Free Online Breastfeeding Courses That'll Teach You All The Basics
There's no manual for motherhood. All moms need support, especially when it comes to breastfeeding. Lactation consultants can cost a pretty penny, and it's not something you'll likely think about until you've already had your baby and are at your wits end. Learning as much as you can about nursing before your baby arrives can help you navigate stressful nursing sessions and there are free online breastfeeding courses available that are worth taking advantage of.
I know what you must be thinking: You're going to take breastfeeding as it comes. You don't really need to sit down in front of a computer to watch a bunch of videos about it. I get it, but breastfeeding courses are extremely beneficial. A 2017 study in the journal Minerva Pediatrica found that women who took prenatal breastfeeding courses breastfed longer than those who did not.
Breastfeeding courses can teach you things you might not know (which, honestly, is probably a lot), offer some sense of support, and ultimately make things easier for you. Breastfeeding is a commitment. Sometimes you need help getting through it, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Add some of these free breastfeeding courses to the list of things you're currently doing online — like grocery shopping, laughing at funny memes, and planning the nursery decor on your Pinterest board. These 10 breastfeeding courses range from technical tutorials by certified lactation consultants to practical tips from experienced breastfeeding moms. They're all free, so pick the one that's best for you, or go ahead and sign up for all of them.
1. Breastfeeding Housecalls
Texas-based lactation clinic Breastfeeding Housecalls offers a detailed and free breastfeeding course anyone can take online. There are nine sections to read through that range from positioning and latching to how to wean.
2. Stanford's Short Course On Breastfeeding
Stanford Medicine's website offers lots of free breastfeeding training videos in a list curated by Dr. Jane Morton, clinical professor emerita Stanford Medical Center's Pediatrics. Videos cover how to prepare for breastfeeding, how to get a good latch, how to hand express milk, and the well-fed baby checklist. It's totally free and easy to navigate.
3. Lactation Link
Lactation Link's six-day email course will teach you the ins and outs of breastfeeding so that you don't feel like you're "winging it" on your own.
If you love the six-day free course and feel like you still want or need more assistance, they offer three paid courses that offer more in-depth information.
As Milkology notes, "Breastfeeding is natural, but it doesn't always come naturally." It's OK to need a little extra help, and this site definitely gives it to you. You can sign up for a completely free 5-day breastfeeding course that will cover the basics, like what to expect in the early days, where to find support, how to prepare for nursing while still pregnant, and how to produce enough milk for your baby.
If you feel like you need more, Milkology has several paid online courses that include the Ultimate Breastfeeding Class, Back to Work Pumping, and Exclusively Pumping.
5. Milk And Love
In Milk and Love's six-part program, you'll learn a wealth of information from lactation consultant Katie James, international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC), as well as volunteer moms. They'll demonstrate how to get a good latch, express your milk with a pump, and much more.
The site also offers a free breastfeeding workbook that has helpful feeding and sleeping baby charts to use.
6. First Latch
First Latch offers a three-part course titled Breastfeeding Classes for Parents. There's a video to teach you all the tips and tricks you need to get started on your breastfeeding journey — one to coach you through problem-solving some common issues, and another to explain how your partner can support you. Each class is led by lactation consultant Vergie Hughes, R.N., IBCLC.
If you go to Handouts for Parents, you'll also find lots of worksheets that cover all things breastfeeding (offered in six different languages) and general tips on how to survive the first few weeks of being a parent.
Medela offers a free program called The Mom's Room that you can sign up for by email. It includes helpful checklists and articles as well as instant access to experts and free samples of popular products. There are also insider and expert tips and advice on breastfeeding.
If you have a Medela pump and you register that pump online, you'll get a code to access their Breastfeeding University for free. This includes videos that cover all of the basics and details of breastfeeding.
8. Minnesota Momma
Run by a registered nurse, the blog Minnesota Momma offers a free six-day breastfeeding crash course by email. This mini-course advises moms-to-be on the basics, challenges and solutions, positions for success, general tips, and resources.
9. Breastfeeding Confidential
The blog Breastfeeding Confidential has an entire section dedicated to free resources for moms. This includes printable documents like newborn feeding logs and breast milk storage guidelines, e-books with advice and lactation recipes, and even a video tutorial on how to make your own nursing wrap. It's a great place to start.
10. This Little Nest
This Little Nest is another blog that offers a free breastfeeding course. Called Breastfeeding 101, it's aimed at first-time nursing mamas and goes through all the basics. All you have to do to join is add your name and email. They also offer a free breastfeeding plan, available as a download.