TERRYANA: This app sounds amazing! I find that the first maybe few weeks, two months, the first couple of months of breastfeeding can be really hard. There are a lot of curve balls that can be thrown at you. You are second-guessing like: is this normal, do I do this, what would I do, oh, my Gosh! There are a lot of questions that are rolling around in your head. And it would be nice if your phone… Because you have it on all the time, when you are breastfeeding and just late at night, keeping you awake. It would be nice if your phone is like: hey, you are doing a great job, keep it up, I know it’s hard, this is great, here are some tips on how to make this less painful or this hurt less. It would be very supportive.

With my second child I had a doula. She was texting me after he was born. Just like: hey, how’s nursing going, how are you doing. And the difference between the postpartum period with my first and my second was just… It was great to have someone there asking about me, seeing how I am doing, not just the baby. Because it is, breastfeeding can be really hard. It can be really easy, but it can also just be crazy. So it was nice to have that support. It’s like I can imagine this for people who can have a doula, or don’t have someone, you know, on their phone talking to you all the time would be really helpful and really beneficial.

SUNNY GAULT: So Alicia, you are about to have your first baby, right?

ALICIA: That is correct.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay, so this could be really applicable to somebody like you. What do you think of the concept of this app?

ALICIA: I really like it a lot. Just the fact of even right now I’ve got at least like eight different pregnancy apps that I go through on a normal basis. Every Thursday when my week changes I'm like: oh, what will they all say? Because they are slightly different and I can't change only one of course. But I love the fact that this would send these messages and stuff just to kind of make sure that you are always being taking care of and kept track of. There are of course support group and I do want to be a part of something like that, but as far as the idea and the concept of it, I it sounds amazing.

SUNNY GAULT: So we’ll continue to follow this. Maybe they will release it to the public. Maybe I should reach out. I'm going to reach out actually to the publicist here who sent me this information and perhaps it will be available, and if it is, we’ll certainly let everybody know.

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: So today we are talking about taking a prenatal breastfeeding class. And Kristen Davis is our expert. She is a clinical lactation specialist and as I mentioned before, she also teaches these classes. Kristen, thanks so much for being with us today!

KRISTEN DAVIS: Thank you so much for having me! I am honored to be able share my passion for breastfeeding and education with you guys today.

SUNNY GAULT: Awesome! Ok, so what is a breastfeeding class? And what is the overall goal when we take one of these classes?

KRISTEN DAVIS: So in a breastfeeding class moms, and I also ask their partners to come, and we just give an idea about what breastfeeding is going to be like. The goal is that we educate moms and dads and that we provide resources for them if they find that they are struggling. And really my main goal when I teach my classes is that mom will leave and understand the benefits for both her and her baby of breastfeeding. Because I feel like when you understand the benefits of it, if you encounter some bumps along the road it’s going to give you the strength to persevere. So that is my main goal in breastfeeding classes.

SUNNY GAULT: We’ve talked about, just in our conversations on The Boob Group, definitely prenatal breastfeeding classes have definitely come up in the conversation. But we never really dove into it, which is why, you know, I think an episode like this is so important. And all of us, with the exception of Kristen, had taken a prenatal class in the past, you know, prior to start breastfeeding. And you know, I want to make it very clear, and this is why I asked the question what’s the goal, that the breastfeeding class isn’t there to provide every single answer to every single question. Because you, inevitably, and this is why we talked about that app, right, you are going to have questions as things come your way.

But to Kristen’s point, if you know the benefits of breastfeeding, and you’ve determined that that is something that you really want to pursuit… Again, whether it’s just breastfeeding, whether is pumping, but providing your baby with breast milk. If that is your goal, these classes give some really good tools to be able to navigate that. Especially in the beginning, the beginning is just… It’s so crucial. It can really make or break a relationship.

So Kristen, why is it important for moms to take these classes while they are still pregnant? Because for example Alicia hasn’t breastfed a baby before. So, you know, it’s a totally different concept. Why is it important to start this before they have their baby and they can actually practice with their baby?

KRISTEN DAVIS: This actually feeds right in to what you were just saying. The reason to do this when you are pregnant is just to be familiar with the idea to have those tools and resources. Because I don’t teach, you know, every specific thing and answer every single question, because as you said, new question come up while experiencing it. And moms aren’t going to remember everything that they learned, you know, thirty-three weeks pregnant.

But they have an idea of what to expect and what is normal. And more so what is not normal. And when something is not going the way that it should, it might be time to look further into this and get help instead of… I know so many moms that just suffer through if they have a painful latch or you know, they just feel breastfeeding is not going well, but they really want to do it anyway, and because we are incredible women, and we just do it.

That’s something that is important, that you know, sometimes this is not the way it goes, you know, your baby has something specific going on, whether it’s something in their oral anatomy, or whatever, and that latch is painful. The painful latch is not normal and you can get help, and it can be corrected, and then you can continue on with the beautiful breastfeeding journey. So just that familiarity of breastfeeding and what to expect, and when to get help.

SUNNY GAULT: How are these classes typically offered? Are they done through hospitals? Or can you reach out to independent lactation educators/consultants for these classes? Do they have it online? What are we seeing right now?

KRISTEN DAVIS: Yes, absolutely, all of the above! Almost all hospitals you can deliver at do offer these classes. If it’s not offered at the hospital that you deliver at, they will usually list a like a sister hospital or somewhere else, a location nearby that you can take them.

There are private classes. I personally teach private classes. Sometimes a lot of babies or us will have like a free intro to breastfeeding class, that’s one that I actually have taught in the past, and it’s not a full class, but it’s just kind of a preview of a breastfeeding class. But again, gives moms and dads the resources to know where to go.

Doulas are an excellent resources, because for a lot of doulas they include information on breastfeeding and can certainly connect you with a private lactation educator, or IBCLC, or whoever in the area. And another place is sometimes like a local retail, smaller retail baby place, or ultrasound studios. I’ve seen classes listed there too.

SUNNY GAULT: Alright, so sounds like there are a lot of different places. And I would imagine if someone is doing more of a standard prenatal care, you know, through a hospital or something, this would be something that their OB talks to them about, or gives them a handout, or something like that where they can get more information. Is that how it’s typically disseminated within the hospital?

KRISTEN DAVIS: Yes, I think that there is…It has been a few years since I have a child. But I know when I had my first one, there was a like flair that came in a New Mommy Packet, and they encouraged you to take child birth education class. And I know that in the local hospitals where I am at, there is, in addition to the child birth education, there’s also breastfeeding classes that are offered and it’s all listen in the same flair that is given by the OB’s.

SUNNY GAULT: Great! Alicia, so why did you decide to take a breastfeeding class?

ALICIA: I am interested in taking all of the classes! This is actually the last of four that the hospital I’m delivering at was able to provide. So we did the breathing class first, infancy CPR, newborn care, and then this is the last one. So I am just… Well, for me personally, I really, really, want to breastfeed as long as I can. My initial goal is for definitely one year and just to see where it goes from there. But I’m really, really passionate about making sure that I can make that commitment and to work through everything. I am a big hands on learner and so I’ve been reading books and listening to The Boob Group of course. But really want to be able to have that hands on kind of learning, to be able to help myself along the way I guess.

SUNNY GAULT: That’s great, that’s awesome! And Terryana, why did you decide to take a breastfeeding class?

TERRYANA: Oh, man! I also took a lot of classes. It felt I guess normal to me. I never really thought not to breastfeed. I don’t know why. It’s just the way that I was thinking at the time was: well, yeah, done, I am going to be breastfeeding, no problem, let’s take a class, because I’m a planner, and I’d like to be prepared for things. So, it was super beneficial. It was really nice to just know what to expect in regards to like pain levels. Because I just thought you know, put baby on the boob, done, everything’s easy-peasy! And I am glad I took this class, because it’s not just put baby on the boob!

There are a lot of new ones. And there’s a lot of, you know, things going on. So it was nice to know how big the baby’s belly is, how much milk the baby needs, what is a normal pain, and what is not a normal pain, and what kind of things to look out for in regards to like clog-ducks, or mastitis, or anything like that. Because again, I am a planner and I just wanted to have this information in the back of my head so that I could kind of keep an eye out for it when in those delirious early mornings or whatever.

SUNNY GAULT: Right! Kristen, what about moms who are unsure about breastfeeding? They are kind of on the fence. They don’t know if this is something they want to do. Should they still take a class or do you have to have your mind pretty much made up that breastfeeding is what you want to do?

KRISTEN DAVIS: Oh, they should absolutely take a class! I feel like if a mom is unsure whether or not they want to breastfeed, but they are open to it, getting the information on breastfeeding at minimum will help them make an informed decision that they really do, like I said before, that they have the information, they understand the benefits of breastfeeding and that they really want to give it a go. And then if they decide that they don’t want to breastfeed, or they feel like their fears of breastfeeding are coming to reality, they have resources, and they have someone to turn, and someone to talk to in the breastfeeding…

Like for me personally, if I teach a private breastfeeding class, they have me as a resource and they can message me or call and say: hey, I’m really struggling, I just don’t think this is working out. And I can, you know, walk them through it and just give them that extra reassurance of this is normal, or this is not normal, and maybe we should get some help. And I have had moms that gave breastfeeding a shot, and they did it for some time, and it wasn’t working for whatever personal reason, and there’s no judgment, and then I can also help them to gently end their breastfeeding journey.

So it’s definitely good for moms, if they are unsure, to at least get that information so that they can make an informed decision on giving it a go or not.

SUNNY GAULT: What about second or third times moms? Alicia is a first time mom, and anything, Terryana and I both admit it, we both took a breastfeeding class, but we only did it with our first. And I didn’t even do it actually when I knew I was expecting twins, which would have probably been a good idea. To take a twins class if that even exists. I might have to find it online. But what about taking it with your other babies? We know that all babies are different. All babies have different, you know… They are different babies, they struggle with different things. Moms struggle with different things with each pregnancy and childbirth experience. So would it be a good idea to take a class again? Or some sort of refresher for subsequent babies?

KRISTEN DAVIS: Yes, absolutely! Some of my favorite moms that I encounter are the second or third time moms. They breastfed the first time, but they just didn’t have the successful beautiful journey that they were hoping to have. And maybe they struggled, or they had to supplement. I mean, for me personally, with my first one I had to supplement and we struggled very much through the beginning. And so they want it to just be easier from day 1. And so they will seek out the help through a breastfeeding class. And it’s really fun, because they bring something for the other people in the class, the other students in the class, they bring something to the table that they can say: I did breastfeed, and it was kind of tough, and I really want it to work out better this time, and to be easier, and that’s why I’m getting this information now.

TERRYANA: I took my class with the first but I didn’t with my second mainly because my first nursing relationship was so easy. She latched great from the first time and it was just easy sailing through the years of nursing her. I was like “oh yeah, I don’t need to take another class” and it was … with my son it was a little more difficult. For whatever reason he just … just nursing all the time and I just remember one of those hazy early mornings just being like this is not how it was supposed to be, this is a lot different than how it was with my daughter, what is happening. And it was just, you know, me getting reused to it and him getting used to it but yeah, I could definitely see that a secondary class would have been beneficial. But in my naivety I was like oh yeah, that’s cool, I got this down, it was so easy the first time.
KRISTEN DAVIS: And every baby is different, every baby presents new challenges. I had a whole new experience, a new challenge, with each of my three children, all of which have made me better in this job – professionally – I have experienced a lot of challenges but yes – every baby is different and you just don’t know. And that’s one thing, if a mom had a wonderful breastfeeding relationship the first time, 15 months and it was just great, those typically aren’t the moms that I see in the prenatal classes. But there are support groups that those moms can come to so you know, you have baby number 2 and you are expecting it to be perfect like it was the first time and then it is not and then that is where a support group comes in.
SUNNY GAULT: And who else should join? I think you mentioned before that a partner and that you think it is a good idea if the partner joins and is there anyone else that should be there? What about caregivers or other people that are going to be helping with your baby?
KRISTEN DAVIS: Yes. I do ask that the partner or dad come to the breastfeeding class because like Terryana said those few hours of the morning when everything is kind of fuzzy then your partner can remind you – hey, remember that lactation lady, she said something about X, Y and Z – and can just remind you, support you and when your nipples are bleeding and you hurt and you are so tired and you just want to open up a bottle of formula or a can of formula and have somebody else feed that baby, dad can remind you or the partner can remind you that – hey, remember that lactation lady, she talked about supply and demand and it is really important that you don’t skip feeds – and be that support because the most important factor to breastfeeding is actually not a mom’s determination, it is her support.
So if the partner at home is supporting or whoever that is if that’s daddy or a roommate or their own mom is there to help, if that person is in their household is supporting them in breastfeeding - that is the highest indicator of success.
SUNNY GAULT: Alicia, is anyone accompanying you into your class or you are going at it by yourself?
ALICIA: Oh no, he is coming with me.
SUNNY GAULT: Good for you.
ALICIA: I don’t think he quite … he loves the idea of the baby coming but I don’t think he is quite fully prepared, it is clicked to his mind how much work it is going to be. So through these classes and he has come with me to all the other classes as well. It has been solely but surely oh, okay, got it. So, very excited to have him there with me and he is also very big advocate for breastfeeding. Whenever … when we first found out that we are pregnant, he asked me “so you are planning on breastfeeding?” and I was like “yeah, of course” and he was like “oh, great job” and he gave me a high five like … okay, yeah, glad we figured that out, we are on board with this, cool.
SUNNY GAULT: He is your little team; you have some team effort going on there.
ALICIA: I’ve got my cheerleader.
SUNNY GAULT: You do! That’s fantastic. Okay, we are going to take a quick break. When we come back, we are going to review what topics you will learn more about and a prenatal breastfeeding class. So, we will be right back.
[Theme Music]
SUNNY GAULT: Alright, welcome back! We are continuing our discussion on taking a prenatal breastfeeding class and what is involved. Kristen Davis is our expert. Kristen, tell us a little bit more about the structure of these classes, how long do the classes typically last, do they go multiple days, how many hours are we talking about. And I realize there are maybe some variation but what typically … what do we see?
KRISTEN DAVIS: Typically a class is just one evening, it is an hour and a half to two hours – I mean, that can vary depending on the size of the class and how in depth the parents want to get with questions and what not. But it is usually just a quick one evening thing; doesn’t take too much time out of your life and gives you a lot to go home and digest.
SUNNY GAULT: Alright. So let’s dive into this. What are some of the topics that moms will learn a lot about? We talked earlier about the benefits of breastfeeding so can you tell us a little bit more about kind of the highlights of what you typically go over?
KRISTEN DAVIS: Well, I usually start my classes asking moms what do they know or what they have heard about breastfeeding. This is where the mom who struggled the first time comes really fun and I list the pros and cons and it is a really great place to … as I progress through the class and provide the education, it is a good reference to come back to and the number one thing that is always on that moms have heard is it hurts. So we talk a lot about that. We talk about the benefits for both mom and baby … antibodies, the immunity that your baby gets, that their poop is not so awful smelling which is I think a benefit for the dad … that’s always a fun topic.
Also the benefits for mom, a lot of the health benefits and then I talk about the health additives of breastfeeding for both mom and baby like the risk of SIDS is reduced, childhood cancer is reduced, type 1 diabetes and adolescent diabetes and also for moms who have gestational diabetes, it is so beneficial for them to breastfeed as well. I mean there is … I could go on and on about all the benefits of breastfeeding.
Then I also talk about the golden hour and babies’ first latch and show a fun video about breast crawl and after you give birth and your baby just naturally finds the breast on their own and the importance of skin to skin during that time … the bonding of that. And we talk about feeding queues, looking for your baby’s feeding queues and positioning and feeding your baby on demand, talk about good latch and signs of milk transfer, what to look for, what breastfeeding should feel like, what breastfeeding should not feel like, feeding frequency and supply and demand.
What when you do supplement with a bottle, whether that be formula or pumped milk, how that plays into being in sync with your baby and your body responding appropriately and producing just the right amount of breast milk for your baby. Then we talk about dad and partner and their role which is supporting and encouraging and burping and changing diapers. Because sometimes with breastfeeding that’s a concern that a lot of dads have is that they don’t get to participate in the feeding and that is not true.
They do get to participate in the feeding, maybe not the direct feeding at the breast but they are still a very, very big and important part of this game. And then probably one of my favorite topics is talking about nursing in public and baby wearing and how you can just make breastfeeding a part of your life and a normal thing for other people as well.
SUNNY GAULT: I am glad that you added … I don’t know if it is always a part of your talk … I don’t remember my class ever talking about breastfeeding in public, like, I am really glad that you have that as part of that because I really wish I would have heard a little bit more and maybe it has something to do with my son now is almost 6 so I took this class 6 years ago and so maybe it is changed, I know, there is a lot more in the media now about breastfeeding in public. But I am glad you have that in there.
KRISTEN DAVIS: That is one of my personal additives to my structured class because it is so important and it is such a big part of what breastfeeding is being able to be out and about and in public and not have to run to a nursing room or run back to the car like I did with my first one. Or you know, go in the car and pump and bottle-feed because I don’t want to breastfeed even being covered, I didn’t want to breastfeed in public. And that is not a way to live your life, you have to be a mom and just continue on and then show the next generation what breastfeeding looks like and what motherhood looks like.
SUNNY GAULT: So moms, what did you guys gained from your breastfeeding class? Well I know Alicia you still have to take yours so you can’t really foresee into the future. When Kristen was going through this list, is that kind of what you expected to get out of the class? Alicia?
ALICIA: I was excited when you were talking about the benefits of breastfeeding because I actually have gestational diabetes and the benefit to that … I am excited … I hope they talk about that in my class and the kind of things that I can expect from that to be able to help after birth and what it is going to mean for life after gestational diabetes.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah and that’s a good point so if moms have specific questions after the class, Kristen, do most educators and consultants who are teaching these classes, do they typically allow some time for that or is there usually like a Q&A or something at the end?
KRISTEN DAVIS: Yes. Absolutely, I leave a lot of time and I can … usually throughout the class the kind of questions that I am getting, how interactive my audience is and I definitely leave time for Q&A. It is nice that I start with the pros and cons so that is kind of like an opportunity like if we were coming into this class and we have either reservations or things that we are really excited about that can come out in the beginning and we can discuss throughout the class. So it is not all questions and answers at the end but yes, there is usually an opportunity for that so if you have a specific question or something that is specific to you and your health that you are concerned about that is a great opportunity.
SUNNY GAULT: And Terryana, do you remember anything in particular that you gained from these classes or what do you recall from taking your class?
TERRYANA: Oh that was four years ago. I remember them speaking about the size of the baby’s belly, you know, new-borns’ bellies are about size of I think it was a marble or something crazy small and so obviously you are feeding with colostrum first and it is okay because there is not whole lot because they don’t have a lot of place to put it. And that really helped alleviate some of the stress of “oh my gosh, am I feeding my baby enough” because you can’t really tell, there is no visual guide that says “yeah, that tummy is full” you just know “alright, you’ve been here for about 40 minutes, your marble-sized belly is probably full”. And that was really helpful.
My husband took it with me and it was really helpful for him to also learn how to support me, as mentioned before, you know, those ways of saying “hey, you’re doing a great job or I know this is really hard, thank you so much for doing this for our child, this is great”. It was really nice to hear those sort of things when yeah gosh … you know. I think I learned about holding the child, positioning the baby, I think we learned about the football hold and then the basic cradle hold which is what I always did, I tried the football and it just never worked for me.
But I think like the poppy pillow and the cradle hold they just kind of worked out for me and it was really nice to learn that there are different ways to position the baby and myself to see what works better. For example, with my second one I had an over-active let down so it was really nice to know that I can lay on my back and he will lay on top of me and he doesn’t choke as much when it just flies out.
SUNNY GAULT: You know, I remember in taking my class, for some reason maybe it was because a lot of the people in the class were asking questions but we spent a lot of time on latch and I remember feeling a little overwhelmed because it got very kind of technical, you know, baby’s head should be like this and they were showing a lot of diagrams, the nipple needs to go in here and if you are experiencing pain it is because the baby doesn’t have good enough latch and this is the exact position the brush to technically be in.
My head wanted to explode, it was like one of those things like oh my gosh, this is so technical, I thought you just kind of put baby up there and baby figured out what to do. And I am also glad that they showed that video, Kristen, that you were talking about where babies were rooting around near the breast, you just put baby on the breast right after and the baby is born. And they start rooting around and they can smell the fluid and stuff like that to know where the nipple is.
Once I saw that, I was like okay so maybe I won’t have to worry about latch so much, it will figure out where to go. And then of course, you know, I knew I was delivering in a hospital and that there will be people there to help me. So that is kind of what I got out of it. I remember all of the different football holds like the cradle hold you were talking about Terryana and it is funny I had the same experience too.
Cradle hold worked really well for me like with my firstborn I needed to use a nipple shield and so for some reason that position just kind of worked better for us with the nipple shield. I had my pillow too that I had the baby on. I wish I would have paid more attention to football hold though because I definitely needed that with the twins and yeah, you’ve got to do a football hold to breastfeed. They don’t like sitting on top of each other. But yeah, absolutely.
KRISTEN DAVIS: I feel like one of the reasons that the traditional cradle hold is preferred because it is preferred by a lot of moms it is because that’s what we are familiar with, that’s what we … when you see a breastfeeding baby in the movies or wherever, you see the cradle hold. So that goes back to what we talked about in the beginning that the point of this class is to become familiar with these different techniques and there are a lot of benefits to the football hold especially if you have multiples or if you have had a C-section, there are just so many different benefits to the different positions like the laidback feeding.
There are tons of benefits and being familiar with all of these different positions if very helpful but I try not to get too technical because I remember I did take a prenatal birth class and I remember my head spinning, I was like oh my gosh, how am I going to remember all of this. It is just about being familiar with it and then there is … I mean all hospitals have lactation support but most of them have an IBCLC on stand who can come and help you and give you a plan that is specific to you and your baby based on your birth and your baby and all of that.
SUNNY GAULT: So it sounds like thumbs up, we would recommend this to other moms whether they are first time moms or second time moms, anyone that has questions on breastfeeding, Terryana – thumbs up.
TERRYANA: Absolutely.
SUNNY GAULT: Obviously Kristen, thumbs up? Alicia, you have to let us know you would recommend it. But a lot of these classes, if you are going to a hospital, at least in my situation they were free. What is the price range, I know probably various Kristen but if there is seeking outside classes, how does that usually work? What is the price range?
KRISTEN DAVIS: Usually a breastfeeding class is about the same or maybe a little bit less than a birth education class. Typically they are … usually right around there. Sometimes birth education classes are like multiple days and a breastfeeding class is usually just one evening so it is a little bit less but I know for in our area I believe the local hospital where I am at Southern California I think it runs 40 to 50 dollars so it is not too expensive. I always say that whether it is a breastfeeding class or a consult it is less than two weeks’ worth of formula. So it is worth the investment to … if breastfeeding is something that you really want to try and give it your best, it is worth it to get the education and help either beforehand in a breastfeeding class or once the baby is there in a private consult, it is worth it.
SUNNY GAULT: Well ladies, thanks so much for joining us and being part of our conversation today sharing your experiences. It was great chatting with you. If you are a member of the Boob Group Club, then be sure to check out our bonus content for this episode. We are going to discuss how attending a breastfeeding support group while you are pregnant can also help your overall breastfeeding experience. So for more information about our club you can visit our website at www.NewMommyMedia.com.
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SUNNY GAULT: So before we wrap up our show we do have a question from one of our listeners. This actually comes from Mary in Indianapolis and Mary writes:
I am 31 weeks pregnant with my first child. I can’t wait to breastfeed. I am really looking forward to it and I am hoping and praying that it will work out and I will feel much more educated after listening to your show. But I also do have a question. I have been off my anxiety medication since I found out I was pregnant and I have been doing pretty well and things are good, I am feeling okay. I also know that when the baby comes things will be infinitely harder and I have everything set in place. I also have a good support system so I will be successful with breastfeeding. If I really need to go back on my anxiety medication, because I know it is important to be a happy mom and a calm mom, I also know it is not safe to be taking some types of medication while breastfeeding. Obviously I want to breastfeed as long as possible but if I need to go back to my medication, would it be safest to go to a milk bank or what other recommendations you have?
HELEN ANDERSON: Hi, Mary. Thanks for your question. My name is Helen Anderson. I am a Registered Nurse and a Certified Lactation educator and I am one of the experts here at New Mommy Media. And I want to thank you for asking about medications and breastfeeding. I talk to many other mothers with similar questions about medications and even about alcohol and now more than ever recreational substances like marijuana. Moms want to know how much of these substances actually get into their breast milk and how it affects their baby and these are wonderful questions.
So back to you. It sounds like you are doing wonderful, preparing and planning for your baby’s arrival, it sounds like you are managing your anxiety very well. Great work! Some anti-anxiety medications are better than others if you are breastfeeding so talk to your doctor about what you can take. You might stick with what you were using before getting pregnant or you might switch to something else.
For example, Ativan a medication we also know as Lorazepam, that’s the generic name, does not show any adverse effects on nursing infant at the normal dose and so there are no precautions required. Zoloft is another medication that most researchers find that at a therapeutic dose it is undetectable in the infants’ blood. However, Xanax is one that seem to cause sedation in a breastfed infant according to researchers and this means your baby is going to have poor muscle tone, they might sleep a lot, they might not respond to you when you are trying to interact with them.
These are all side effects of sedation. So especially if your baby is premature or very young because your baby’s liver is very immature and it is going to have a tough time filtering and excreting these medications. Which means that if they are going to build up in your baby’s body and the side effects are going to be increased. So if you need to take a medication and you have questions about it and you are breastfeeding, the best database for finding out medications in breastfeeding is LactMed – Google it.
I use it all the time. And so do other experts that help breastfeeding moms. It is a free website created by the National Institute of Health and it is an absolute treasure-trove information on this topic. It is so easy to use, you just put the medication in the search box and you have the latest information about the effects on breastfeeding on your baby. And did I mention it is free? Thanks for the question and best of luck. Your baby is lucky to have such a great mamma.
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SUNNY GAULT: That wraps up our show for today. Thanks so much for listening to The Boob Group.

Don’t forget to check out our sister shows:
∞ Preggie Pals for expecting parents
∞ Newbies for newly postpartum moms
∞ Parent Savers for moms and dads with toddlers and
∞ Twin Talks for parents with multiples.

This is The Boob Group where moms know breast!
This has been a New Mommy Media production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. While such information and materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
SUNNY GAULT: How would you like to have your own show on the New Mommy Media network? We are expanding our line-up and looking for great content. If you are a business or an organization interested in learning more about our co-branded podcasts, visit our website at www.NewMommyMedia.com.
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