DH and I went to our breastfeeding class this week, and found it somewhat interesting...
First, the class was call "Breast, Bottle or Both", and was billed as providing information on all forms of feeding. Not quite. It was definitely a breastfeeding propaganda class. How beneficial it is, and basically how crazy you'd be not to use this method.
Now, I have already decided that I would like to breastfeed, but I also realize that I may have difficulties, and it simply may not work for me. I don't want to be made to feel guilty if that's the case. I am very educated and I try to inform myself on all sides of issues, so I get annoyed when something that is advertised as balanced ends up being completely biased, even if it supports my beliefs. I'm smarter than that, I want all the facts and then I want to make my own informed choice.
I wanted more information about the different types of bottles and nipples available. Whether you really need to sterilize or is the dishwasher fine? Do you really need to warm the bottles? And this, for me, is about bottles of BREAST MILK (hopefully). I think they don't want to go into bottles at all because they think women will take that as a sign that bottles are "OK". Which, in my opinion, they ARE, if that works best for that mother. How long can you freeze, refrigerate breast milk, what are the differences between formulas, powder vs liquid, when should you start pumping to get ready to go back to work... all of these questions were left unanswered, unfortunately.
She also trotted out all these stats about "exclusive" breastfeeding being the most effective, almost to the point of detriment if there was any supplementing with formula. I asked her point blank if one or two bottles of formula negates the benefits of breastmilk, and then she backtracked a bit and did say that any breast milk is better than none. There just seemed to be a lot of misleading implications like this that I kept having to clarify with her. Probably making me look like I was opposed to breastfeeding, which is not the case at all.
All that being said, I did learn more about breastfeeding techniques and tips, which I thought was helpful. I have started reading a few books on the subject, but the video clips they showed were definitely more helpful than words on a page, so I appreciated that. I guess if the class was called Breastfeeding (period), I would have known what to expect and would have been more satisfied overall.
And here's the best thing I learned, that I'm happy to share with all of you....
It's OK to drink (in moderation) while breastfeeding!
And this is coming from a breastfeeding fanatic, so I'm inclined to believe it. Someone asked about coffee, and she said you can absolutely have a cup or two of coffee, that it would take around 6 cups of coffee to affect the baby. So I piped in to ask about a glass of wine, and she said that's also OK. That the amount of alcohol from one glass of wine that goes into your bloodstream is very small, and it stays in your breastmilk from about 30 mins after you drink it to 60 mins after you drink it, then it leaves your breastmilk. So a well timed glass of wine in the evening (or afternoon depending on the day!), wouldn't even pass a minuscule drop of alcohol to the baby.
After almost a year of completely abstaining from alcohol (between IVF treatments and pregnancy), it's nice to know I'll be able to indulge a little!
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