Without YouTube, I'd be sunk as a parent. YouTube taught me to fold baby clothes, pack a hospital bag, and swaddle my baby. It was my go-to source for prenatal yoga and, for the two-week period when I was motivated enough to purée my own baby food, it taught me how to do that, too. YouTube can be a parent's best friend, but when it comes to breastfeeding tutorials, not every how-to video is created equal. Here are eight Youtube breastfeeding tutorials that will actually teach you something, from hand expression to pumping.
As Refinery 29 pointed out, there are literally millions of breastfeeding videos out there, so it's important to separate the wheat from the chaff. More than anything, the best YouTube videos will be a source of encouragement — you should never watch a video that's negative about your ability to breastfeed. When in doubt, watch a lot of videos to get a wide range of opinions.
A new parent watching her wallet can also try Happy Family's Happy Mama Milk Mentor program, a totally free online chat service to address your breastfeeding questions. Additionally, the hospital or birth clinic where you had your baby is also a great resource. When in doubt about information you find on the Internet — YouTube included — always trust your body and consult your doctor for definitive advice.
1. The Latch
In the beginning, breastfeeding is all about getting a proper latch, for both you and the baby. An improper or too-shallow latch can cause pain while nursing, among other issues. No, you don't have to live with cracked and bleeding nipples.
Fit Pregnancy's How To Breastfeed — Deep Latch Technique talks you through the a host of pitfalls and problems while nursing mothers demonstrate. According to the lactation specialist featured in this video, "the most important first step" to a great latch is to get your baby to tip their head back, kind of like the way you'd embark on eating a "fat sandwich." Besides the helpful analogies, there's a snappy soundtrack here, too.
2. The Famous Football Hold
As a first-time mom, you're going to hear a lot about the famous football hold for breastfeeding, and what's better than a YouTube video featuring a fake breast to demonstrate exactly what that looks like?
Yeah, I know, the fake breast looks weird — and the fake baby, too. But anyway, you get the idea.
3. Hand Expression
Unlike the video above, this one produced by Stanford University is super comfortable with a whole lot of nudity. Watch hand expression happening up close and personal while a doctor walks you through the surprisingly tricky details, step-by-step.
All of Stanford's breastfeeding videos are accurate and highly informative, if a little raw when it comes to production value.
4. Latching, Animated
For a deeper look at the anatomy of a deep latch — including advice on achieving the proper alignment — check out this animated video. I don't know why, but being able to visualize exactly what's happening with your baby's jaw and esophagus is actually extremely helpful.
Animated breastfeeding vids are also a good choice if you feel squeamish about watching real breasts in action.
5. Tandem Breastfeeding
Ever hear of the ancient art of tandem breastfeeding? You will if you have twins. For those with a double bundle of joy, this video will show you how to get comfortable for a two-in-one nursing session.
Honestly, what I love most about this video is that it shows a real mom (who's also really exhausted — but obviously killing it), in a real house, with real twin babies. God bless this amazing woman.
6. Every Breastfeeding Position Under The Sun
Ready for a crash course in breastfeeding positions? Part of Ameda's Educational Series Which Breastfeeding Position Is Best? catalogs the biggest players in boob land, with the reminder that the best breastfeeding position is the one that works best for you.
Actually, I wish I'd watched this video before I had my baby, because at that point, I was too sleep-deprived to take in new information easily.
7. All About Pumping
No list of YouTube breastfeeding videos would be complete without a tutorial on pumping. This one shows you had to get more from your Medela, and more milk for your baby.
Here, Erika Kristi offers lots of awesome product reviews, with specific advice about the best pump and hands-free bra to buy. My favorite pumping tip is number 6: "Relax, relax, relax."
8. Is Your Baby Getting Enough Milk?
Ever wonder if your baby is getting enough milk? Global Health Media Project's video demonstrates signs your baby is feeding well with tips to help her get more.
In fact, Global Health Media has produced a ton of videos to answer your breastfeeding questions, offering information on everything from early initiation, to nipple pain and engorgement. A reliable one-stop shop for all your nursing conundrums.
Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.