Need a Good Breastfeeding Book

Updated on April 11, 2010
A.R. asks from Gilbertsville, PA
16 answers

I'm having my first delivery next month and I was wanting to find a GOOD breastfeeding book. One that's not "if you don't breastfeed you're dooming your child to the depths of hades you evil selfish woman," or that over-zealous mindset.

Just basic breastfeeding for dummies; the how-to's the what to expect, trouble shooting and so on. I know I'll have a lactation consultant at the hospital and everything but I like to read up. Going to classes isn't an option for me. Suggestions?

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answers from Allentown on

Hi, A.:

Have you gone on line to find a La Leche League Breast feeding Consultant


Hope this helps. D.



answers from York on

I'm a reader to, but I wouldn't really endorse any of the ones I read. They made me roll my eyes frequently, though the info was good. An excellent website is I always go there to troubleshoot now. Good luck!

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answers from Philadelphia on

I agree that most of these books are great - nursing mother's companion, dr sears, and So that's what they are for. I also recommend getting in touch with nursing mothers if you have problems that can't be answered in the books. Also when you decide to wean which won't be for a while, there is a book called "How to wean". When I got engorged after 1 year of feeding, a lactation consultant said I should have gotten this book b/c it tell you not only how to wean the baby but how to wean yourself so you don't have problems with your body. None of the books had this information. Good luck!!


answers from Pittsburgh on

I second, "So THAT's what they're for!" GREAT book, laid back, realistic.



answers from Houston on

I used to read all the literature they gave me at the hospital on breastfeeding but if i couldnt get in touch with my lactation nurse then i would definitely turn to this website..





answers from Pittsburgh on

People have made good suggestions, so I won't reiterate them. My advice is to not take any of the books too seriously (some of them are pretty darn preachy AND really gloss over the serious challenges to breastfeeding). And remember that you can get as educated as you want to (and you should) but remember that the baby won't have read the books. It came as such a shock to me that my ds was such a crappy nurser-- even though I had read every book there was and been to class upon class, he hadn't. So do your best, but be prepared for the unexpected! A good lactation consultant is worth his or her weight in gold. Our pediatricians are all Lactation Consultants, which made my life SO much easier. A good question to ask when you are interviewing pediatricians, though you won't find many outside Pittsburgh who are. But they might at least have a LC on staff...



answers from Philadelphia on

This is not what you asked for, though it looks like you've gotten some good responses in that department already. But if you do encounter too much "if you don't breastfeed you're dooming your child to the depths of hades you evil selfish woman" info, here's a great article to offset it:

I breastfed my first for 20 months and am now happily breastfeeding my 7-week-old, but I still recommend this article to everyone I know. Breastfeeding is just not in the cards for many people (many of my loved ones, for example), and it shouldn't be considered the end of the world if it just doesn't work out. :-)

Luck to you,
H. S



answers from Chicago on

I would have been lost without The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins. The first two months of nursing were a little tough for me and this book was such a comfort. It's easy to read, great for troubleshooting, and not too preachy. It's well-organized, too, with sections for the first two months (common problems, etc), older babies, traveling, going back to work, safety of various medications, etc. I took it to the hospital with me and kept it by my side for weeks.

I second the previous poster's suggestion of a great online resource.

Enjoy your little one!



answers from Pittsburgh on

Use this forum...I found "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" too preachy, but it's on my bedside table. So is all the literature I could get from the hospital. I have to take the feedback from La Leche with a grain of salt, and the best advice I got was from other breastfeeding moms (including this forum). Some folks act like they know it all, but really, it's a personal experience that varies greatly from mom to mom, baby to baby. Some folks would take issue with the fact that I used the SNS (Supplemental Nursing System) with formula for the first week with my daughter, but it got us past the hump and she had 12 months of formula-free nursing. You have to do what works for YOU;)



answers from Philadelphia on

"So That's What They're For!" by Janet Taramo. It gives you all the info you need, but is still fun to read and laid-back. I get it for all the moms I know who are planning to BF for the first time. Best of luck to you!



answers from Philadelphia on

In my opinion (after breastfeeding my child for 9 months and dealing with lots of issues) that all you need is and a continued relationship with a lactation consultant. If you have the $ (even check your insurance for coverage), I highly recommend a home visit or an office visit after you get home to make sure everything is going well. Also, the LLL in your area is a fantastic resource. I was 'reader' for my first child and felt that I knew what to expect but only nursed for a month or so and never nursed him exclusively. For my second, I threw my modesty out the window and let experienced women take a look at what was going on to make sure I was doing things right. Also, your hospital may have support groups that meet regularly. And, here is the advice I wish a book would have told me (but the women did tell me) is very difficult for most women for the first 6 weeks or so (lack of sleep, constantly nursing, body adjusting to nursing), but don't give up! After that it usually magically gets better and is one of the most wonderful experiences you'll ever have.



answers from Philadelphia on

I really liked the one that they gave me at the hospital. It had all of the basic info, but wasn't preachy. Maybe your hospital will give them out too...?!



answers from Philadelphia on

Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers (Paperback) by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett. I did entirely enjoy this book and you can check its review in Amazon. It is a simple and easy to read and understand. I even coupled it with a breastfeeding video that helped me to picture better the different techniques or positions of how to breastfeed your baby. Finally, if you can take a 101 breastfeeding class, that will help, too. Breastfeeding is like learning to drive a manual transmission car: once you learn the tricks, you will not forget them.



answers from Washington DC on

I had the Dr Sears book about breastfeeding. I loved it! I read it before my son was born and used it as a reference while I was nursing.



answers from Erie on

Even if you don't have time for classes, you can contact your lactation consultant now. Many have a library of resources that you can borrow. They can suggest something for you to try without dishing out the $$. If you like it, then you can get your own copy. Your public library may have some options, too, depending on the size. Good luck with breast-feeding - it can be challenging but very rewarding...



answers from Saginaw on

I suggest THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING It is an awesome book. I seen you posted earlier about needing a breastpump. I suggest if you can you contact a leader with La leche League in your area. They are an awesome resource, both via the net, phone, and in person if needed. You should check out the website to find someone in your area.

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