Heather ONeal is a Certified Nurse-Midwife and Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She has dedicated her career to helping busy parents breastfeed with confidence. Read more about Heather.

4 Ways a Digital Breastfeeding Class Can Help You

Breastfeeding for Busy Moms

Our culture sends messages that make new parents question their self-worth, and a digital breastfeeding class can help you combat that doubtful voice inside. Many new parents tend to live on a slippery slope of anxiety, frequently wondering, “Am I enough to feed this baby?” Spoiler alert: You are! Here are 4 ways a digital breastfeeding class can help you.

Oftentimes, an internal conflict with body image starts when you’re young. You might struggle with trusting your body, punishing yourself, or saying terrible things about your figure. Then, all of a sudden, you have a baby, and your body is ready to do this amazing thing called breastfeeding (in addition to the incredible thing it did to grow and birth a human!).

Don’t misunderstand me — feeding your baby is an amazing thing! But if you’ve never breastfed before, you probably have no idea what to expect, and how could you? Someone tiny is about to suck on your nipple for food… what?

So, if you think there is a chance you might not be a breastfeeding expert, how can you nail it when your baby pops out? Where do you even start? Take a digital breastfeeding course  and do it during pregnancy if you can. Here are four ways an online breastfeeding class will help you prepare.

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1.) Confidence

Participating in a digital breastfeeding class during pregnancy will teach you what’s normal and what’s not normal when it comes to your baby’s feeding and how it relates to peeing, pooping, crying, and sleeping, among other things. When you ask your partner to look at every single poopy diaper with his cell phone flashlight to see if they think it’s normal, you’ll both be glad you studied up on mustard-seed, breastfed baby poop!

You’ll also be able to identify your subconscious worries about breastfeeding. For example, maybe you’re worried about being the first person in your family to breastfeed or how to set boundaries with loved ones.

Plus, you’ll learn how to work through common breastfeeding barriers — whether real or perceived — before your baby is born. These barriers might include medications, your labor and birth experience, a premature baby, or a busy or unsupportive job.

2.) Knowledge

Picture yourself as a new parent, yelling into the phone to a friend, “I have to quit because obviously my milk is the worst, and I’m pretty sure my baby hates me.” Is this a fix-it problem or let-it-go problem? Preparing with a digital course will give you the knowledge to distinguish which type of problem you are experiencing.

There are many challenges that could derail your breastfeeding journey. A few examples are a shallow latch, engorgement, a plugged duct, or a supply issue. These are all fix-it problems a trained lactation consultant can help you solve, whether through education in a digital breastfeeding class or a personal consultation.

Then, you have let-it-go problems. For instance, it’s common to have a slacker boob, or the underachiever I like to call the shitty titty (see episode 22 of the Milk Minute Podcast). Almost every lactating person has one breast that produces more milk than the other. Without the right education, you could spend hours, days, or even weeks losing your mind, expecting your body to do something that’s impossible. If you’re trying to get your slacker boob to put out the same amount of milk as your other breast, you are trying to solve a problem that you should actually let go.

3.) Support

When you have an infant, you will most likely encounter a situation like this: You’re exhausted at 3 a.m. You can’t see straight. Your baby is crying, and you’re crying, too. You don’t know what you’re doing. 

If you and your support person take a digital breastfeeding course together, you can have confidence that your partner will offer encouragement. They can say something like, “Didn’t Heather’s course explain this is normal and the baby is cluster feeding? I remember that video. Let me pull it up for us.”

This is exactly the kind of support you need — someone who’s had more sleep than you and who can bring you back to Earth. Lactating parents are often stuck in a vortex of emotion and are afraid to admit that feeding is not going well, while partners are usually less subjective and very matter of fact about it. There are also great therapists out there as well as an entire organization that specialize in postpartum support if you need some additional love and attention. Check out Postpartum Support International!

4.) Empowerment

A digital breastfeeding course will give you some peace after your baby arrives and answers when you need them. But there might still be times when you need outside help. Maybe you have questions about hand expression, positioning, pumping, supplementing, or dealing with reflux.

I know it can be difficult to ask for help, and that doing so might feel like failure to you. You might be thinking, “I can’t feed the baby, and if I ask for help, they’ll know that I have this problem.” Asking for help is not a reflection of your ability to be a fantastic parent. On the contrary, seeking a professional’s guidance is an empowering decision that will likely save your sanity.

Remember: You are enough to nourish your baby! Whatever challenges arise during your parenting journey, you’ll be armed with information from my course or someone else’s — just go take one! You’ll be able to refer to the class anytime, and you’ll know when it’s time to reach out to a lactation consultant.

Want to learn how to breastfeed with me and have a great time while we doing it? Click below to sign up for my Breastfeeding Basics course. Let’s do this thang!

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