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The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

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All parents want the best for their babies, and there's no doubt about the fact that human milk is the ideal food for human babies. What's the secret of successful breastfeeding? For almost fifty years mothers who have been in touch with La Leche League have found the kind of information and support they needed to breastfeed their babies. In this newly revised edition of T All parents want the best for their babies, and there's no doubt about the fact that human milk is the ideal food for human babies. What's the secret of successful breastfeeding? For almost fifty years mothers who have been in touch with La Leche League have found the kind of information and support they needed to breastfeed their babies. In this newly revised edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, you will learn: ? How human milk offers lifetime benefits for your baby ? How to prepare for breastfeeding during pregnancy ? How to exercise and lose weight safely while nursing ? How to find time for yourself while meeting baby's needs ? How to increase your milk supply by using herbs and medications ? How to be sure your baby is getting enough to eat The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding was the first book of its kind, written for mothers by mothers. Over the years, more than two million mothers have turned to it for information and inspiration.


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All parents want the best for their babies, and there's no doubt about the fact that human milk is the ideal food for human babies. What's the secret of successful breastfeeding? For almost fifty years mothers who have been in touch with La Leche League have found the kind of information and support they needed to breastfeed their babies. In this newly revised edition of T All parents want the best for their babies, and there's no doubt about the fact that human milk is the ideal food for human babies. What's the secret of successful breastfeeding? For almost fifty years mothers who have been in touch with La Leche League have found the kind of information and support they needed to breastfeed their babies. In this newly revised edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, you will learn: ? How human milk offers lifetime benefits for your baby ? How to prepare for breastfeeding during pregnancy ? How to exercise and lose weight safely while nursing ? How to find time for yourself while meeting baby's needs ? How to increase your milk supply by using herbs and medications ? How to be sure your baby is getting enough to eat The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding was the first book of its kind, written for mothers by mothers. Over the years, more than two million mothers have turned to it for information and inspiration.

30 review for The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    This book is great for helping new moms get the hang of latching and positioning. That's about it. Most moms work and many of those moms work full-time, so having an entire chapter of a breastfeeding book devoted to advocating that women NOT work is unsupportive, misogynistic and completely out of sync with the reality of breastfeeding today. If the church ladies over at the La Leche League were really trying to support breastfeeding, they'd acknowledge that working moms are the majority and prov This book is great for helping new moms get the hang of latching and positioning. That's about it. Most moms work and many of those moms work full-time, so having an entire chapter of a breastfeeding book devoted to advocating that women NOT work is unsupportive, misogynistic and completely out of sync with the reality of breastfeeding today. If the church ladies over at the La Leche League were really trying to support breastfeeding, they'd acknowledge that working moms are the majority and provide better guidance on working while breastfeeding. Applauding stay-at-home moms for their dedication to breastfeeding and guilt-tripping working moms is totally backward. Good for you if you want to and can afford to stay home, but since it takes way more dedication to nursing to hook yourself up to a pump every two hours (and then wash your pump parts and bottles etc) than it does to just lift up your shirt and nurse, working moms should be acknowledged as the breastfeeding rock stars we are. Also, the chapter on fathering is beyond offensive. Hey, Dad! Did you know you can take care of your baby, too? Yes, you too can participate in baby care by making your breastfeeding wife a sandwich while she breastfeeds.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This is a 2-2.5 star book. I checked out The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (2004 ed.) from my local library to get a jump start on learning about breastfeeding and particularly about pumping after I return to work (baby is not yet born). It seemed like a really thorough reference for breastfeeding troubleshooting, but I'm not there yet, so I skimmed those parts and read others. I honestly found it almost unbearable to read. The scant number of pages dedicated to working mothers who pump was filled This is a 2-2.5 star book. I checked out The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (2004 ed.) from my local library to get a jump start on learning about breastfeeding and particularly about pumping after I return to work (baby is not yet born). It seemed like a really thorough reference for breastfeeding troubleshooting, but I'm not there yet, so I skimmed those parts and read others. I honestly found it almost unbearable to read. The scant number of pages dedicated to working mothers who pump was filled with guilt trips and some actually erroneous information (not sure if that's because it's from 2004 or not). It is cruel to tell a new mother that the best thing she could do for her baby is not work- especially when the majority of mothers are working mothers! LLL seems very out of touch with reality on this, and it really made me question how much of their other advice is accurate. What about single mothers? Mothers in school who can't take a break from their program without being kicked out? Or, like most people in America, mothers in two-income households that still can't afford to walk away from their job? It's despicable. I knew that the Sears books were full of this kind of stuff, but I guess I didn't realize the extent of the attachment parenting bias of LLL. That said, this book would still be useful as a troubleshooting guide, if you can ignore the agenda of the authors. On a similar note, some of the studies cited are accurate while I'm sure others are not, but there is a heavy reliance on "anecdotal storytelling as fact" throughout that makes me crazy, as a scientist. The experience of other mothers is hugely important in figuring out how to parent a child, but when all of the experiences presented are promoting the same exact agenda and using correlations to make their points, I'm suspicious and immediately distrust that information. This book would be so much better and would be a must-read parenting book if LLL could only manage to put aside their biases against certain women.

  3. 4 out of 5

    CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian

    I was expecting some BS gender essentialist stuff in this book considering the title, but I was not prepared for how overall TERRIBLE it is. (Btw, I had the most recent edition, copyright 2010). There are no citations / scientific evidence for any assertions. Statements that are clearly anecdotes or sweeping generalizations are presented as facts. The tone of the book is VERY judgemental. (You better have a "normal"--yes that's the word they use--birth, aka unmedicated and vaginal delivery or bre I was expecting some BS gender essentialist stuff in this book considering the title, but I was not prepared for how overall TERRIBLE it is. (Btw, I had the most recent edition, copyright 2010). There are no citations / scientific evidence for any assertions. Statements that are clearly anecdotes or sweeping generalizations are presented as facts. The tone of the book is VERY judgemental. (You better have a "normal"--yes that's the word they use--birth, aka unmedicated and vaginal delivery or breastfeeding issues are your fault you selfish mother!) One opinion on any given issue is consistently presented as the only option. There isn't even good practical advice; the section on different breastfeeding positions doesn't even have images for every position! My mom was given this book when her doctor told her she couldn't continue to breastfeed me once she was pregnant with my younger sister. An earlier version of this book told her there was no reason she had to stop, which was empowering (and correct!). I'm glad she had it for that reason, but helping her make that decision is maybe the only good result this book has ever had? I get that the LLL organization and the authors are coming from a place and context where breastfeeding was actively discouraged, but a) going full circle to shame women who don't have an easy natural time breastfeeding is not the answer and b) this perspective is not relevant to my context at all, and I know for others too. I don't need soapbox preaching about how great breastfeeding is, I need practical help and reassurance about having challenges. Did I mention that the book mostly uses 'he' to refer to a generic baby, with a sprinkling of 'she' with no indication of why? Reading this made me feel worse about having some breastfeeding issues, not better. If you feel holier than thou about how you're a better mother thenaothers because of your success breastfeeding, then this is the book for you. Otherwise, avoid at all costs!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    I committed to exclusively breast feed by daughter long before she was born. However, this book did not help that decision. Instead it made me feel like a terrible mother when things did not work as the book predicted. This book would lead you to believe that as long as you do not have medical interventions then your child will be *perfect*. Everything from milk supply to problems with latch are blamed on epidurals. I had a completely natural childbirth. No interventions. My daughter was born wi I committed to exclusively breast feed by daughter long before she was born. However, this book did not help that decision. Instead it made me feel like a terrible mother when things did not work as the book predicted. This book would lead you to believe that as long as you do not have medical interventions then your child will be *perfect*. Everything from milk supply to problems with latch are blamed on epidurals. I had a completely natural childbirth. No interventions. My daughter was born with a cleft lip (which we knew about prenatally) and had problems breathing at birth (because of meconium aspiration). She spent 5 days in the Special Care Nursery, and I pumped and tried to nurse frequently. However, I was very anemic from blood loss. I have PCOS. Adding all that together made for a difficult picture. My supply (despite trying MANY solutions) never truly came in. My daughter nursed some for the next few months, but did not gain back her birth weight for two months (and only after we started supplementing). Their only advice for mothers of babies with cleft lips is, "it shouldn't be a problem." This book advocates not giving your child formula for any reason. They would have recommended that my daughter do without food rather than take formula. There is not a breast milk bank in our city (the suggested alternative to formula). If, for any reason, you have to use formula, this book will make you feel horrible. It will convince you you're giving your baby poison. I reread this book after my daughter was born and it only made me feel despair for the situation we were in. I am a stay at home mom (and planned to be)but there seemed to be very little advice for women who planned to go back to work.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    While this book contains some good information on breastfeeding, I found that, overall, it functioned more as an ideological manifesto than a how-to guide. The answers to most of my breastfeeding questions and problems had to be found elsewhere. (Primarily through friends and the excellent site, kellymom.com). Worse, the book actually angered me at numerous points. It is judgmental and doesn't consider the realities of many women's lives. I know the La Leche League is beloved by breastfeeding wo While this book contains some good information on breastfeeding, I found that, overall, it functioned more as an ideological manifesto than a how-to guide. The answers to most of my breastfeeding questions and problems had to be found elsewhere. (Primarily through friends and the excellent site, kellymom.com). Worse, the book actually angered me at numerous points. It is judgmental and doesn't consider the realities of many women's lives. I know the La Leche League is beloved by breastfeeding women everywhere, and I know that we owe them a debt for the current acceptance of breastfeeding in American society. Still, enough with the attachment parenting cult, the repeated use of William Sears (and no other pediatricians) to hammer home your points, and no acknowledgment of either the difficulties of breastfeeding or the LEGITIMATE NEEDS OF MOTHERS.) When I looked up the section on sleep, for example, I was not given a list of options for approaching night time feedings. Rather, I was told that it was wrong to even be concerned about my own sleep needs. No one has a right to a full night's sleep, the book scolded me. The best solution to not getting any sleep is to simply accept, cheerfully, that my sleep deprivation is best for my baby. (While that is true in the baby's earliest months, pediatricians agree that babies become neurologically and physiologically capable of sleeping for 5-6 hour stretches after 3-4 months of age.) No, there is only one answer: and that is to nurse all night, while bed sharing, until my baby -- at whatever age -- wants to do something else. It does contain some helpful information. But avoid it if you're not ready for your first dose of parenting guilt and judgment.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    DNF, and it was the 2010 edition if that makes any difference. One part mommy-shaming, one part pseudoscientific crap, and two parts informercial for La Leche League, this book made me so angry I almost cracked my Kindle's screen removing it. I'm as pro-breastfeeding as the next woman, but the author of this book seems to delight in making up her own facts. No, your baby will not become an emotionally stunted, developmentally disabled diabetic if you find yourself in a situation where you have to DNF, and it was the 2010 edition if that makes any difference. One part mommy-shaming, one part pseudoscientific crap, and two parts informercial for La Leche League, this book made me so angry I almost cracked my Kindle's screen removing it. I'm as pro-breastfeeding as the next woman, but the author of this book seems to delight in making up her own facts. No, your baby will not become an emotionally stunted, developmentally disabled diabetic if you find yourself in a situation where you have to use formula. No, your baby will not be ruined forever if you require interventions during childbirth. (I have to say, never before have I been told I need to worry about not bonding with my baby if she should happen to glance at someone else other than me immediately after she's born.) And no, breastfeeding will not be as easy as breathing if you can just quit thinking about your own health and safety long enough to have the perfect, all-natural childbirth. And I say all this as a pregnant, attachment parenting stay-at-home-mom who plans to have an all-natural childbirth and exclusively breastfeed. But FFS, the shaming has got to stop and this book seems to be ground zero for the mommy wars. I thought the lactivists online were bad, but these LLL women take it to a whole new level of scathing judgement. If you're looking for science-based, shame-free facts about how to breastfeed and why you should consider giving it a whirl if you can, toss this in a dumpster (preferably one that's on fire at the moment) and look elsewhere.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cyndi

    I wish I'd read this book before my first child was born! I think it had great advice and was really in depth and thorough. I read a few other breastfeeding books before #1 was born but breastfeeding did not go smoothly and my references books were not very help - didn't address my problem at all. I honestly though the name of the book was weird so I picked something more bland and clinical. I saw 3 lactation consultants and was really frustrated and disappointment with my experience. When I was I wish I'd read this book before my first child was born! I think it had great advice and was really in depth and thorough. I read a few other breastfeeding books before #1 was born but breastfeeding did not go smoothly and my references books were not very help - didn't address my problem at all. I honestly though the name of the book was weird so I picked something more bland and clinical. I saw 3 lactation consultants and was really frustrated and disappointment with my experience. When I was pregnant with #2, I opted to read this book as well as Husband Coached Childbirth (another one with the weird name but great advice). And I was pleasantly surprised by both! So amazing - The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding had women's stories with all sorts of problems and how they'd over come them to successfully nurse their babies. They even had my issue with my oldest in it - I wished that I'd read it earlier. My second time around, I was successful and I did see lactation consultants again but really I contacted the LLL and received the best help - very supportive and basically gave me a few pointers, told me I was doing fine and to stop second guessing myself, and stick with it and she was right! All I needed was someone to listen to me, guide me, and encourage me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ned Ryerson

    I am a huge breast feeding advocate. It saves you a lot of money, it's super convenient, it's better for baby and the closeness you feel with your baby is just breath taking. I nursed my baby for 15 months and I wouldn't trade the experience for the world. Weaning her was hard for both of us! That being said, breast feeding is a HUGE commitment. In the beginning it hurts and it is a lot of work. It is nothing to be taken lightly. You think it will be natural and instinctive, but it's not. At leas I am a huge breast feeding advocate. It saves you a lot of money, it's super convenient, it's better for baby and the closeness you feel with your baby is just breath taking. I nursed my baby for 15 months and I wouldn't trade the experience for the world. Weaning her was hard for both of us! That being said, breast feeding is a HUGE commitment. In the beginning it hurts and it is a lot of work. It is nothing to be taken lightly. You think it will be natural and instinctive, but it's not. At least it wasn't for me. I had to learn that shit. I mean, I took classes and had lactation consultants and joined a support group. Seriously. This book is meant to be supportive and informative, but really, to me it just added to the pressure I felt to do it right. When I consulted it for tips on weaning my baby it made me feel bad that I was weaning her at all. So, I don't know about this book. Didn't do me much good.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    Summary: 90% judgment and extremely biased nonsense, mayyybe 10% useful information. Dangerously misleading. "If your friend tells you how she 'loved her epidural,' ask her how her first month of motherhood went." Wow lady, every new mother I've ever asked said the first month was terrible regardless of epidural or not, so let's not encourage all our readers to be as b*tchily morally superior as you, OK? I'm officially giving up on this book. I attempted to read it cover to cover, but it starts w Summary: 90% judgment and extremely biased nonsense, mayyybe 10% useful information. Dangerously misleading. "If your friend tells you how she 'loved her epidural,' ask her how her first month of motherhood went." Wow lady, every new mother I've ever asked said the first month was terrible regardless of epidural or not, so let's not encourage all our readers to be as b*tchily morally superior as you, OK? I'm officially giving up on this book. I attempted to read it cover to cover, but it starts with two chapters of preachy nonsense about how all women and babies are born knowing instinctively how to magically birth and breastfeed as long as you stay away from hospitals. So far there's very little practical information about how to actually do anything. Other reviews have mentioned that it's helpful as long as you ignore most of it and dig up the parts with actual information, which makes it sound like a pretty lousy book, no? The entirety of chapter 2 on labor describes how natural childbirth is an amazing miracle that you will cherish forever, how obstetricians and hospitals are the enemy, how everything will be magically wonderful as long as you do it naturally, and all problems with birth and breastfeeding stem from any medical procedures that you allowed to happen, which are always referred to as "interventions." In maybe a few places, they concede that some of these interventions may be necessary for those poor souls who have high-risk pregnancies though these women should still fight tooth and nail to do everything naturally. It handily glosses over the risk of, you know, death, and how an intervention might prevent it. I believe the following lines were the first point at which I considered giving up on the book: "Muscles just can't work beyond their own ability. Same with labor. Natural contractions _always stop within your ability to cope_[emphasis theirs], because it's your own unmedicated muscles that are doing the work." Is it just me or does this imply that in the absence of those evil medical interventions, your body would never give you more than you could cope with during labor, say in a way that could kill you or your baby, because dying in childbirth has never happened in the history of women or anything. -_- I mean yes you don't want to scare women silly with death and doom, but in 400+ pages, it might be good to mention at least once that there are valid, mortality-avoiding reasons to have medical interventions and give babies formula. From reading the other reviews, it really sounds like this book is not what you want if you're looking for unbiased recommendations based on scientific data, and practical tips on how to breastfeed. But for anyone looking for a book with a pre-determined agenda backfilled with selective scientific evidence, and lots of judgment implying you're twisted and evil should you not find every part of motherhood magical, pleasurable, and easy as long as you do it "naturally," spliced with occasional information on how to actually breastfeed, you've found just the thing. I'll update if I find a book that contains the useful information without the other stuff. I just don't have enough patience to wade through the absurd just to get at the useful. This also makes me very wary of joining in on LLL meetings.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Echo

    This book has a lot of valuable information in it if you are, or would like to, breastfeed. However, I must say that no one should ever sit down & read the whole thing cover to cover unless they want to know more than anyone ever wanted to about nursing! Use it to troubleshoot, or pick & choose the chapters that apply, but it was really rough to read the whole thing. I cheered when I got through the last page. Although, I have also successfully nursed 3 children already & knew quite a bit of thi This book has a lot of valuable information in it if you are, or would like to, breastfeed. However, I must say that no one should ever sit down & read the whole thing cover to cover unless they want to know more than anyone ever wanted to about nursing! Use it to troubleshoot, or pick & choose the chapters that apply, but it was really rough to read the whole thing. I cheered when I got through the last page. Although, I have also successfully nursed 3 children already & knew quite a bit of this stuff just through trial & error, so... Do what you will with it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    ba

    This book advocates for FOD (Feeding on Demand) and talks a lot of shit about Kathleen Huggins' PDF (parent directed feeding) system. Hilariously, both methods actually are close to the same, once you get past the terminology. Too much of the book is spent attacking PDF (the breastfeeding philosophy, not the portable document format) and talking about how kick-ass FOD is. I just noticed that I seem to be the only male who reviewed this book. Weird, huh? This book advocates for FOD (Feeding on Demand) and talks a lot of shit about Kathleen Huggins' PDF (parent directed feeding) system. Hilariously, both methods actually are close to the same, once you get past the terminology. Too much of the book is spent attacking PDF (the breastfeeding philosophy, not the portable document format) and talking about how kick-ass FOD is. I just noticed that I seem to be the only male who reviewed this book. Weird, huh?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mina Villalobos

    So... breastfeeding! I began reading this book about a month before my baby was born. I never finished it before the birth, and after the birth I was usually reading on my phone while I breastfed, and if I had doubts or questions I looked them up online (kellymom.com, that's all). Handling an actual physical book while trying to feed the baby just didn't work for me, so that's one reason I didn't give this as much use as I thought I would. The other reason is that, though I definitely agree that So... breastfeeding! I began reading this book about a month before my baby was born. I never finished it before the birth, and after the birth I was usually reading on my phone while I breastfed, and if I had doubts or questions I looked them up online (kellymom.com, that's all). Handling an actual physical book while trying to feed the baby just didn't work for me, so that's one reason I didn't give this as much use as I thought I would. The other reason is that, though I definitely agree that breast is best and I'm all in for exclusive breastfeeding the first six months and to the right of women to breastfeed their babies for as long as they want, the book was still *too* in my face about it. Like, look. You are in the hospital. Perhaps, like me, you ended up having a c-section after labor failed to progress and there was fetal distress and you cried because this was not what you wanted and maybe no one was on board with the whole breast crawl in the operating room and maybe you were exhausted and in pain because you are resistant to painkillers and you are trying to have the baby latch and he just doesn't know how and you don't know how because for all the photos and youtube videos in the world you have only two hands and how exactly do you cup your breast with the c-hold and bring your baby to the breast while keeping his mouth open and positioning and all that shit that later comes super easy? And you cry. And the nurse asks if you want a bottle of formula. You know what? IT'S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. Yes yes nipple confusion and colostrum and all that. My milk didn't come in for about a day and a half and I was offering the baby the breast so if there was colostrum coming out he was having it, but it was also sweltering hot and I kept going through water bottles and this tiny human was having only drops of liquid. I was going mad. In part, with guilt. For offering him a bottle after half an hour of clumsy breast latching. The book did a good job of making me feel like shit (along with a few unhelpful visitors because BREAST BREAST ONLY BREAST DON'T OFFER ANYTHING ELSE) but not much helping. I think it has plenty of great advice, but I could have used a book that told me to calm down and do what I could instead of parroting the same things with these mom-stories confirming that YES BREAST IS BEST BREAST IS BEST BREAST BREAST. I wasn't lazy. I wanted to do it. I eventually got the hang of it. I do believe breast is best. But let me tell you something: Take it easy. Breastfeeding is hard as it is. Don't cry. You'll get there. And if you need to offer a bottle for the sake of your sanity, then give baby a bottle and don't go down the rabbit hole.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cori

    This book is great for the woman already determined to breastfeed, however I worry that a woman on the fence or that is struggling with negative feelings towards breastfeeding, might be put off by the overly positive portrayal of breastfeeding. I've exclusively breastfed two children, for me every moment was a struggle but a worthy one. I will strongly encourage my future childbirth students to breastfeed... so I am on the La Leche League's side, but the judgmental tone of the book put me off. I This book is great for the woman already determined to breastfeed, however I worry that a woman on the fence or that is struggling with negative feelings towards breastfeeding, might be put off by the overly positive portrayal of breastfeeding. I've exclusively breastfed two children, for me every moment was a struggle but a worthy one. I will strongly encourage my future childbirth students to breastfeed... so I am on the La Leche League's side, but the judgmental tone of the book put me off. I've definitely experienced the "nursing high" but I've also experienced low milk supply due to polycystic ovary syndrome and disphoric milk ejection response, two breastfeeding complications not addressed, and I wonder if that's because it's difficult to but a glowy spin on them. Breastfeeding is hard sometimes, sometimes it sucks, but it is what is best and denying that reality hurts this book's credibility with the women who are privy to the other side. I found the chapter on working mothers especially disappointing, offering some tips in the beginning, but wrapping it up with "success stories" of women who chose to leave their careers for their children. This is not much different from formulas who offer breastfeeding advice and wrap it up with their own agenda.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Dennison

    An incredibly thorough book that covers just about everything you need to know about breastfeeding! I don't know what else to say about it, other than if you are expecting a baby, this is a must-have for your bookshelf! It will help prepare you well, and will no doubt be an incredibly valuable reference. I want to address some concerns other reviewers have made. It seems people perceived some kind of lack of information about pumping/needs of working moms, etc. Even that the book/LLL "guilts" or An incredibly thorough book that covers just about everything you need to know about breastfeeding! I don't know what else to say about it, other than if you are expecting a baby, this is a must-have for your bookshelf! It will help prepare you well, and will no doubt be an incredibly valuable reference. I want to address some concerns other reviewers have made. It seems people perceived some kind of lack of information about pumping/needs of working moms, etc. Even that the book/LLL "guilts" or "shames" moms about this. First of all- NOT TRUE. There is ABUNDANT information about how to pump, as well as how to make breastfeeding (and pumping) succeed during the separation caused by a working mother. TONS of information. I truly can't fathom what information may have been left out, or how they could have been more thorough. In the very beginning of the book, the authors explain that since breastfeeding is the biologically normal mode of nourishment, that they will use breastfed babies as a benchmark to compare formula/formula fed children. In this perspective, the risks/benefits are portrayed as increased risks of formula feeding vs the "benefits" of breastfeeding. This makes perfectly logical sense and is a very reasonable approach- although obviously some individuals will be offended by this perspective. That is a personal problem, not a bias of information or fact. Similarly, the "bias" people perceive about how information for working mothers is portrayed. It is the biological norm for babies to breastfeed and have access round the clock to their mother's breasts for nutrition and comfort. THIS IS THE BIOLOGICAL NORM- and therefore it is the ideal situation for babies. In other words- IT IS NOT IDEAL FOR A MOTHER TO HAVE TO LEAVE HER BABY TO WORK. This does not mean working mothers are sub par. It's just a fact that from their baby's standpoint, and the physiology of breastfeeding, they are at a disadvantage. Therefore, much of the advice is centered around how to reach the biological norm in ways that meets the mother's need to work, or how to mimic the biological norm as best as possible. It would do women and babies a huge disservice to ignore the biology of it all and just say "good for you, going back to work!". Of course a working mother is just as good a parent as a stay at home mother, all else equal. But we need to acknowledge the drawbacks of working mothers especially in terms of a successful breastfeeding relationship. Of course it is possible to work and carry on a healthy, long term, breastfeeding relationship! But since it is not the biological norm, it is challenging. Any challenges pose a risk of premature weaning- given the health benefits to mother and baby, as well as the emotional aspect, it is critical to be up front about why these risks/challenges exist. And that is because working mothers are not ideal, from a purely biological standpoint. There is absolutely nothing wrong in recognizing and saying this. It is not a guilt trip. It is a fact. If YOU perceive it to be a judgement on the quality of your parenting, then perhaps you have some underlying hangups. Being less than ideal biologically doesn't mean "bad parent". It also doesn't mean the book is sexist or biased.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    I wish I could have given this book a better review, but it has problems that many others have already pointed out, and one that nobody else has mentioned: Not everyone is able to breastfeed. Many women need to return to work immediately, particularly in our post-meltdown economy, and do not have supportive workplaces where pumping is possible. Some women have biological issues that prevent their children from breastfeeding, despite endless endless consultations with lactation experts, weeks on I wish I could have given this book a better review, but it has problems that many others have already pointed out, and one that nobody else has mentioned: Not everyone is able to breastfeed. Many women need to return to work immediately, particularly in our post-meltdown economy, and do not have supportive workplaces where pumping is possible. Some women have biological issues that prevent their children from breastfeeding, despite endless endless consultations with lactation experts, weeks on medication to keep their milk production up, and endless hours applying peristaltic pumps to their nipples. Few would deny the benefits of breastfeeding in this enlightened time, yet breastfeeding activists are far too quick to judge those mothers who are forced by their circumstances to make a less-optimal choice. Inability to breastfeed despite the best intentions and greatest efforts has been a factor in the postnatal depression of more than one of my friends. We could all be a little more understanding.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    This is an excellent resource for anyone wishing to breastfeed. Despite LLL's reputation for being militant when it comes to the "breast is best" philosophy, I didn't find the book to be overly dogmatic or off-putting in any way. Excellent troubleshooting section. This is an excellent resource for anyone wishing to breastfeed. Despite LLL's reputation for being militant when it comes to the "breast is best" philosophy, I didn't find the book to be overly dogmatic or off-putting in any way. Excellent troubleshooting section.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Fields

    Let's start with the good: this book has many useful tips about breastfeeding, from pumping to the benefits to understanding the reproductive cycle while breastfeeding. It's obviously pro-breastfeeding and offers numerous ways for women committed to breastfeeding to address problems that may arise. I recommend it for these practical reasons. Now for the not-so-good: I've read lots of pregnancy books over the last 8 months. Often I read reviews of these books that detect a condescending tone (e.g Let's start with the good: this book has many useful tips about breastfeeding, from pumping to the benefits to understanding the reproductive cycle while breastfeeding. It's obviously pro-breastfeeding and offers numerous ways for women committed to breastfeeding to address problems that may arise. I recommend it for these practical reasons. Now for the not-so-good: I've read lots of pregnancy books over the last 8 months. Often I read reviews of these books that detect a condescending tone (e.g., that natural birth is the only way to go). I haven't found any of these books to be particularly condescending, though most of them (Our Bodies, Ourselves is an exception) assume traditional gender roles in a household, which is annoying, and most have a pretty clear agenda. In this reading context, then, I found The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding to be fairly condescending. Or, more aptly, the book assumes too much. This was published in 2004, and the book assumes that I'm going to be waiting for my husband to come home at 5pm so I can get a little rest, and that I'm going to have to educate my husband about how to be an understanding and loving father. They suggest that I should wait as long as possible to go back to work, as if the majority of American women have that luxury in one of the worst parental leave contexts in the world. One personal example from the book is from a wife whose husband lost interest in the baby because babies "don't do anything." The wife, who was, we assume, breastfeeding every 2-3 hours, spent time and energy coaxing him otherwise and was successful in doing so. OK. If my husband did that, I'd throw his ass to the curb before he could complete the sentence. Yet the example is presented as if it's something others will have experienced. Maybe I'm too idealistic and I expect more from my partner than other women, but I doubt it. I don't think any woman should have to even bother convincing a male partner that he should be as invested in caregiving as she is. Overall, the book needs to be updated for tone and an acknowledgment of the diverse reality of families and gender identities. There is a glaring lack of acknowledgment for families that do not consist of a husband and wife, or even families that consist of partners who do everything they can (because they want to) to participate equally in the development of their children.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Beth Dillon

    So ... this book is not for everyone. Which sucks, because it postulates that it is. But not everyone has a glowing relationship with breastfeeding, or has a lifestyle that aligns with prioritizing breastfeeding over all else (i.e. breastfeeding on demand, bed-sharing, not using a bottle, etc). And not everyone is planning to nurse through toddler-hood. That being said - this book helped me immensely. During the fog of sleep deprivation of those first few weeks - reading the appropriate chapters So ... this book is not for everyone. Which sucks, because it postulates that it is. But not everyone has a glowing relationship with breastfeeding, or has a lifestyle that aligns with prioritizing breastfeeding over all else (i.e. breastfeeding on demand, bed-sharing, not using a bottle, etc). And not everyone is planning to nurse through toddler-hood. That being said - this book helped me immensely. During the fog of sleep deprivation of those first few weeks - reading the appropriate chapters and having "someone else" tell me that what I was doing wasn't insane, gave me the strength to forge ahead. And when I got mastitis, I must have read and re-read everything they laid out on the subject. But perhaps more importantly, it helped me learn to follow my instincts. As a first time mom, I had no clue how much pressure there is from other people on how exactly you should be parenting. Sleep training vs. not vs. attachment parenting vs. baby-led weaning vs. etc etc etc. It's exhausting. And I found on multiple occasions that it was easy to let the opinions of others crowd into my parenting style. Reading this book in pieces - and re-reading certain sections - helped me tune out all of the noise and focus on what I felt was the best course of action. And that's pretty much why I give it 4 stars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I liked the book and I found it helpful. I did read it cover to cover and my LO has not even arrived yet, I have also already been attending my local LLL meetings and trying to get comfortable with the wild world of breast feeding, so this probably colors my review somewhat. There is a lot of great information in the book and I can see it being a tremendous reference for troubleshooting. I did not get the same anti-working mom vibe that others have cited...maybe I have a different edition? If yo I liked the book and I found it helpful. I did read it cover to cover and my LO has not even arrived yet, I have also already been attending my local LLL meetings and trying to get comfortable with the wild world of breast feeding, so this probably colors my review somewhat. There is a lot of great information in the book and I can see it being a tremendous reference for troubleshooting. I did not get the same anti-working mom vibe that others have cited...maybe I have a different edition? If you are looking for a book that is going to say "hurrah for formula" this is probably not the book for you, similarly, given that it is published by a breast feeding support group, one should expect that they are going to advocate exclusively breastfeeding. Does the book have its own orientation and agenda? Yes. Does that agenda negate the down to earth practical advice given throughout? I guess thats up to the individual to decide. I think you take what you want and leave the rest. I, for one, am glad I read it and happy that I will have it on hand.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Lee

    DNF. Short version: This book came up on the internet as one of the best resources and overall guides for breastfeeding. Unfortunately, I found it full of mom-shaming, dangerous advice, and claims/theories backed by zero science or studies. The long version: I don't generally write lengthy reviews, but this book made me so uncomfortable and angry with its generalizations and falsehoods that I couldn't not speak up. A few examples: 1. The authors are quick to blame any issues your baby may ever ha DNF. Short version: This book came up on the internet as one of the best resources and overall guides for breastfeeding. Unfortunately, I found it full of mom-shaming, dangerous advice, and claims/theories backed by zero science or studies. The long version: I don't generally write lengthy reviews, but this book made me so uncomfortable and angry with its generalizations and falsehoods that I couldn't not speak up. A few examples: 1. The authors are quick to blame any issues your baby may ever have with latching or nursing on medical intervention and epidurals ("If your friend tells you how she 'loved her epidural,' ask her how her first month of motherhood went."). But if you had a natural birth, you're basically guaranteed smooth sailing (especially if it was at home). 2. They treat doctors and other medical professionals as one giant, ignorant entity without your best interest at heart. ("You may have been told X by your doctor, but those are notoriously inaccurate tests." Or "This may be only for your doctor's convenience"). Heaven forbid we let those who went to medical school and are experienced OBGYNs give any advice or feedback on what could be best for you and your baby. The authors actually say OBGYNs are inexperienced in non-medicated, non-complicated births. Are they now? ALL of them? Really? Generalizations like that infuriate me. 3. Don't get me started on how they talk about hospitals in comparison to the ever-idyllic home birth. And, by the way, seriously NO OFFENSE if you chose a home birth; It's the attitude of the book and the authors I have an issue with, not the setting of your labor & delivery. ("Hospital routines, feeling like a patient, bright lights, scary equipment, unaccustomed smells - they all make us feel uneasy and make labor more difficult.") ...Hmm, do you have any actual proof for that last statement? Oh, all of those examples are from the same chapter. Like, from a couple of pages. I thought maybe things would look up when we actually switched to the topic they're supposedly experts in. Instead, I found the authors advocating for a number of controversial things NOT supported by the medical community at large, including co-sleeping. Oh, and also leaving your new infant ON THE SIDE OF YOUR BED during intercourse... Nope, nothing risky about that! I also came across advice I personally found uncomfortable and downright weird (again, with no scientific backing), including LICKING your baby to help with bonding. Multiple times, the authors compare us to other mammals (cats being the preferred mammal of choice). And look, I love cats. But I am not one, and my baby is not a kitten. So please stop and treat me like an intelligent person. I quit reading at chapter 11. I couldn't take anymore of it. But from skimming the rest, it doesn't appear to let up. They are critical of pumping and supplementing with formula for ANY reason whatsoever. How working or single mothers are supposed to follow their advice is beyond me. Dads aren't even hardly in the picture in this book. Sending the baby to the nursery after your delivery is a major no-no. Your OB or pediatrician is probably of the devil and has no clue what they're talking about. This critical attitude that the authors hold towards anything they disagree with or that they deem against their strictly natural, holistic approach was honestly offensive. Breastfeeding may be natural and how our bodies were designed, but circumstances exist where it is. Not. Possible. Example: My sister adopted a 7 month old. She didn't HAVE the option to breastfeed her son. Does that make her any less of a mother, or her son any less attached to her? OF COURSE NOT. But you would not feel that way after reading this book. On the contrary, the authors make any woman who could not exclusively breastfeed for at least two years feel completely ostracized and insufficient. And I'm sorry, but that is 100% NOT how it should be. It is NEVER okay to mom-shame like that. Every woman and every baby is different, has different needs, different issues, and different circumstances. Those who deviate - willingly or from necessity - from the authors' viewpoints are not any less than those who follow them strictly. Lastly, while I am an advocate for breastfeeding, am committed to breastfeeding my baby when he arrives, and have NO issues with women breastfeeding in public, these authors write with such an entitled attitude, you'd think the entire world should stop for a breastfeeding mother (and shame on the world if it doesn't!). Nursing may be a normal part of life that should be acceptable, but I would argue it doesn't automatically give breastfeeding mothers an out to be disrespectful to others... Some social awareness is still appropriate at times, I think. Okay - have I roasted this book enough? I regret spending the money on it and will never be able to recommend it to someone else. Maybe there will be a chart in the back I can refer back to or something so it doesn't feel like a total waste...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Doreen

    La Leche League started out as a group that sought to support women who wanted to breastfeed, a progressive organization that wanted to give women choices. With the publication of this 7th Revised Edition of their handbook, however, it's become clear that they've turned into an organization intent on shaming mothers who don't breastfeed instead. It was difficult for me to read this book because it's written like a religious tract. Breastfeeding = good behavior, and should you transgress, a) you'r La Leche League started out as a group that sought to support women who wanted to breastfeed, a progressive organization that wanted to give women choices. With the publication of this 7th Revised Edition of their handbook, however, it's become clear that they've turned into an organization intent on shaming mothers who don't breastfeed instead. It was difficult for me to read this book because it's written like a religious tract. Breastfeeding = good behavior, and should you transgress, a) you're not a good mother/person, and b) you're subjecting your child to all sorts of terrible things due to your sinning. It's clear that the authors expect you to martyr yourself for your child. According to the book, you don't need sleep: feeding your child is that much more fulfilling. The chapter on balancing work with motherhood basically boiled down to "you should really consider being a stay-at-home mom." As a stay-at-home mom, even I was offended by this: I can't imagine how it comes across to women who choose to go back to work full-time. And the language is so ridiculously fluffy. "Babies are born to be breastfed." I don't care if it's a quote from the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services: it's a ridiculous quote. "Babies are meant to be breastfed" at least makes sense, but babies aren't born to be anything. And this one-sentence paragraph from the foreword should have had me backing off slowly from the rest of it: "Breastfeeding is about the power of peace, the power of goodness, and the power of responsibility." What. In. The. There's some useful information tucked in there amongst the proselytizing, and some really obvious stuff (e.g. if your child is fed and in his crib crying, consider picking him up. Duh.) But there's some pretty awful advice, too, such as: don't keep any formula in the house, because you'll be tempted to use it. Firstly, formula is not rat poison. Secondly, I'm of the belief that you should feed your child if he's hungry, and formula, while not optimal, is still nutritious, especially if you're having trouble lactating. I'm sure there are better breast-feeding books out there. I wouldn't recommend getting this one.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    This is a very informative tome, covering lots of different breastfeeding topics. It covered the stuff that is in all the pregnancy and early childcare books, as well as topics I wouldn't have thought of, such as different feeding holds/techniques, unique troubleshooting information, and lots more. It includes many different references, not just for breastfeeding, but for other issues as well, such as sleeping, feeding solids, etc. The downfalls to this book, however, were annoying enough that th This is a very informative tome, covering lots of different breastfeeding topics. It covered the stuff that is in all the pregnancy and early childcare books, as well as topics I wouldn't have thought of, such as different feeding holds/techniques, unique troubleshooting information, and lots more. It includes many different references, not just for breastfeeding, but for other issues as well, such as sleeping, feeding solids, etc. The downfalls to this book, however, were annoying enough that they kind of shadowed my overall reading experience. One of my problems is that they place themselves (La Leche League) above the medical community as breastfeeding authorities. There is an actual chart in this book that says doctors\OBs probably don't have breastfeeding know-how, and that the only reliable resource if you are struggling is through the La Leche League. Granted, members/leaders are mothers who have presumably breastfed at least one child; that, however, does not mean they are medical authorities themselves, or that they know better than professionals. That kind of rubbed me the wrong way, especially since every situation is personal and unique. Additionally, and somewhat related, is another complaint I have. They stand very firmly on the side of natural birth (which in and of itself is fine), and seriously vilify any kind of medication or birthing assistance (caesarian)(this, I don't think is fine). They don't take into consideration scenarios where non-natural birthing experiences may be necessary. They also imply that formula is never an option, and even if you have to pump your breast milk, that's not good enough either, because the baby is not physically breastfeeding. I just feel that that is doing a disservice to all the women who don't have perfect textbook births and feeding experiences. Despite not wanting to support pumping outright, to their credit, they do include information for the mother who has to do that, or is pumping while going back to work or while weaning.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Audra (Unabridged Chick)

    For such a massive tome, a bit thin on details -- for example, every section about problems with nursing was supremely unhelpful and super vague. I found more detailed info from websites like KellyMom and Facebook groups. Perhaps for those who can't get online, this might be a helpful start, but pretty disappointing. For such a massive tome, a bit thin on details -- for example, every section about problems with nursing was supremely unhelpful and super vague. I found more detailed info from websites like KellyMom and Facebook groups. Perhaps for those who can't get online, this might be a helpful start, but pretty disappointing.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

    There could be some helpful information here sandwiched in all the judgment. - Having problems breastfeeding? Try going back in time and not having an epidural or c-section! Who cares about a mother's pain or health when the chance to have slightly better breastfeeding relationship is at stake? - Is your baby breastfeeding nonstop so you have no chance to do anything? Just accept this is your life now and celebrate how fun it is to be stuck in a chair all day! Hope you don't have a job, other ch There could be some helpful information here sandwiched in all the judgment. - Having problems breastfeeding? Try going back in time and not having an epidural or c-section! Who cares about a mother's pain or health when the chance to have slightly better breastfeeding relationship is at stake? - Is your baby breastfeeding nonstop so you have no chance to do anything? Just accept this is your life now and celebrate how fun it is to be stuck in a chair all day! Hope you don't have a job, other children, or responsibilities. - Having trouble breastfeeding? Try this patented method of lying back slightly that La Leche League has trademarked. It will solve your woes! - Are you insanely sleep deprived because your baby is eating every 2 hours and acting like they are starving? Suck it up! Have you asked your husband to make you a sandwich to even out the load? If that doesn't do it, definitely bed share. Ignore the risks of suffocating your child (particularly while sleep deprived), breastfeeding is more important. - Don't you dare give that baby a bottle or pacifier (even though nipple confusion has been discredited in actual scientific studies)! - Don't listen to crazy pediatricians who recommend using formula sometimes if you aren't producing enough milk to ensure your baby isn't starving. They don't know a damn thing. - Have you considered not having a job just so you can be a better breastfeeder? It's a great choice, provided breastfeeding is your only priority in life and also you have complete financial independence! Overall, this book made me feel terrible about myself for not accepting all of their unrealistic advice. I also am very dubious about the studies they cited, since they didn't seem to assess the validity of the studies or their design (which books like The Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby's First Year or Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool actually do). I will note that I read an older edition, so maybe some of this was improved, but I would not recommend this book to anyone unless they have a very strong sense of self and are able to read this without feeling personally victimized by La Leche League.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This is the new 8th edition, which I hear is a wonderful improvement. After reading Amber's review (http://www.strocel.com/the-womanly-ar...), I've been anxious to see what changes have been made. It's definitely heftier than the previous. Aug 17 Just finished chapter 4. I was already learning new stuff in chapter 1. Chapter 2 is about setting up support for yourself. Chapter 3 is about birth. Chapter 4 is about latching. Loved the new latch approach, it will definitely empower new moms. That chap This is the new 8th edition, which I hear is a wonderful improvement. After reading Amber's review (http://www.strocel.com/the-womanly-ar...), I've been anxious to see what changes have been made. It's definitely heftier than the previous. Aug 17 Just finished chapter 4. I was already learning new stuff in chapter 1. Chapter 2 is about setting up support for yourself. Chapter 3 is about birth. Chapter 4 is about latching. Loved the new latch approach, it will definitely empower new moms. That chapter was just so full of hope and "we know it'll work out for you!" enthusiasm. The next section is divided up by stages of development. Looking forward to it. I think this book is better organized than the previous edition. Where it's lacking at the moment: I looked up thrush b/c I've got that and there really wasn't much. Thrush is so common, especially since antibiotics in labor are pretty common, that I would have hoped there would be more. On to chapter 5... Sept 2 Chapters 5 to 11 are divided by stages of development from newborn to toddler. It was interesting to learn that during the time your supply is being regulated in the first two or three weeks, you hit the point where you're making more milk than you will for the rest of your breastfeeding relationship. If you are scheduling or trying to get your baby to STTN at that stage, you might be inadvertently causing low supply because your body will think that your maximum need is low. Sure, growth spurts and herbs can cause an increase in production, but it won't be quite at the level you had in the beginning. It's amazing how important those first few weeks are. I'm almost done with chapter 12 which is about sleep. I love that they give a list of lots of sleep ideas beyond holding and rocking to sleep. I think almost every baby can learn to sleep well without CIO, but we parents just don't know where to find other ideas to try since the CIO ones are so publicized. I know The No Cry Sleep Solution has a lot more ideas; I've only read the No Cry Nap Solution, though. I was surprised at how much they endorsed bedsharing since it seems every organization that endorses always puts caveats on. They do mention things that make it unsafe, so the caveats are there, but they aren't the focus whereas most bedsharing recommendations focus on the "well... make sure that you don't...." Much more positive here. Update September 19: Chapter 13- Solids. Very laid back, not black and white (child led weaning/self-feeding) and informative. Like it. Chapter 14 On when you can't be with your baby, and chapter 15 on expressing milk are two that I'll need to re-read a few times to get it all in since I don't have personal experience with either of those. But I learned some great stuff! I really love how relaxed the authors write- you can feel that they really want to help women succeed and are so encouraging. Chapter 16- weaning. Also wonderful information for pretty much any weaning circumstance imaginable" abrupt, gradual, night weaning, pregnancy weaning, child-led, mother-led, etc. I'm in the "Alternate routes" chapter now. Sept 27: I'm done! Wow. Definitely more thorough than the seventh edition. Lots of great new stuff. Chapter 17- "Alternate routes" with a good variety of issues: exclusive pumping, premature babies, multiples, relactation, induced lactation, special needs babies (clefts, Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, etc), maternal issues (HIV, diagnostic medical tests, cancer, breast surgery), lactation after baby's death. A good chapter to review every so often because I don't have personal experience with these. Chapter 18-Tech Support. All the things that get in your way. I think the section on blebs is funny. Or just that "bleb" is a funny word. Probably the later. This chapter has the usual issues: mastitis, food sensitivities, jaundice, nursing strikes, oversupply, piercings, PPD, low supply, etc, but also has a few I hadn't thought about like eating disorders in the mother or bariatric surgery. And I learned that something called D-MER existed. Good to know. I think the section on supplementation was really well-though-out. Lots of suggestions for supplementing so that breastfeeding can continue. I'll need to bookmark that. Most of the issues were really full of information. I'm still a little upset that after all that great information, the section on yeast is so small. Really? 3 great authors and yeast gets 2 paragraphs? Maybe it didn't get as much attention because it's at the end alphabetically. Chapter 19- About LLL. Purpose and History of LLL and how to get help through them. Chapter 20- Tear-out sheets. Some of these are just so wonderful. The partners sheet and the grandparents sheet just tickled me; the authors were able to give great information without sounding like they were talking down to family caregivers. And I like how important information-dense sections of the book (like bottle-feeding a breastfed baby and milk storage) were summarized into tear-out pages. And fussy baby ideas, which is so much of an issue for many new and experienced moms, also got a tear-out sheet. I've already used some of the ideas with Isaac. Over all, I thought this was a great edition. Definitely hard to read through, but it's broken down into great sections and the index is much more thorough and easy to use than the last edition's. This one is definitely staying on my shelf and was worth the money. Lots of new stuff, newer research, and a wonderful conversational tone. I heard one mom at LLL this past month say that this new edition has "renewed her faith in LLL." Ditto.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karly

    So many helpful tips and information- a great reference!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    If I could give half stars, this one would get 2.5. It did have some very good information that I will be using. However, it was almost overwhelmed by the obnoxious attitude taken by LLL towards breastfeeding. Yes, I know this is a book advocating breastfeeding, but LLL, despite what they weakly disclaim in the beginning of the book, takes a pretty hardline "my way or the highway" approach to breastfeeding that is a huge turn-off. If anything, I think this book would make women feel inferior if If I could give half stars, this one would get 2.5. It did have some very good information that I will be using. However, it was almost overwhelmed by the obnoxious attitude taken by LLL towards breastfeeding. Yes, I know this is a book advocating breastfeeding, but LLL, despite what they weakly disclaim in the beginning of the book, takes a pretty hardline "my way or the highway" approach to breastfeeding that is a huge turn-off. If anything, I think this book would make women feel inferior if they are not able to nurse their baby for whatever reason. They have one tiny section (in the back of the book) devoted to women who've adopted or had some kind of breast surgery and are unable to nurse. If a woman falls into this category, I wish her good luck getting through the rest of the book before getting to the section relevant to her. And the options LLL offers to these women are ridiculously unrealistic for most modern women. I also felt the authors would only appeal most to 1950s housewives, which I suppose makes sense since the book was first written in 1958. The authors all seem, from their bios, to have been stay at home mothers. The book touches briefly on working mothers, and then dives right into a sermon about perhaps it would be better if Mother stayed at home. What the fuck? Welcome to the 21st Century, ladies. And it never once mentioned single mothers. Overall, the book contained some useful information on general parenting and baby care as well as specifically breastfeeding information. However, I would recommend trying to find something a little more modern, realistic and accepting than this one if you are looking for help with breastfeeding.

  28. 5 out of 5

    AI

    Wow, this is bad. Sure, there's a lot of advice on latching, positioning, milk supply, and so on. But there's even more guilt-tripping and preaching. The first chapters are almost exclusively about those horrible _labour interventions_ like the epidural which will cause you countless problems and (gasp) make you not fall in love with your baby at first sight. Should you have forgotten the admonitions, you're constantly reminded of what you were supposed to do in the remaining chapters. (Advice to t Wow, this is bad. Sure, there's a lot of advice on latching, positioning, milk supply, and so on. But there's even more guilt-tripping and preaching. The first chapters are almost exclusively about those horrible _labour interventions_ like the epidural which will cause you countless problems and (gasp) make you not fall in love with your baby at first sight. Should you have forgotten the admonitions, you're constantly reminded of what you were supposed to do in the remaining chapters. (Advice to talk to your local La Leche League leader, or to go to a meeting, is in every second page. If the league is as preachy as the book, I'd avoid it like fire.)

  29. 4 out of 5

    kimberly

    NOPE. This book was the worst. I really want to try breastfeeding, and thought this book would help give me pointers. I never even got that far. It’s so damn preachy and basically tells you that breastfeeding has been successful by BILLIONS of others, and you get the idea that if you have any interventions at all, you’re going to be fucked. So I started skipping around tying to find something helpful, when in the weaning section, they then say that if you don’t let your baby feed itself, you may NOPE. This book was the worst. I really want to try breastfeeding, and thought this book would help give me pointers. I never even got that far. It’s so damn preachy and basically tells you that breastfeeding has been successful by BILLIONS of others, and you get the idea that if you have any interventions at all, you’re going to be fucked. So I started skipping around tying to find something helpful, when in the weaning section, they then say that if you don’t let your baby feed itself, you may give them eating problems and they can end up obese, or with bulimia or anorexia from “control issues around food”. Are you FUCKING kidding me? I can’t. I just can’t.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    Blech. My kid and I figured out things ourselves and definitely found the cultish La Leche League to be a bit much for our taste.

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