Thankfully, my brain finally woke up around 8 am (times like these I really miss caffeine), and I was already done subbing by 10 am. After a few quick errands at school, I picked up Terry for a midday lunch date!
While we are still sticking diligently to our budget, we've also decided to take advantage of our last few kid-free weeks with a couple of outings--movies, dinners, whatever. We are planning to go to the movies this weekend (Captain America!), and I'm hoping to plan a little outing for Terry's birthday.
Today I picked up Terry at his work for lunch at--how exciting is this?--Flame Broiler.
Terry has been there several times, but I've been meaning to try it, so we went. It was pretty good! Our conversations have revolved almost exclusively around baby topics for the last several weeks, so I was grateful to just enjoy each other's company and give Terry a short break from work.
Once I dropped him back off, I headed up the freeway to our old stomping grounds for a dentist appointment. Since I had time to kill before 4 pm, I stopped at The Pump Station, a store that specializes in newborn care, nursing, and other baby-related products. I also grabbed some frozen yogurt for myself.
One of the founders of The Pump Station, Corky Harvey, actually taught our breastfeeding class last night. She was the head lactation consultant at the hospital where we plan to deliver for many years, and she is obviously very knowledgeable on the subjects of infants, postpartum mothers, breastfeeding, and more.
I think my parents thought it was a little weird that I was taking a breastfeeding class (and that Terry came with me!), but it's definitely a learned skill, just like giving birth. Young girls used to (a loooooong time ago) grow up watching their mothers and other women giving birth, breastfeeding, caring for babies, but now our culture has shifted to a figure-it-out-for-yourself kind of situation. So skills like breastfeeding and giving birth are mysteries until we go through them, at which point it's often too late to learn some of those skills. I have no shame in taking some classes to learn as much as I can, and of course there will be aspects of both I can't prepare for (just like parenting!), but at least I can go in with some information to help me along the way.
Yesterday's class talked about a huge range of topics within breastfeeding:
- Benefits of breastfeeding
- When to start nursing after birth
- How often to nurse
- Babies' hunger cues
- How to tell if baby is eating enough
- Troubleshooting problems
At one point, I whispered to Terry, "This sounds hard. You do it." But that's part of why I was glad he came with me (LOTS of dads were there; Terry certainly wasn't the only one!): I know we function best as a team, and I know I can rely on him to help me remember all the stuff we learned. If/when something doesn't work or isn't going very well, Terry can remind me of things to try.
Some fun facts I learned:
- Insurance is now required to cover a breast pump, BUT the quality and type of pump you are offered can vary immensely. One mom-to-be in our class was told she would only get a manual pump, and another (with the same insurance plan!) was offered a top-of-the-line pump. Quality pumps cost around $300 to purchase without insurance.
- By evolving into upright mammals, humans were forced to give birth earlier because our hips don't allow the baby to continue growing. Evidence suggests that babies "should" stay in the womb 10-16 more weeks (but can't physiologically), so we're born very immature, which is why newborns are especially dependent on their mothers. (Please excuse my incredibly unscientific explanation there.)
- Almost all women have some sort of struggle with breastfeeding, so moms who are having trouble should immediately seek help from a lactation consultant. Women shouldn't have to struggle through those tough times alone!
I guess that's enough with the breastfeeding talk. If you're planning to breastfeed, I highly recommend taking a class. I still plan to check out a breastfeeding book (our birth class teacher recommended La Leche League's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding) and make use of the hospital's lactation consultant, but I'm also excited that the Pump Station offers two free breastfeeding support sessions with other new moms. I'll let you know how they go when I attend!
Have a wonderful FRIDAY!!!