Do you have a well-loved breastfeeding book or other resource that gave you the encouragement you needed to breastfeed or helped you through a tough time with nursing? Something you would recommend to a new or experienced mom who needed support?
Help us create a great book/resource list by sharing your favorites!
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League is comprehensive but so readable and most importantly, so friendly and encouraging. It celebrates mothers, babies and nursing and was so comforting to me during difficult nursing trials. I can't recommend it enough!
Nursing Your Baby by Karen and Gale Pryor was a perfect book for me. It covered everything I could think of with up-to-date research. It's not a fancy or cutesy book but it was like my breastfeeding bible. I never had a question about breastfeeding that wasnt' answered to my satisfaction in that book. With my 3 children, I practiced child-led weaning, co-sleeping, tandem nursing, nursing while pregnant and extended breastfeeding for 8 1/2 continuous years.
I loved the website for International Breastfeeding Centre with Dr Jack Newman. Very helpful videos and information.
As a mother (and now as an aspiring doula), I always loved The Nursing Mother's Companion. It breaks down instructions and problem resolutions into key time periods (the first day, the first week, etc.). The steps are clear and the overall tone is very readable.
My hands-down favorite is The Nursing Mother's Companion. I really feel like this is the only book out there that usefully addresses problems you might have and how to solve them. The others are all way too feel-good. I mean, yes, we are all earth mother goddesses and breastfeeding should be peaceful and easy and natural, but when your baby has diet-related colic or refuses to latch on one side or you must supplement because she's not gaining weight or whatever....it's really good to have some step-by-step solutions. Also, it has a list of medications and how okay/not okay they are to take while breastfeeding. I never ended up using that list, but I was really happy to have it, just in case.
Mom to the wacky and wonderful Kalyani (August 2011)
My hands-down favorite is The Nursing Mother's Companion. I really feel like this is the only book out there that usefully addresses problems you might have and how to solve them. The others are all way too feel-good. I mean, yes, we are all earth mother goddesses and breastfeeding should be peaceful and easy and natural, but when your baby has diet-related colic or refuses to latch on one side or you must supplement because she's not gaining weight or whatever....it's really good to have some step-by-step solutions.
You said what I wanted to say so much more comprehensively, LOL!!! I agree with you completely about frank discussion of potential problems. It came up at my local LLL meeting one night that we shouldn't dwell too much on problems, it may frighten women, and if we get off to a good start there shouldn't be any problems. Well, with my first child I took the hospital's b'feeding class, read a few pamphlets from the dr.'s office, and thought I was fine - only to be blind-sided by a baby that wouldn't latch at all. Although he ultimately never breastfed due to an anatomical issue, the info in this book at least gave me a clear, doable program to follow when I was trying to nurse. The chapters are to-the-point also, so new mothers don't have to muddle through a lot of info that may be interesting but not essential in the early days.
Ina May Gaskin's book! It demystifies the process but doesn't focus so much on problems (even though potential problems are definitely addressed). Very grounding and helps get you to a place where breastfeeding is not such a big deal. So many breastfeeding issues are stress-related. We over-intellectualize the whole process and are looking for problems as opposed to enjoying this precious experience. Ina May's book helped balance out all the negative stuff I got from well-meaning friends and family who shared horror story after horror story about birth and breastfeeding. I also like information from Aviva Romm. I don't believe she has a book exclusively about breastfeeding but her health pregnancy, healthy children, and post-partum books all have excellent tips for self-care around breast-feeding. So basically, stuff written by experienced midwives, who tend to have a less medicalized though still highly professional approach.
Emily Lin, mom to Alia (2011). Clinical herbalist and nutritional consultant at Integral Herbalism (www.facebook.com/IntegralHerbalism).
For me, I really liked reading books that weren't manuals. Like, I can get how-to and problem solving info fairly easy. Two great books were Milk Memos (a collection of notes and essays women wrote to each other while pumping in thier company nursing room) and Unbuttoned (women's honest essays of encouragement and frustration, unique challenges, etc. )
I found most of the manual-types to be way too feel-good for me. I was already convinced I wanted to breastfeed 100%, so I wanted something more straightforward, not glossing over potential problems. I found kellymom and these and other BFing forums to be much more useful for me for that part of it, I should probably just print out kellymom into my own "book" for my next child. I need to get a copy of The Nursing Mother's Companion though, it sounds better than the other manual-type books.
Katie - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13