Breastfeeding Class…

We went to breastfeeding class tonight. It was not as crunchy granola as I’d feared (although she did open with the standard “Women have been doing this for thousands of years” causing Ravi to snicker as I had just leaned over and whispered “bet she starts with ‘women have been doing this for thousands of years’.”

The problem with the class was that it was BORING. She basically read off the slides for 3 hours. THREE HOURS. Oh my god…at one point I decided that the only reason to stay to the end was to slam the class in the evaluation.

Useful moments

-The five minutes spent on different holds with practice babies and boppy’s

—Nope, that’s it.

Moments that annoyed me…

1-Made a point of the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommendation that mom’s and babies sleep in close proximity but avoided mentioning that the AAP also advises against co-sleeping so as not to piss off the AP (attachment parenting) parents in the room.

2-Suggested we keep this obsessive compulsive journal of feedings and diapers for the first month.

3-Had a ton of condescending “suggestions” for “dad’s” (not partners)to feel “included.”

4-Always referred to the babies as “he” and NEVER “she”

5-Overly cautious advice on what nursing moms can eat, take for medication, drink, etc. Some of this in direct contradiction to what my allergist, OB, books and websites all note. This included, by the way, a strong worded warning against Ibuprofen (totally safe) and Zyrtec (also totally safe).

6-Showed all these videos that were supposed to be “helpful” except they had no sound and all the teacher was saying were things like “cute baby”…roll eyes

There was more, but I spent a decent amount of time reading the slide and then tuning out beyond to notice that she was reciting the slide.

The bottom line is that based on reading pregnancy books, a few websites, and skimming some books that talk about breastfeeding (baby 411, the milk memos, from the hips) there was NO new information except actual practicing of the holds.

Waste of cash.

Edited to add–I’ve actually called the company and asked for a refund.  I’ll let you know what happens.  I don’t actually care if I get the money back as much as I want to make it clear that the class sucks (no pun intended).  The thing that’s most interesting is that the class leader was an RN, and in general it was the class I was HOPING to take (mostly medical information, not blah blah blah crunch granola BOOOOOONDING) .  I just hate classes where people read off of Power Point Presentations.  I also hate having information distorted to try and scare the newbie parents.  I realize that everyone wants to exaggerate dangers so as not to get sued if you are that one in a thousand or one in a hundred case, but when it’s to the point where you’ve lost my trust as a credible resource it’s difficult to believe any information I’m getting from you.

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11 Responses to Breastfeeding Class…

  1. That does sound bad. I agree with you about 2 and 4. I know I’m cynical but I’m wondering if the store sells formula. You assumed the class was going to be crunchy granola but except for the comment about the AAP and the comments about dads, it sounds over-medicalized.

    I wouldn’t assume that the information she gave about holds and latch-on was up to date, although it can’t hurt to practice holding the baby.

  2. Taking a Chance on Baby says:

    The store does NOT sell formula. They only sell breast feeding paraphenalia.

    It was run by an RN as opposed to the other classes, which were run by doulas, so that might be why it was fairly medical and straightforward. In many ways it was what I was hoping a class on breastfeeding would be, except that I hate it when people just read power points.

    Honestly…I feel like I have all the information that’s useful at this point. What I *need* is to have my baby, and then ask for the lc and nurses’s help while at the hospital, and the correct support, either from a post-partum doula or a LPN at home once my supply comes in.

    At this point, it’s all theory. I’m ready to get the real stuff.

  3. Makes sense. There’s only so much you can get from reading.

    A breastfeeding class should not make it look harder than it actually is, by having the mother fill out a chart and avoid foods from the beginning (although, since you have allergies in the family, you may be an exception). Unfortunately formula companies are all too happy to provide free breastfeeding education for hospital staff. Her presentation has the tell-tale signs. Did the teacher mention whether she has breasted children of her own?

  4. Taking a Chance on Baby says:

    She said she’s breastfed three of her own.

    Honestly, in the US, I think people over react and there’s a huge culture of fear…and I’m beginning to think we like it that way (not including myself, but americans in general). When I was little it was stranger danger and drugs. I think that now that stranger danger–25 or so years later—has translated to parents walking children three blocks to school.

    In my socio-economic class, there’s also a huge number of women who left high-powered job and are now applying their Type-A personalities to motherhood. They seem to relish things like forms and workbooks because it proves that they did a good job.

    As for allergies, there’s no reason for me to be avoiding foods–there are no food allergies in either of our families. We both have severe allergies, but not to foods–things like dust mites, trees, etc. My husband has asthma, but I’ve read enough data that I’m not convinced that asthma alone is a risk factor, and the most recent studies of breastfeeding say that ….

    “The most comprehensive, definitive study to date, published in the New England Journal of Medicine a few years back says peanuts are ok. There is no higher incidence of children becoming peanut allergic with moms who indulge vs. moms who don’t. The only reason to avoid it is if your baby develops hives or any other allergic reaction that is clearly linked to your intake.”

    I’ve also yet to run into a medical professional (including the 8 billion pediatricians I’m interviewing) who hasn’t asked me or pushed me to breastfeed.

  5. Mary says:

    Came over from Cecily’s site….I tried to BF with my first — she was 2 1/2 wks early and not intrested in latching. We tried exclusively for abt 5 days, until my DH and I noticed her fontanel was sunken cause she was dehydrated (!!!), then I started pumping, but kept trying to get her to latch, which was a 45 min process to feed EVERY TWO HOURS (try to latch, feed bottled breast milk, pump, repeat in 2 hrs). We stopped that after 3 weeks, but I wished I would have stopped earlier. Those 3 weeks were a nightmare. I ended up exclusively pumping for 8 months and feeding her the breat milk in the bottle. I felt good abt it and I have bought into the breast milk is best line. However, I did have to deal with people who made comments/judged me for bottle feeding on a semi-regular basis. My daughter (who is 2) has been sick only rarely — but that might be due to her being cared for by her gma until recently, and just not being a kid who gets sick. Who knows?

    Honestly, I don’t think these classes help until you have the baby — it’s impossible to know what physical issues there are with the baby’s mouth and platate and your own hardware until baby is on the scene.

    I am currently pg and will try again with this one, but am less stressed abt it this time.

    best wishes.

  6. Good for you for asking for a refund. Maybe they will look for a more talented instructor.

    And good luck on finding a pediatrician that meets your standards. Maybe you could do a post about your interview questions.

  7. Taking a Chance on Baby says:

    Mary–that’s probably more than I would’ve done, and you should be proud of how dedicated you were. It’s so frustrating to know that when other women see you bottle feeding they just ASSUME it’s formula. Good luck with your pregnancy.

    Mom in Israel-They seemed to take the criticisms seriously, so I hope so. I’ll definitely be posting about pediatricians…they’ll be my all consuming focus for the next 3 weeks.

  8. Becka says:

    That sucks. Lactation consulatants should really educate. Ugh

  9. Gosh, it seems like when you’re pregnant you get to hear all the breastfeeding horror stories! 🙂

    Mary, I’m sorry you had such a hard time with your first. With a first baby breastfeeding is only one of many “motherhood” issues you have to deal with and I hope things will go more smoothly this time.

    I don’t have special health issues with me or my kids, thank God. I want a pediatrician who is not afraid to send us away without treating the baby (which is 80% of the time) and whom I can trust when s/he tells us we need antibiotics or an ER visit (usually for a cut). I found my last pediatrician through a friend who works in the local pediatric ER. I read her the list of doctors in my health fund, and she told me which one sends to the ER only when it is required. He doesn’t send unnecessarily, and he doesn’t neglect to send when necessary. I’ve been happy with him.

    What I don’t want from a ped. is parenting or breastfeeding advice.

  10. Jenn says:

    Your experience actually is a stunning example of why RN’s aren’t always the best teachers of breastfeeding (or childbirth) classes.

    They may be subject matter experts…but have lousy presentation skills. When I was in college as a Chem major I was actually required to take a class on how to do scientific presentations to the general public–because the profs at my college realized that this was a skill that many scientists lack.

  11. Taking a Chance on Baby says:

    Jenn–how right you are! As a teacher myself, I’ve met plenty of brilliant teachers (usually high school teachers) who know their subject matter inside out and have NO skill at transferring that data, other than their one method, usually “chalk and talk.”

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