Tuesday, June 8, 2010


When I first heard of the existence of breastfeeding classes I had this weird imagination of women sitting around in a circle all feeding their children at the same time. A few weeks into breastfeeding I fought several problems and was desperately looking for help so I was advised to attend such a class. Well - rather a meetup than a class really.

For the circle of moms feeding their children - I was right. But it wasn't at all weird. Feeding in public still isn't easy but there it wasn't public, it was all breastfeeding moms. And they all had their little problems which in the end turned out to be mostly the same. Whatever a woman came up with - somebody in the round nodded knowingly. Despite the fact that my little son slept the whole time I felt so much better and went home knowing that it will get better. I also tried some of the advices given by the midwife there. With no result.

I went back tho because my problems hadn't been solved yet and I knew I would feel better afterwards. Again the little man slept most of the time while I was given different advice for my problems and quietly watched the rest of the discussions in the room. This was when I started to be annoyed. Annoyed by the same words and lines over and over again. Feed your baby at least 6 months full. Also keep breastfeeding for two years and more. Whatever women asked or said - she would stick to those and give lectures in long time breastfeeding. And here I was fed up with that class as fast as I enjoyed it. It has only been two months that I have been breastfeeding but there were times where I just wanted to run and buy formula and bottles and give up. And I did not have the worst of possible troubles. Feeding 6 months straight is a long time and when you are facing problem after problem, when you are frustrated and try everything you can, every week new advices - isn't it better for you AND the baby to feed formula but do it calm, relaxed and happy ?

The longterm feeding is another part that I think should be decided by the woman and child themselves. No lectures needed. No matter how good breast milk is for the baby (and I do not doubt that) - if the mother doesn't feel good about it or the baby is desperate to eat like a grown up - please let them do so ! Not every woman feels right feeding her perfectly walking, running and almost talking child with her breast and I think this should be accepted.

I went to these classes because I was looking for help with my problems. I did not want to be lectured. So I went to another class which was a mix of physical practice for the mother and breastfeeding discussions. Again the midwife would give "good advice" I had heard before which did not help. And she gave long lectures.

Ok with the lectures on the breastfeeding I could deal. It was all about breastfeeding in the end. But even when it came to other parenting topics the lectures were long and always a personal course into the midwives lives. Babies SHOULD sleep in the bed with their parents. Babies need constant body contact and want to be carried around all day. And when I heard the last lecture on how bad the gym is for you back and your body after a woman had asked when she could go back to her work out I switched off completely.

So I gave up.

What I have learned from those classes is this:

1. If you have troubles breastfeeding - don't fall into despair. It seriously will get better.
2. Whatever advice they give you. Even if it doesn't help - it seriously will get better.
3. Listen to your heart. And your baby. If you try everything you can but can't happily feed you child - leave it and feel good about it. And read this blog post for what is really important when it comes to feeding your baby.
4. Be strong about your own opinion on how long you want to feed because you may be lectured.
5. Be strong about you opinion on all parenting topics because you may be lectured.
6. Go for a coffee with another freshly baked mom instead of attending such a class and moan, laugh and talk about your new life as a mom and feel much better !


  1. I don't see why you're getting upset at being told what is best health wise for your baby.

    It can be frustrating, especially in the first few months, to handle a baby-led breastfeeding schedule. Especially if you're having trouble latching.

    But (this will probably sound familiar) for most women it DOES get better. You and your baby figure out the latch. Breastfeeding sessions become times to bond and love your baby instead of fight and cry about breastfeeding. Women who are breastfeeding 2 year olds become sad and depressed when the 2 year old decides to wean himself. Right now it may seem really really strange to breastfeed a 2 year old, but when you take it one day at a time, you'll get there before you know it.

    Of course, I doubt the woman was saying to force the 2 year old to breastfeed. Most breastfeeding advocates suggest a child-led weaning.

    I don't know what group led the meeting you went to, but I would like to suggest Le Leche League. http://www.llli.org/ They are an international breastfeeding support group.

    Whatever you decide, good luck!

  2. Thank you for your comment. It may not have been clear enough but what I mean is -I have understood that it will get better and it already does. What annoyed me in these classes is those midwives personal opinions and how they send them across.

    When you start breastfeeding and you have trouble the last thing you need is a lecture on how good it is to feed for 2 years or more. We KNOW that it is good for the child but we also need somebody taking care of our feelings instead of pressuring us even more with all that "It's the best you can do for your child" policy. Believe me, we know that and we WANT our children to get the best of the best. But sometimes we also need someone who says "I know it can be hard and if you feel you have done everything it is ok to give up." I don't think that will make many women give up. It will make them feel better for the moment and this is A LOT.

    And in the end we fight and slowly feel it getting better. And for how long we feed in the end... we'll see.