This lactation workshop had piqued my interest when I saw it on Facebook groups. Firstly, it costs S$255. Secondly, it lasts for 6 hours. Thirdly, what could it be about that the regular pre-natal classes could not do?
I am going to be a 3rd-time mom and well, whilst I wouldn’t consider myself to be a pro at breastfeeding, I am glad to have been able to breastfeed both the boys until they were about 15 months old. However, the journey wasn’t without hiccups, more so for Ollie.
I thought attending pre-natal classes was enough. I mean, breast massages, football hold, cradle hold, cross cradle hold. Surely it wasn’t THAT difficult. But noooo. It was terrible for the first week and more. Sore & cracked nipples. I cringed in fear each time I wanted to latch Ollie. It hurt so bad. Worst, I was sent packing for a guilt trip when the lactation consultant told me Ollie was getting dehydrated and we should put him on formula before trying to breastfeed again. I would pump but didn’t stick to a regular schedule, and was getting more depressed about the output and time spent at the pump. It wasn’t until he was hospitalised for UTI when he was 1.5 months old that I tried again, and things worked out for the better.
With QT, I didn’t get a chance to latch him at birth but driven by the 10mls of colostrum I managed to pump 2 days post partum, I was determined to build a supply that would feed him during his stay at the Special Care Nursery. By the time he was discharged, I was producing 3x what he was consuming. So yaay!
So I knew enough about breastfeeding, for my own use lar. My friends know me to be pro-breastfeeding and I do try to support them where possible. But how much of that information out there is accurate and what else would we need to know to prepare ourselves?
I took the leap of faith and attended the workshop, as a 3rd time mom. Whoo boy. I think I attained nirvana status liao. *ommmm*. No seriously, the workshop was the bomb. Why?
1) Meet the weighted baby doll to give you a feel of what it was like to be handling a baby.
2) These are the topics that were covered and it is only the tip of the ice berg. What I loved about the workshop was that no one gets judged for their choices. It was all about empowerment, support and guidance. There are no silly questions. Every question was answered. The group of mums consisted of expecting moms, new moms, 2nd/3rd time moms. 2nd & 3rd time moms were asked why they were there and what their struggle with breastfeeding was.
3) You get to wear boobs like this. Hahahha. No shit. Why, you exclaim. Well..cos we are in the public and we can’t expose our boobs? Talk about getting practical. These set of boobs will give you first hand experience on how to massage your breasts properly, how to angle baby to ‘latch’ and how to get baby to latch securely without hurting you. Hands on enough?
The experience is enough for me to give heavy chested moms my full admiration. The extra weight was giving me a sore neck!
4) Pajamas party! Just kidding. =P Thought it could have seriously passed for one. There were breastfeeding pillows for EVERYONE to try and to show how it could really worked for breastfeeding moms.
5) It wasn’t just all about direct latching. It was about the pumping moms as well.
6) And then you learn about products like this….hand-expression cups! OMG where was this when I needed it 4 years ago!! Hand expression would have been less messy if I had this! (This cup for hand expression is by Pigeon and is available at Mount E & Glenagles Parentcraft store if I remember correctly, $24.90)
The workshop really covers all bases. How much your baby needs, how you handle blocked ducts (I learnt you really shouldn’t massage the blocked duct!), breast pumps, accessories, breastmilk storage, latching techniques; there were videos shown on how to latch; there were practice sessions on how to properly hold a syringe so that you can collect as much colostrum as possible.
There weren’t any hard & fast rules, as each mum would produce differently, and adapt to each piece of equipment differently as well. It was a really supportive environment and I really got ALOT out of the workshop. The info that you get out of prenatal classes has nothing on this. 6 hours wasn’t long enough! We actually overran by about 45 mins.
If you are planning to breastfeed baby right from get-go, this IS the workshop to attend. It is worth it. Equip yourself with the correct information, be empowered. At least when you are facing problems, you would be equipped with enough knowledge to narrow down the issue without having to turn to Google and faced with a plethora of information, or not knowing where to start.
The trainer cum lactation consultant, Valerie, is really down to earth, and is very affable. No airs, none of that teacher-student status. You will feel perfectly comfortable talking to her. Btw, she is certified one hor.
Okay, bonus part of the workshop? You get a goodie bag worth $350. I mean, that’s covering back your cost and more, no? =P Seriously, goodie bag aside (that is really just the bonus bit), I promise you that you will NOT regret attending the workshop, coming from a 3rd time mom! You will also have a 6 months post partum support from the trainers, so you can contact them when you are still in doubt. Wah liew, where got this kind of service you tell me?
My only suggestion about it is, attend the workshop closer to your EDD, maybe 2 months, or if you can push it, 1 month before. That way all the information is still fresh in your mind! The workshop does come with a comprehensive guide, but better to be still able to visualise the workshop in your head than to read it all up and try to recall! =P
The next workshop will happen on 14th May 2016, Saturday from 12.30pm to 6.30pm (whoo time extended!). You can sign up here.