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Seeking Lactation or Newborn Care Classes

Erin is new to Portland and new to motherhood.  Does anyone have an experience with lactation classes or newborn care classes:

Could you point me in the direction of lactation classes and newborn care classes? I've been searching but can't find any. I'm looking for recommendations and opinions on how the hospital-offered classes compare with private organization offerings.


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I know Providence Portland (hospital) offers infant care and lactation classes. I don't have personal experience with those classes, but was happy with the Childbirth Prep class we took. Here's a link to their Health and Fitness Classes web page:

Call Beyond Birth. They are awesome lactation consultants and they Know All. Even if a one-on-one consultation isn't what you're looking for, these women will steer you to the right group.


Legacy Health System offers a full range of prenatal classes, including Baby Care and Breastfeeding, at all five of our Portland area hospitals. We also offer a one day (Saturday) workshop that covers both the Baby Care and Breastfeeding curriculums. For class descriptions, or information on how to register, please see our website, www.legacyhealth.org. If I can answer any additional questions about any of our prenatal classes please feel free to contact me at 502-413-2018 or dbeaudoi@lhs.org
Warmly, Denise Beaudoin, Prenatal Education Coordinator, Legacy Health System

The providence group at Portland Providence was great for me. You are supposed to have delivered at a Providence hospital but you may still be able to go for a fee. New Seasons has a new parents group as well. I really liked that group because it was smaller and the advice was really good.

Zenana spa offers private lactation consulting. I've never used their services, but they come highly recommended. I had used the lactation consultant at Emanual HOspital 7 years ago and really liked them.


I took classes at Providence Portland (hospital). My husband & I took the breastfeeding and newborn care. We were really happy with the classes, instructors, etc. Plus, Providence has a great Lactation clinic and store on Glisan. But what I really loved was the New Mom's group that Portland has after you deliver. You meet other Mom's, get suggestions and tips for what worked for them,listen to speakers about post-partatum, child development, introducing solids, breastfeeding, etc.

We used the lactation consultants @ OHSU w/ good results. We also heard great things about Beyond Birth. We haven't done any parenting/childcare classes but my wife has been going to the OHSU new parent's group (you don't have to be a patient there) and she likes it. It's the first and third Monday of each month:

10:30 a.m.-Noon
Capitol Hill Public Library
10723 SW Capitol Hwy
Call 503 418-4508 or email birthing@ohsu.edu to reserve your spot.

Nursing Mothers Counsel of Oregon offers a "Breastfeeding ABCs" class. Erica Mateson of Renaissance Childbirth runs a New Parent & Breastfeeding Support Group at the Concordia New Seasons every Wednesday at 10am. I took the breastfeeding class at Providence 4+ years ago...but I don't think I learned anything I didn't already know from reading Dr. Sears Breastfeeding Book. We went to Providence's Breastfeeding Clinic on 28th & Glisan and got help from a wonderful LC there (Suzanne Millies) when my son was having trouble with his latch.

We took both breastfeeding and newborn care classes at OHSU last year. Both classes were good (as is their Birthing From Within series with Carol Grey, which I highly recommend). I believe they're offered in Kohler Pavilion now, so you can drive up the hill or take the tram. http://www.ohsuwomenshealth.com/community/childbirth.html
I'm not sure where you're delivering, but we delivered at OHSU and the on-staff lactation consultants were very helpful during the first few days post-partum.

Yes, Providence has a very reasonable class rate and they have a ton of baby classes, we are taking the newborn classes and breastfeeding classes and if you happen to be a Providence health plan member you get a discount...so someone who is could book them for you and you would get the discount. Good luck!

Renaissance Child Birth offers free support meetings for new parents at New Seasons Cedar Hills and Concordia (Tuesdays 9am and Wednesdays at 10am respectively) http://www.renchildbirth.com/classes_for_parents.htm

Thanks everyone! I am birthing at Portland Providence but it looks like all the classes are past my due date. I'll look into these other options.

Do I really need to take a breastfeeding class prior to my birth? I'm going to have a doula and midwife and am hoping they can help get things going. But I'd love to hear Urban Mamas thoughts.

Thanks also for the new mom groups - I think this is the way I will actually meet some friends here so I don't go crazy! :-)

Has anyone taken the childbirth classes offered by Kaiser? (They are our insurance provider.) My concern is whether they'll spend enough time covering natural childbirth techniques or if it will focus more on all the options. I'm 12 weeks pregnant with our first!

Erin, you asked the question about whether it's necessary to take a breastfeeding class prior to giving birth...My opinion is that it's not... I did not deliver my first baby in Portland, but I found the nurses and onsite LC at the hospital to be pretty helpful once the baby came, and we were able to figure things out on our own. As you can see from the responses to this post, Portland has so many resources to offer new moms, I'd think you would not have any problems finding help with nursing once the baby comes if you need it.

One thing that I will mention about my experience nursing a new baby though, is that unlike the birth, nursing did not come as naturally to me as I'd expected. So if you're struggling, definitely seek help--I know from talking to friends that a good visit with a LC can work wonders! Good Luck.

I agree with Leah...for me, nursing did not come easy the first time around. I just gave birth to my second and things are going much more smoothly. I think that's due to A) I'm more relaxed about nursing and B) my breasts are a LOT more pliable than they were with my first born. But even with things being easier this time around, I have visited a LC a few times so far and won't hesitate to see them again as many times as need be. My pediatrician's office has an LC available who is wonderful (ask your ped.'s office) and the LC group at St. Vincent's is wonderful as well. Just know that it's a resource that is meant to be used as often as you need it. Don't hesitate to call them every day if you need to (that's what they told me to do). They even got me through a painful bout with mastitis, to which I'm grateful.
Good luck and enjoy the bonding with your baby!

There are a lot of great suggestions already, I don't think this one has been mentioned yet - if it has, my apologies - La Leche League.

La Leche League is a non-profit, peer-support network focusing on breastfeeding. Mamas as well as expectant mamas can attend meetings or call a "leader" for advice and assistance. The leaders are other mothers who have been trained to address commmon breastfeeding issues, this support is free.

There are a few La Leche League groups in the Portland area that meet on a regular basis. You can learn more about La Leche League and locate the group closest to you by visiting the LLL website for Oregon:


For any other state (or country!), go to the main LLL website:



okay, thank you for posting the la leche site! I just went on there and had some questions answered. Thank you!

I took a newborn care class at Zenana Spa and loved it! It was pretty reasonably priced as well.

I can't say enough about the lactation clinic at Providence (St. Vincent's) on Barnes Road. Doris was amazing was such a powerful and soothing person for me to meet with! Please visit her!!

Jessica, I delivered both my sons with Kaiser (Sunnyside) and took the childbirth class. I wasn't terribly impressed. I felt as if I could have gotten all the same information (and had, already) by reading a book. Yeah, it was kind of fun to watch the instructor push the doll baby's head through the sock "uterus" but not essential.

Although I was pretty pleased with my experience with Kaiser (and loved my midwife), if I could do it again and change one thing, it would be to hire a doula. I was hit with unexpected circumstanced with both births, and while my husband was supportive, he was as new to this as I was. And the nurses and midwives, nice as they were, had other patients to deal with and couldn't be there all the time. Having a doula throughout, a constant, reassuring presence, would have made a big difference to me.

Just my .02 cents.

Zinemama - Thanks for the advice! I will look around for other classes and am definitely considering a doula.

I work at Providence Health System and had my son last May of 2006. We had lots of problems with my milk production, and the lactation clinic on about 28th/Burnside was great! I ended up seeing both specialists for a couple months. They were great!

I delivered at Providence Portland and did take a breastfeeding class before the baby arrived. The class was helpful -- we watched a video showing mothers nursing and it was helpful to see the positions and understand the concept of latching on (better than book illustrations), and also to realize that breastfeeding WILL hurt at the beginning and there are places to get help. I had a great lactation consultant at the hospital after delivery, a not-so-great consultant at the Burnside clinic, and finally a wonderful consultant (Doris) at the St Vincent's clinic. I'd highly recommend a trip out to St V's for their lactation services. Good luck!

So I delivered my beautiful baby - it's a boy! - and was visited by the lactation consultant at Providence Portland because my sucker-fish of a baby made mince meat of my nipples the first day. She was a help because she gave me a nipple shield to use until mine stopped bleeding and healed more. However she was really quick to tell me I had to start supplementing with formula because he was close to losing 10% of his birth weight. I was unsure about this because I was on Day 2 and knew my milk would probably come in the next day at some point - but not really knowing much and not wanting to hurt my baby went ahead and did it - we used the syringe with the tube into the nipple shield so no bottle was introduced thank goodness.

Anyway, my milk did come in the next day and I ditched the formula immediately. I suppose it's all fine - I just felt really rushed and pressured to do what she said. I then went to Beyond Birth to follow up to try to get rid of the shield and just be sure I was doing what I was supposed to with the feeding and had such a wonderful experience! Heather was fabulous and made me feel completely comfortable with no judgement about anything. I highly recommend Beyond Birth!

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I'm going to have a doula and midwife and am hoping they can help get things going. But I'd love to hear Urban Mamas thoughts.

Nursing Mothers Counsel offers a two hour free prenatal breastfeeding class, at many locations. You can contact me directly at lealipscomb@yahoo.com
We also have a 24 hour helpline, for mamas with breastfeeding questions/concerns. That phone number is (503)282-3338.
Mother And Child Education Center also offers a variety of free classes for new and expecting parents. They are located at 1515 NE 41st, @ Halsey.

The first few drops of breast milk helps to coat the intestinal lining of the new born baby and makes it immune.

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