The Importance of Prenatal Breastfeeding Education
Katie Newby | Dec 29, 2022
Why should expectant mothers take the time to learn about breastfeeding during pregnancy?
"All of the women in my family were successful at breastfeeding.. So, it should come natural for me too.. If I have a question I'll just ask one of my aunts or my mom." These are just a few of the thoughts that entered my mind early on in my pregnancy with my daughter and I have a feeling I'm not alone. In fact, I know I'm not. I don't think it ever occurred to me to take a breastfeeding class and sadly I've heard similar statements from my peers. I thought because my mother breastfed me for thirteen months and my siblings for nearly a year, it would be no different for my baby and me. Boy, was I mistaken. Even though I fell in love with nursing my daughter and she latched on eagerly, I was still met with challenges. I am so fortunate to have had the encouragement of my family, but unfortunately the breastfeeding knowledge that my providers held was minimal. Ending my breastfeeding journey sooner than I had planned left me feeling devastated.
Through my experiences, I have come to understand the crucial role that prenatal education plays and the significant positive impact it has on new mothers.
Breastfeeding has important health benefits for both the baby and the mother. For moms, breastfeeding can help with postpartum weight loss, promote bonding with the baby and reduce the risk of postpartum depression and certain types of cancer. It provides many benefits for the infant, including promoting optimal growth and development, improving immune function and lowering the risk of SIDS, Leukemia, type 2 diabetes & obesity.
Despite all of theses benefits, many new moms struggle with establishing and maintaining a successful breastfeeding relationship. One of the main reasons for this is a lack of proper education and support before and after birth.
Prenatal breastfeeding education can help expectant mothers learn about the benefits of breastfeeding and how to properly latch and feed their new baby. This can be particularly helpful for first-time mothers who have never nursed a baby.
Prenatal education can also allow moms opportunities to ask questions and address any concerns they may have about breastfeeding. It can also help them understand the importance of proper positioning and latch, as well as how to recognize and troubleshoot common breastfeeding challenges.
Additionally, Prenatal breastfeeding education can influence the amount of time women breastfeed and help them feel more confident and prepared after giving birth, which in turn can lead to a more positive experience.
Overall, It is imperative that mothers take the time before their babies arrive to learn more about breastfeeding. Reliable and comprehensive breastfeeding education is essential to set moms up for success.
As a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist and Postpartum Doula with over eight years of experience supporting breastfeeding families, extensive lactation education, and a heart for serving others, I would love to be apart of your support network as you navigate your motherhood journey. I offer both a virtual call for prenatal breastfeeding education and a self-paced online course for purchase, so let me know if either option interests you!
Source: Amy Spangler, Breastfeeding: Ready. Set. Go! Counseling Guide
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