Book Review: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

You may or may not know this about me, but I am a voracious reader. Enough so that I use words like voracious in everyday conversation. That's not just something I use online.

I was an English major in college, which meant I paid a lot of money to get really good at reading and analyzing texts. Now that I've graduated, I don't do a lot of that outside my own brain, which is a relief in some sense but also kind of saddens me.  I was never one to unnecessarily comment in group discussions in class, but you can bet your life that when I commented it took a lot of nervous heart palpitations and prepared statements beforehand (sometimes even written out in my "notes"), and it had to be really worth it.

Luckily with blogging, I don't have to do any such thing! I can say whatever I want, and no one (classmate, teacher) is even going to look at my face while I do it! You readers may be all in my head, for all I know! So I'm going to hopefully do some book analyzing on this here blog and we'll see how it goes.

The first two books I'm going to share with you about are about parenting/child-rearing/baby things. So if that's not your cuppa, please feel free to skip this post. I won't know, remember?

Book #1: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

on Amazon
and for download

I picked this book up at the library sort of on a whim. I knew I wanted to read about breastfeeding, because I'm a little nervous in that arena of baby-care, but I didn't have any set ideas on an author or perspective. So I went to the baby-care section, and this one looked popular (more than one copy available) and relatively new.

All you veteran moms probably know all about La Leche League, but if you are as clueless as I was, LLL is the "author" (read: sponsor) of this book, and they're an organization of women started in the 40s and 50s that promote breastfeeding and all its many benefits. They also act as a sort of support system for moms, with groups that meet all over the world. 

So! This book was...interesting. That's a lame adjective, but a pretty accurate one for my reaction to it. A lot of the book was extremely helpful - the how-to advice was straightforward, not full of wishy-washy opinions, and they don't beat around the bush when it comes to "uncomfortable" topics (for those sorts of people that get bothered by things like that). They had great tips on when and how to first breastfeed your baby (from that first hour in the hospital), how much and how often it is normally for most women and babies from age 0-2, how to wean, how to introduce solids, yada yada yada. Lots of good advice.

Buuuut it was a little new-age-y for me. They were blatantly anti-giving birth in a hospital (umm, give me doctors and lots of drugs ready at hand, plz), and very adamant about their reasonings behind it. [It was refreshing, however, that they weren't trying to introduce their mission in a sneaky or subtle way. They were very open and straightforward about it, which I appreciate as a reader.] 

it felt a leeetle bit like this at times
They were also extremely opinionated on when to stop breastfeeding your baby, which they recommend at the earliest at age 2. And recommended even going til age 6 or 7. Admittedly, they had some stats that backed them up pretty well, but I freely admit that planning on breastfeeding that long makes me feel too hippy-like. But that's now -- perhaps I'll change my mind, you never know. Either way, some of their advice felt a little bit out there to me. 

As a first time mom who's nervous about both the general idea of breastfeeding and also a little neurotically anxious about having problems breastfeeding, I highly recommend it. Most of it was very reassuring that yes, you (and your baby!) were meant to do this, and it might be hard at times, but it will definitely pay off in the end. If you're looking for an introductory book to breastfeeding, I definitely think you'd enjoy this one.

Stay tuned for the next book I'm reviewing: John Rosemond's A Family of Value

Happy reading!