Ante-natal classes and Breast Feeding

We have now had two ante-natal classes and I have had a few questions about them, so here’s a bit of an update.

It was a bit of a challenge getting Chris to the classes.  Not that he really put up much fight, but he argued that we both have quite a lot of experience with babies (obviously not our own) but baby sitting others, and I was almost 16 when my sister was born and had a lot of hands on experience.  Not that for a moment he was suggesting we knew it all, but that how much value could we really get out of bathing a doll.

For me it was less about what I could learn and more about finding other preggie couples whose babies would be close in age to ours and couple’s whose experience of pregnancy didn’t all start from the infertile mindset.  I wanted to be reminded that pregnancy and childbirth and parenting are so natural and normal for so many people and to put that in perspective that it CAN be like that for us too.

Also I am determined to give breastfeeding my very best shot and I want all the support I can possibly get on this one.  I think breastfeeding twins is not going to be the easiest undertaking but it is important to me.  So when I started looking around for classes I started with a recommendation from a friend, but unfortunately the woman who runs those classes has just had a baby of her own and she recommended I get in touch with the Breast Feeding Clinic who run a programme.

There seems to be a bit of a misconception that Ante-Natal classes are all about natural birth.  I think those are the old La-maz (not sure how to spell that) classes, where it was all about breathing thorugh the pain.  Well that is my preconceived idea anyway.  The classes I am going to are really a good cover of all sorts of things.

The first week was all about pregnancy discomforts and warning signs and the things that could go wrong and what to look out for and what to do about them.  Very informative, well it would be if I hadn’t already read just about every pregnancy book on the market and read all the posts on the infertility forum where it sometimes feels as though you ‘know’ someone who has every one of those scary things happen.  But still I learnt a couple of things.

This week was more targeted at those planning for a natural birth as it was half about the pain management options, but the second half was pregnancy massage, so still something in it for me.

Most importantly though to me I really like both the women I have met who work at the Breast Feeding Clinic.  They are what Chris and my friend Les calls Boobie Nazis.  The message is simple, breast best, forula BAD!  In fact the one woman put it very simply, when it comes to feeling your babies the preference order is like this:

  1. Breast is best
  2. Expressed Breast milk, next best
  3. Donated breast milk is great
  4. Formula if you must

And while I know that this may not work out so well for me, I like this thinking.  I really do believe that breast feeding is 97% in your head and that if I make up my mind I can make this work, especially with the right support and I really do feel like these women at the clinic will give me exactly that support.  Also my friend who is a bit of a milk cow and has really mastered breastfeeding will be there to hold my hand and offer advice and encouragement all the way (L I hope it’s not an insult to call you a milk cow, but you are doing so brilliantly, I am in awe!).  Let’s hope I don;t have to eat my words and that I can get this right and give these babies the very best first gift I can.

Classes to come include watching the birth videos (both vaginal birth and c-section), breastfeeding, the practical class on how to bath the baby, change nappies etc.  Am I learning a lot, no probably not, but am I enjoying it, YES!

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About MommyAtLast

Finally a Mommy to our Medical Miracle IVF Boy / Girl Twins who were born in November 2011. We overcame azoospermia using hormone therapy for my hubby to conceive our precious Hope Babes on our 4th IVF.
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6 Responses to Ante-natal classes and Breast Feeding

  1. KK says:

    I really, truly hope that breastfeeding works out for you — but for your future attempting-to-breastfeed self and the millions of women who have wanted to breastfeed and were not able to (myself included), I really encourage you to steer clear of “breast feeding is 97% in your head and that if I make up my mind I can make this work.” That is not always the case and when it doesn’t work, despite how badly you want it to, it is emotionally wrenching (especially on top of all the crazy postpartum hormones). Statements like that, to someone who was unable to breastfeed, are as hurtful as the oh-so-helpful “just relax!” infertility advice.

  2. Heather says:

    My mom (Nan Jolly) is involved in a great breastfeeding organisation called La Leche League – moms who get together for support – see http://www.llli.org/southafrica.html
    Having said that, I totally agree that people trying to shove it down your throat is as bad as the “just relax” brigade. In fact it is hard especially for me, if and when I do get pregnant, to deal with the added expectation of my mom, who is already telling me to “just relax” and I will get pregnant, who will be emotionally distressed if I don’t breastfeed. Yip, they do go together somehow.
    Good luck with whatever you decide to do, do what’s right for you!

  3. Aralia says:

    A friend of mine easily BF her daughter and when her son was born she suddenly was struggling through it and couldn’t get it right. She finally gave up at 3 months. Another mommy friend of hers found out their child was “tongue tied” and had an op to fix it, which prompted her to ask her Paed about it. When the paed checked he for that her son is also tongue tied. This happens when the little piece of skin under the tongue is too long and stops normal movement of the tongue. It made it impossible for her to breastfeed him as he couldn’t get a proper latch.

    Sometimes it isn’t in your head.

  4. samcy says:

    I completely respect that you wish to breast feed your babies Nita, and I know a twin Mom who has done so quite successfully for now 6 months with her twin girls… That being said, make sure that you have excellent advise when you do. Kade battled to latch properly in the hospital and I had massive blood blisters on my nipples from his poor latch. Some of the nurses at the hospital tried to help but for the most part they were just not interested in me getting it right. After battling with nipple shields etc, I finally saw a lactation consultant and we’ve been doing well since then. A lot also depends on your supply. Whilst we are still breast feeding, I’ve been topping K up with formula from day one cos my supply has been good but not great (this might have been due partly to the poor latch)…

    For me, I found setting small breastfeeding milestones helped a lot too. Get to 4 weeks, then 6, then 8 and so on and so forth… It can be quite difficult in the beginning to get it all “right” so the little goals were better for me in my head than saying that I would feed till 8 or 9 months – KWIM?

    I know Les is brilliant on the boob side of things – so make sure she gives you the FULL low down on proper latching etc – it REALLY will make the world of difference, but also don’t close yourself off to only breastfeeding – be open to the top up formula bottie if needs be…

    All the best Nita, I sure hope it all works well right from word go for you and yoru gorge babes.

    xxx

  5. I breast fed the boys tandem and it worked so well. I had so supplement between months 4 to 6 when I just did not have enough milk and only stopped at a year. Your best best friend is a good breastfeeding consultant and a double Medela electric breast pump. I expressed at work – for twins. Oh yes, and Lansinoh cream.

    I think it did help that I fed my firstborn for 9 months. though. All the best – really it is in the head.

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