My class tonight was AWESOME. The instructor, Andrea, is the lactation consultant for the hospital and she is neither a crazy hippie or a breastfeeding Nazi. She was funny, relaxed, enthusiastic and, most importantly, knew her shit. She was like “So all that stuff the magazines are trying to sell you – the pumps and the nipple shields and the lotions and the pillows – don’t buy it. Really.” She explained that after you give birth, getting support and encouragement to breastfeed is the most important thing. If you decide later you want to pump, she can hook you up. If your nipples hurt, she has the good kind of lotion. If you have problems or questions, she will come to your house and help you. She will tell your mother/grandmother/sister/whoever it is that says “Well I didn’t breastfeed MY baby and they turned out alright” to shut the hell up and bury them in research studies on why they should get on board.
Despite her obvious enthusiasm for breastfeeding, she emphasized that it is YOUR decision – and I felt like she really meant it. I wish every pregnant woman I know could take this class – I am 100% less scared of my nipples falling off now. Andrea wants you to live you life (eat a cheeseburger! have a beer! watch tv! shop at Target!) while you give your baby the best possible start to life. She said even if you only nurse one time, you’ve done a great job.
I really can’t say enough good things about this class, but I think my favorite part was when she compared the way the baby swallows milk to the way you would take a shot. Anyone who can relate babies to drinking is my friend.