So, you are expecting—congratulations! There are so many things to think about as you prepare for your little one’s arrival. From diapers to strollers to planning for childcare, your head is most likely swimming with all sorts of questions around caring for your little one in the best way possible.
Here’s another question: Have you thought about feeding your baby?
Are you planning on breastfeeding? If so, how will you incorporate this into your daily routine? Do you know how to breastfeed? If you have done it before, what was your experience like?
Breastfeeding: Not What You’d Think
Since the dawn of time, humans have been breastfeeding, and by this logic, it would seem that this would be a simple and easy thing to figure out, right? Most mothers initially struggle with finding their own unique groove when it comes to breastfeeding. There is no longer a need to suffer needlessly as you figure out your baby’s unique needs if you can find a breastfeeding class in your area.
Breastfeeding classes are a wonderful way to get more information about the process before being in the trenches. Whether you’ve done it before or you have yet to experience this wonderful bonding time with your baby, consider taking breastfeeding classes to optimize your experience. Here’s why:
1. You’ll Learn What Feeding Cues Look Like
While each baby is different with respect to cues, a breastfeeding class will cover the basics on topics like rooting, fist sucking, and lip smacking—all classic signs that a baby is looking for sustenance.
2. You’ll Learn What a Proper Latch Is Supposed to Feel Like
There’s nothing quite as frustrating and painful for mother and child as an incorrect latch. A breastfeeding class will help you discover what a proper latch feels and looks like, which will save valuable time for you and your baby as you navigate breastfeeding waters.
3. You’ll Learn All About Supply and Demand
Breastfeeding works via supply and demand—the more you do it, the more successful you will be. Even if you cannot provide skin-to-skin contact as much as you would like, get that old pump out and keep stimulating your breast tissue—you will soon be making more of that golden elixir that supplies your baby with everything he or she needs.
4. You’ll Learn How Much You Should Be Feeding
Some babies require feeding every couple of hours, while others can go three to four hours between feedings. Learn all about the cues that tell you when your baby is hungry, and when satisfied. The more you can pick up on these cues, the more successful you can be when feeding.
5. You’ll Learn About Cluster Feeding
Yikes! Just the thought of having junior latched on to you for 18 hours can be exhausting. When you are in the middle of a growth spurt that requires extra nutrition, it can really try your patience. Rest assured, this time will pass, and soon you’ll yearn for those times when you could bond with your baby in this manner.
6. You’ll Learn How Much Milk Is Needed for Growth
Babies have very small tummies; not much milk is needed for good nutrition. It may not seem like your little one is getting enough, but Mother Nature’s wisdom is at play here. Your body will give what is needed in most cases, and thanks to the modern innovation of baby formula, you can supplement if needed.
7. You’ll Learn the Benefits of Skin-to-Skin Contact
Nothing can quite substitute skin-to-skin contact with your baby. Skin-to-skin contact can stimulate the release of powerful hormones that help with milk supply and nutritional value of your breast milk. Not only does it promote healthy feeding, but also it is a wonderful bonding time for you and your baby.
In the End
Regardless of whether you’ve had prior breastfeeding experience, taking a look at classes in your area might shed some light on techniques that can improve the experience for both you and your precious child. Best of luck to you on your breastfeeding journey!