The 7 Best Online Breastfeeding Classes of 2020

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The transition from expectant mother to mom-in-the-trenches-of-newborn-life can be a bumpy one that's full of uncertainties, learning curves, and midnight head-scratchers.

This is never more apparent than it is with breastfeeding, which—despite being touted as the "natural" option for feeding your baby—actually involves a lot of practice before it ever approximates anything close to "natural."

If you’re planning to breastfeed, you need to prepare: not just by buying the supplies, but by learning as much as you can about how the whole process works. Depending on where you live and who is providing your prenatal care, you may be able to take a class through your local hospital or birthing center.

If you can’t, though, don’t sweat it: We gathered the top online breastfeeding classes, so you can learn everything you need to know about nipples, latches, letdown, and more before your baby arrives.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Milkology’s Ultimate Breastfeeding Class

Milkology

Milkology

Milkology was founded by a certified lactation educator named Stacey Stewart, who has not only birthed three of her own babies but also educated tons of other moms on the benefits and techniques of breastfeeding. But she knows it isn’t always easy, and new moms usually can’t do it alone.

Enter: The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class. The 13 video lessons here begin with the basic composition of breast milk and move through how the lactation process works, the best techniques for successful breastfeeding, how to know if your supply is high enough, and how to handle all the challenges you might encounter along the way. The videos come with three bonuses: a troubleshooting guide, a quick-reference outline of the info, and an e-book. Once you enroll, you have lifetime access to the materials and can take the course at your own pace.

The course Stewart designed takes about 90 minutes to complete, so it’s perfect for moms who want to learn about breastfeeding but are also busy planning the nursery, creating a registry, and obsessing over baby names. And at roughly $19, it’s an absolute steal considering how much you’ll learn.

Best Budget: Milky Mama’s Breastfeeding 101

Milky Mama

Milky Mama

When it comes to learning how to breastfeed, working with an international board-certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) is the gold standard: These healthcare professionals know everything there is to know about breast milk and breastfeeding and are specially trained to recognize (and problem-solve) common breastfeeding issues, as well as educate moms on correct techniques.

Krystal Duhaney of Milky Mama is one of these breast milk whisperers, having trained as both a registered nurse and a lactation consultant (and breastfed her own kids, too). In her Breastfeeding 101 course, she shares this huge wealth of knowledge with students, teaching you the benefits of breastfeeding, how to properly prepare and set expectations for breastfeeding, and troubleshoot supply issues.

For about $27, you can access all of Duhaney’s course materials, plus become part of a private Facebook group for more support, tips, and troubleshooting with your new (as Duhaney calls them) "breast friends." If you end up loving Krystal’s approach, you can even shop her online store that's full of goodies like lactation teas and cookies, herbal supplements to increase milk production, and breastfeeding accessories.

Best for Confidence: Simply Breastfeeding by Cindy & Jana

Simply Breastfeeding

Simply Breastfeeding

All of the courses here strive to increase a new mom’s know-how when it comes to breastfeeding, but registered nurses and IBCLCs Cindy Leclerc and Jana Stockham prioritize comfort and confidence above everything else they offer in their Simply Breastfeeding online course.

Over 14 video modules, Leclerc and Stockham reassure moms about some of the most frequent concerns and worries related to breastfeeding: correcting a painful latch, figuring out if your baby has gotten enough milk, and getting comfortable during those hours of around-the-clock nursing. They tell you how to handle common breastfeeding problems, as well as how to tell if your problem has gotten too big for you to deal with on your own (i.e. when you need to call for some breastfeeding backup).

Enrollment in the course costs about $40. The instructors claim to have helped more than 30,000 families adjust to newborn life over the course of their careers, so you’re paying for some significant expertise. The lesson is available to you forever once you purchase it, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Best for Pumping: Milkology’s Ultimate Exclusive Pumping Class

Milkology

Milkology

We already told you all about Milkology’s Ultimate Breastfeeding Class, but since pumping is a reality for so many breastfeeding moms, we thought it was important to highlight their exclusive pumping class, too. The truth is that some moms simply can’t breastfeed directly from the breast: Their babies have latching issues, their breast anatomy is irregular, or there are medical conditions (for mom or baby) that make breastfeeding extremely difficult, painful, or even impossible.

Stacey Stewart understands the unique challenge of deciding to exclusively pump—it’s kind of like breastfeeding and bottle feeding, meaning it's exhausting—and that makes this course a lifesaver for moms who find themselves in this position. Stewart shares tips that will make the endeavor slightly less of an all-consuming nightmare, with zero judgment and tons of info about milk storage and time management.

Again, for only $19, Milkology’s classes are a treasure trove for less than the cost of a tank of gas. Considering that most breastfeeding classes don’t cover pumping in-depth (let alone exclusive pumping), this course fills a much-needed gap in the world.

Best Troubleshooting: Tinyhood

Tinyhood

Tinyhood

We’ve talked about a lot of the challenges associated with breastfeeding so far, and all of the courses here offer advice on coping with many of the common issues that arise in the few weeks and months of breastfeeding. But if you really want to dig down into details, Tinyhood breaks its breastfeeding courses apart into short and sweet modules, tackling breastfeeding hurdles one at a time.

Among Tinyhood’s breastfeeding options are How to Tell If Your Baby is Getting Enough Milk; Common Breastfeeding Challenges: Sore Nipples, Clogged Ducts, and Engorgement; and Pumping and Building a Stash: Storing and Using Breast Milk. There’s also a couple of 101-style courses covering all the basics and another on increasing your milk supply. Each one consists of several short videos presented by an IBCLC, letting you dive deep without losing hours and hours of time.

Normally, each course costs about $40 (which we think is a little steep for the content and course materials), but Tinyhood is currently offering all of its breastfeeding classes for free.

Best Basics: Lactation Link

Lactation Link

Lactation Link

Lactation Link was founded by Lindsey Shipley, a nurse, childbirth educator, IBCLC, and a mom, so you know it’s gonna be good. There are several course options offered online, including a free, six-email lesson touching on the most important things you need to know, but we really like the Breastfeeding Basics class since it covers a little bit of everything.

In the 70-minute class, you’ll learn about the nitty-gritty details of breast anatomy, breastmilk composition, and the benefits of breast milk and skin-to-skin care. Shipley will teach you about expressing milk, positioning your baby, getting a good latch, and nipple care. There is a mix of photos and videos, tips to sort out latch and supply issues, and advice on when and how to get the extra support you need.

The Breastfeeding Basics class is about $97, which is at the higher end of the spectrum for online breastfeeding classes. But the content is comprehensive, Shipley is a knowledgeable teacher, and the customer testimonials are glowing, so it may be worth the investment.

Best Quick Tips: Breastfeeding University by Medela

Medela

Medela

Maybe you don’t have time for an online class that takes hours to complete, or maybe you’re a second-time mom hoping for a better breastfeeding experience than you had with your first child. Either way, the short video classes through Medela University can get you up to speed in no time.

As the makers of some of the most popular breastfeeding products—from bottles and nipples to breast pumps and accessories—Medela knows what moms need to breastfeed successfully.

Their quick videos (each one lasts about 10 to 15 minutes) are designed to share tips with anyone interested in better breastfeeding, not just moms. If you’re a new dad trying to support your wife or a new grandparent wondering why it takes your grandbaby so long to complete a feeding, you can learn more about the process from these clear and concise clips.

The cost for enrollment in Medela University is about $25, and you can take as long as you need to work through the videos (or even watch them out of order). It’s the perfect class for breastfeeding newbies by the ultimate breastfeeding professionals.

How We Chose the Best Online Breastfeeding Classes

Of all the online breastfeeding courses available, we considered the following when choosing our top picks:

  1. Reasonable cost: One of the benefits of taking a breastfeeding class online is that it’s usually much cheaper than signing up for an in-person class. We looked for courses costing less than $40, so you could really reap the benefits of the discounted price tag between online and in-person options. All but one of the classes listed here will likely be a cheaper option.
  2. Expertise: You have more than enough "experts" in your life (from your mother-in-law to your nosy coworker) telling you how you should breastfeed. If you’re taking an online class, you want to know the person handing out advice has actual, verifiable experience coaching moms on breastfeeding. All of the classes here were created by true experts—lactation consultants and educators, registered nurses, breastfeeding product companies, and moms like you.
  3. Variety: It’s not only beginners that need some help breastfeeding; moms going back to work for the first time after their baby is born, moms who had complicated births or who are experiencing problems like oversupply, and even moms breastfeeding for the second or third time with other little kids underfoot may need support. We tried to choose a variety of classes that could be taken by any mom, any time in her breastfeeding experience.

What Are Online Breastfeeding Classes?

Online breastfeeding classes tell you everything you need to know about breastfeeding—from supply and pumping to getting a good latch and expressing milk—via your home computer (or tablet/phone). They are usually taught by someone with experience helping new moms learn to breastfeed, like a nurse practitioner or lactation consultant. You pay a small fee to access the course materials and can then work through the lessons at your leisure.

Typically, the same material is covered in an online class versus an in-person one, but obviously you won’t get the same kind of hands-on instruction when you’re watching a video. In-person, an instructor can show you physically on your own body how you might position the baby or cup your breast to get a good latch.

If you take an online course and still feel uncertain about the physical logistics, you can ask your provider at your next prenatal appointment for a demonstration. There may also be a lactation consultant available at your birthing center or hospital who can assist you after your baby is born.

When Should You Start Using Online Breastfeeding Classes?

According to Lamaze International, the best time to take a breastfeeding class is during your third trimester. Earlier than that, and the information may not be fresh enough in your mind to recall once your baby is born. If you’re worrying about going into labor prematurely, you can aim for the end of your second trimester if it makes you feel better.

It’s probably not wise to wait until after birth, though, to take a class; you won’t have the time or energy to enroll in a class while you’re tied up with newborn care. Breastfeeding also tends to be more successful when you start off on the right foot—it’s easy to get discouraged if it’s not working and you don’t have the resources to correct common problems, so taking the class and having a baseline understanding of breastfeeding before you begin is ideal.

How Much Do the Classes Cost?

Price varies, with some classes coming in under about $10 and others costing roughly $40 or more. In-person classes often cost more (anywhere from around $60 to $200), so even though there is an expense for many of the online courses, it may be much cheaper.

What Is the Purpose of an Online Breastfeeding Class?

There are many reasons to take any breastfeeding class, including online versions. These include learning about:

  • Boosting and maintaining your milk supply
  • Different breastfeeding positions, along with when and how to use them
  • Feeding cues and how to know if your baby is getting enough milk
  • Common breastfeeding problems, like tongue tie or poor latch
  • Treatment of common medical conditions like thrush, mastitis, and plugged ducts
  • Proper nutrition and caloric intake while breastfeeding
  • Safe breastfeeding (i.e. rooming in, co-sleeping, medication use)
  • Breast pump usage, for supplemental or exclusive pumping

In general, a breastfeeding class will increase your confidence about breastfeeding and teach you the skills to troubleshoot any issues that arise (and trust us, there will probably be at least one). It will also let you know how to reach out for help and support during breastfeeding, if you find yourself struggling.

Does Insurance Cover Online Breastfeeding Classes?

Many in-person breastfeeding classes are covered by insurance, but it’s less clear if the same is true for online courses. They are still a relatively new option, though they’re also growing in popularity. In some cases, you may also be able to receive reimbursement through your health spending account (HSA). Either way, you should check with your specific insurance provider to see if the costs are fully or partially covered by your plan.

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