Tinyhood is an online company that offers virtual classes to new and expectant parents. Their website states they have “a curated collection of classes meant to support you throughout your parenting journey—all taught by certified experts.” While there is normally a charge for their classes, the company is now offering a Breastfeeding 101 class for free during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a registered nurse and lactation consultant, Parentology has asked me to review the Tinyhood Breastfeeding 101 classes.
The Tinyhood Breastfeeding 101 class is comprised of five sections. It takes approximately one hour to watch all of them. Each section is divided into different lessons that range in length from 15 seconds up to 2 minutes and 39 seconds. While the lessons are listed with the amount of time spent on each of them, for the most part, they are presented as a continuous flow of information.
The content is presented by a woman named Dana C., who is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). The information is provided by a combination of the instructor talking on camera, text boxes that appear to highlight concepts and animation.
There is no video of any babies actually breastfeeding.
- Breastfeeding Beginnings – 11 lessons, 9 minutes
- Common Breastfeeding Challenges – 11 lessons, 12 minutes
- How to tell if your baby is getting enough breast milk – 8 lessons, 10 minutes
- Pumping and building a stash – storing and using breast milk – 10 lessons, 10 minutes
- How to increase your breast milk supply – 11 lessons, 8 minutes
Many of the same topics are repeated in the different sections. Repeating information does help a person remember it. However, it meant that although a variety of topics were covered, they are discussed briefly and not in-depth.
Next to each section, there were “Takeaways” that students can click on and download if desired; they are only available if you register with Tinyhood. Some of the takeaways included breastfeeding milestones, expected newborn diaper counts, pumping checklist, and breast milk storage guidelines.
New moms often stress about having enough milk and figuring out how to know their baby is getting enough to eat from breastfeeding. These two common areas of concern had individual sections devoted to them.
There were some areas that I thought were not described accurately, and I disagreed with the advice given.
- Breast engorgement is described as the breasts being “super full of milk.” In actuality, the fullness can just be swelling before a lot of milk is being produced yet.
- Moist heat is recommended for engorgement. Many lactation consultants stopped supporting the use of heat many years ago because it can exacerbate the swelling of the tissue around the milk-producing glands and extend the duration a mother experiences engorgement.
- Nipple shields are discussed, but pumping is not mentioned as a precaution to protect milk supply.
- A few reasons for pumping are discussed, but Dana doesn’t go through the many different reasons a mom might need to pump.
- Only a few of the possible reasons for low milk supply are covered.
- When covering how to tell if a baby is getting enough to eat, Dana does not verbalize specific numbers of dirty diapers to look for nor the quantity that is reassuring. It shows six diapers on the Takeaway provided, but new parents need to understand that six small diapers are not really reassuring. On the other hand, four large dirty diapers are reassuring. New parents are sleep deprived and have a lot to remember. It helps them to have precise parameters to follow.
- Dana says it is important that the baby stay on growth curve but says expected weight gain is 0.5 to 1 oz/day. With a consistent increase of only 0.5 oz, a baby will not stay on its growth curve. Parents should be looking for a gain of at least 0.75 oz average per day.
I was happy to see that inaccurate ways of determining if a baby is getting enough were discussed. It was also mentioned when appropriate that moms should contact a lactation consultant. The instructor offers the option of booking a private consult with her online, by phone or text.
Overall, I thought this was a good, basic breastfeeding course. I would have liked to see more information presented on most of the topics discussed. There is nothing wrong with offering parents the opportunity to dive into more information if they want it.
In this case, new moms will want to augment Tinyhood Breastfeeding 101 with additional reading.