Breastfeeding Books

NaBloPoMo Jan2011I’ll admit that while all these books are great, I’ve found the Breastfeeding Group on Ravelry as much help. That’s not entirely a fair comparison, as the books do what they’re meant to, which is to provide generalised information and encouragement, while a discussion group can (and this one really does) provide specifics. Good in-person support is also pretty essential, of course, but that has to be found locally!

Cover of Straight from the Heart
45. Straight from the Heart by Tehilla Abramov

As indicated by the numbers, it’s by far the longest since I read this one, but it’s also the most specific inits intended audience, as another Orthodox Jewish book. It covers (more briefly) much of the same general information about breastfeeding and its benefits as the others, but also why and how it is encouraged Jewishly and halachically. (Which it strongly appears to be.) Definitely worth having for those interested in this perspective!

Cover of Womanly Art of Breastfeeding 6th ed.
53. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (6th ed.) by La Leche League International

I’ve linked above both to the sixth edition, that I read (having found it second-hand locally), and the new eighth edition, that I’d probably still get if I found it easily. I really don’t know how different they are, of course, so will only comment on the sixth. I’m not sure which edition my mother used, back in the seventies, but she seemed to recognise elements in this nineties version, although it’s been reworked and added to so many times.

Anyway, it’s certainly the classic comprehensive guide, with pictures, explanations and anecdotes on the nutritional, biological, familial, financial and societal benefits of breastfeeding. It doesn’t shy away from recommending a way of mothering beyond ‘just’ breastfeeding, but as with What to Expect, and indeed, all of these books, I am thankfully quite capable of taking what suits and is useful to me, and leaving the rest, so that’s okay. It’s well sourced in its content, and has a chapter near the end specifically about the original founders of La Leche League, as well as information about how the organisation has developed.

I still haven’t really made contact with LLLI here, but may well still do so.

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

60. So that’s what they’re for! (2nd ed.) by Janet Tamaro

And this is the funny one. It’s got lots of good information, and is aimed at people who aren’t yet entirely convinced breastfeeding is for them and their family, as well as those who are. The author gives plenty of individual examples of situations both positive and negative, her own and from her research. Obviously she’s encouraging breastfeeding, as all of these books are, but this one especially does admit that people sometimes find it difficult, and they all talk about how to get support when it’s needed.


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