When I was pregnant, I was not one of those people that read all the books and took all the classes. I prefer to take things as they come, and I feared that over preparing would make me more anxious than I already was about becoming a mom. One of the things I was least worried about was breastfeeding. I was reassured by my midwife that there’d be support in the hospital and I would be fine. Looking back, I wish that I had done more research and signed up for a breastfeeding class.
I didn’t know what I didn’t know — and what I didn’t know was anything about breastfeeding. Since humans have been doing it since the beginning of time, I figured it’d be easy. And for some people, it is. It might have been for me, too, if I’d had the knowledge I needed to make it work. By the time I realized that I needed help, I was three days into parenthood with a baby that wouldn’t latch. We ended up supplementing with formula (which isn’t the end of the world), but it was completely preventable if I’d been armed with the right information.
If you can find breastfeeding classes in your area, they’re a great resource. A local hospital or health center may offer them for less money if you’re finding them to be too costly. My health center has a Baby Cafe USA group, where nursing parents can drop-in and chat with a lactation consultant and meet other parents who are nursing. Pregnant women often stop in and ask questions before they have their babies. And, when all else fails, there are always tons of resources online that can help you meet your breastfeeding goals.
Here are some helpful things that I would have learned if I’d have take a breastfeeding class instead of stubbornly thinking I was too smart for that.