The Breast Kind of Teacher
As I am new to Toronto, I am actively looking for ways to meet new mothers. As a mother-to-be myself, I am looking not for doula clients, but companions for my own journey into motherhood. I set out last week to a Breastfeeding class held at Mount Sinai Hospital. The class was to teach new mothers the basics of breastfeeding and to offer them common trouble shooting advice.
Now as a doula and now as a childbirth educator, I have read a multitude of books on the subject. I have participated in workshops and lectures, and even given talks myself on the benefits and practices of breastfeeding. Now, of course I am not a lactation consultant. Of course I have lots to learn on the subject, as most all people do. With Catherine Chen as a class educator and in-hospital lactation consultant, I learned a great deal.
Catherine Chen is a lifelong nurse, turned lactation consultant and childbirth educator. She animates the Childbirth Education series put on by Mount Sinai Hospital and provides clinic hours for new mothers. Her lifetime of experience and no-nonsense approach had me loving her class.
It is not that I learned many new things, but the way that Catherine presented these subjects. The way that she said, “You are having problems and you say, ‘Catherine, I need your help’ and I say, ‘Here’s what you have to do.’” She talked about proper positions, latch, breast pumps, types of feeding schedules, red flags, and much more. She gave excellent community resources and answered all of the expectant mothers’ questions without pause.
As someone who is learning the ropes of Childbirth Education, I enjoyed the positive teaching ability she had. She was keen on reading the room, accepting of all questions, and unbiased with her wording. My hat’s off to Catherine Chen. So many lightbulbs went off in that room that day.
For more information about antenatal classes held at the Maternal Infant Program: Mount Sinai Hospital, visit their website or call (416) 586-4800 ext. 3810
Many other breastfeeding classes exist in the GTA. Some are listed on the Toronto Public Health Website, and others are provided by private establishments.
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