Breastfeeding Classes: Are the teachers pushy of their beliefs?

posted 3 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
Member
29 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I am a CLEC (certified lactation educator counselor). 

Breastfeeding classes really depend on where you take them. If you are taking a private class, the instructor could have my certification, be an IBCLC, childbirth educator with breastfeeding expereince…it really depends. If you taking the class in a hospital, the instructor will most likely be a nurse with the IBCLC credentials. IBCLC are international board certified latation consultants which is the highest you can go in the field. They are the most educated and knowledgable in the field. 

Kuddos to you for wanting to give your baby breastmilk. According to the World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics (and other sources;) breastmilk is the best thing for a baby. There are moms who can not breastfeed for medical reasons and formula or donor milk is given and that’s okay! A mom knows whats best for her baby and what will work for her family. 

There are lots of moms who pump and give the baby a bottle! I would recommend attending a Le Leche League Meeting. http://www.llli.org/faq/lll.html You can find more about it by clicking on the link. You can go as an expectant couple ( bring your husband along too). The meetings are led by experienced breastfeeding moms who are breastfeeding peer counselors and moms ask questions, share stories and offer advice.  

 

You can always private message me if you have any questions. 

Post # 4
Member
1021 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

I took a breastfeeding class because a friend who is also pregnant wanted to go together. I’m very on the fence about breastfeeding, leaning mostly towards not for a variety of reasons. The class was taught by a Lactation Consultant who had teenage children and was kinda a hippy-type.

I was completely turned off by the instructor and the tone the class took. I felt the first 20 minutes was basically her telling us that if we don’t breastfeed, we’d kill our baby. She reviewed studies about how bottle fed babies are sicker, less intelligent, less mentally stable, more likely to be obese later in life…etc, etc.

Then she proceeded to show a video of a bunch of women breastfeeding and it continued with this theme. It’s one thing to support breastfeeding, but I felt the whole tone was bashing formula feeding, which made pretty upset.

The whole thing turned me off so badly. I honestly walked out of there wanted to formula feed even more. My whole family was bottle fed as was DHs, and we’re all healthy, intelligent and well adjusted. It almost felt like we were being personally attacked.

I also took a “newborn safety and care” class with DH, and the section on feeding had the same message. The book we got had 20 pages on breastfeeding and 1 page on formula feeding. 1 page!!!! I was pissed!!

So yeah, that was my experience.

 

Post # 5
Member
1472 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Hm…I went to a class, but I was (and am) 100% pro-breastfeeding for me (but I’m cool with whatever you want to do for your little one! There is too much judgment in the mommy-ing world), so I’m not sure if my perception is accurate. I did not feel like it was particularly pushy. Our nurse went over the scientific benefits of breast-feeding, common problems and how they can be addressed, things to expect, safety measures for stored milk (which would be really important if you wanted to exclusively pump), etc. It was a good session for information. I imagine it really depends on your presenter.

I have to say, the place that I felt was pushiest was a local LLL meeting. I’ve heared a totally mixed bag on them, and they completely depend on your local leaders, but at this particular meeting, they invited a lactation consultant who basically told me using a nipple shield (which I had been told to do by a LC at the hospital) was bad and “I wouldn’t use anything at all.” Um…ok…not helpful.

That said, I’ve worked extensively with the LCs at my local hospital (I had individual appointments, and they also run a group that has basically become a play group for us), and they are very open to lots of things. Of course they are pro-breastfeeding, but are willing to give advice about pumping, formula, a mixture, whatever.

I definitely think if you’re on the fence, you should seek out whatever info you can. The LLL literature is a great place to start (although of course biased), but then you don’t actually get a pushy person. Also kellymom.com (also pro-breastfeeding). Go into it with specific questions you want addressed, and don’t get wrapped up in any particular ideology! 

Post # 6
Member
2783 posts
Sugar bee

Why don’t you want to breast feed? I found pumping to be such a hassle..it’s just adding an extra step which is silly

Post # 7
Member
945 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Savannah, GA

Most breastfeeding classes I’ve been to are quite pushy.  I’ve attended several because I was a newborn nurse and now help with breastfeeding in a clinic.  I don’t understand the hostility and aggression today.  I’m all for breastfeeding, but I think the effects need to be studied further.  I really don’t think breastfeeding has all the miraculous effects people claim it has.  I was formula fed and am never sick, was a National Merit, etc.  We’re basically forced to guilt mothers into breastfeeding.  The problem is most lactation consultants are with the patient for a short period of time and aren’t able to offer alternatives when things don’t go as planned (which is most of the time).  I think you should get all the information you can get, but take everything with a grain of salt and choose based on what you want and not because you feel pressured.  

Post # 8
Member
945 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Savannah, GA

@Ninteenthchance:  I believe she is referring to breastfeeding vs bottlefeeding with formula.

Post # 9
Member
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@MadTownGirl:  Of course a breastfeeding instructor is going to be biased towards breastfeeding.  Are they going to be in your house and in your face as you are making that first formula bottle so you can create some sanity?  No.  But they are going to try to encourage you and equip you with the information and skills to be a breastfeeding mama.  And ultimately, breastfeeding is way more natural than formula feeding, so it makes sense breastfeeding nurses and counselors would be biased.

But at the end of the day, you souldn’t feel like any less of a mom because you choose to formula feed.  For some women, breastfeeding is an awful experience that just doesn’t work for their baby and a baby shouldn’t starve just because breastfeeding isn’t working for them.

Post # 10
Member
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Breastfeeding classes vary a lot from place to place.  We took one and it was very helpful because it focused on practical things like different ways to hold the baby while nursing, storing pumped milk and the problems you might encounter.  I would research what classes are available in your area and call them up.  Let them know you have already researched the benefits of breastfeeding so you are looking for a class that focuses on how to do it not why to do it and see if they fit what you need.  If you choose not to do a class there are a lot of resources online.  Kellymom.com is a site that has helped me a lot, and you can always look at you Tue for videos.  

Post # 12
Member
3677 posts
Sugar bee

I’m about halfway through Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin. She is pro-BF (as anyone is going to be who invests the time and energy to write a book on the subject), but a book doesn’t have the same pushiness factor as a live person teaching you in a breastfeeding class, and Ina May is an excellent writer who really knows her stuff. Maybe check it out?

Post # 13
Member
2783 posts
Sugar bee

@MadTownGirl:  well that’s understandable. when you’re in the hospital though the baby will need to drink your colostrum, it’s the beginning of the milk and its literally impossible to pump out because its so thick but its VERY good for the baby. Everyone has different experience but I would recommend just trying. It’s really not as weird as it seems and it’s good for you and for baby! I gained 70 lbs when I was pregnant and dropped it all in four months from breast feeding. I never once had any pain and my nipples were never tender, not once. You won’t regret doing whats best for baby.

Post # 14
Member
3084 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@Ninteenthchance:  some people don’t want to breast feed, for a variety of reasons. And not everyone’s nipples don’t hurt. Some women have PPD and it’s easier for them to not breast feed. So when something affects the mother negatively, it shouldn’t be done. 

Post # 15
Member
3084 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@MadTownGirl:  why is the one to decide? It’s your body, it really should be the majority of your decision. You can try it out and see how it is for him, but if it isn’t for you, then don’t force yourself. 

Post # 16
Member
7664 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I just find it odd that some people would promote breastfeeding over pumping so heavily. It’s all the same thing to my uneducated self, because the baby gets breastmilk either way!

Surely the key is that they get the milk, even if there is ever so little and you have to supplement with formula and/or pump first.

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