Breastfeeding may look like something easy and natural to do. However, it can be harder for many women than they ever imagined. Even if we’ve seen friends, sisters, and strangers breastfeed their babies, we all have different nursing experiences. And each of us has struggles that we must learn to overcome. There are so many things that can cause breastfeeding to be extra difficult. Examples include tongue-tie, lip-tie, acid reflux, low milk supply, oversupply, cluster feedings, and so much more. The best thing we can do to increase our chances of having a successful breastfeeding experience is to educate ourselves. There are some great breastfeeding books out there that can help you feel ready for whatever breastfeeding throws your way.
The 10 Best Breastfeeding Books Available
1. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Weissinger, Diana West, Teresa Pitman
Dedicated to supporting nursing and expectant mothers, the internationally respected La Leche League has set the standard for educating and empowering mothers in this natural art for generations. Their classic bestselling guide has been retooled, refocused, and updated for today’s mothers and lifestyles. Working mothers, stay-at-home moms, single moms, and mothers of multiples will all benefit from the book’s range of nursing advice, stories, and information—from preparing for breastfeeding during pregnancy to feeding cues, from nursing positions to expressing and storing breast milk.
2. Breastfeeding Made Simple by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett
This second edition of Breastfeeding Made Simple is a comprehensive resource that takes the mystery out of basic breastfeeding dynamics. Understanding the seven natural laws of breastfeeding will help you avoid and overcome challenges such as low milk production, breast refusal, weaning difficulties, and every other obstacle that can keep you from enjoying breastfeeding your baby.
3. Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin
Drawing on her decades of experience in caring for pregnant women, mothers, and babies, Ina May Gaskin explores the health and psychological benefits of breastfeeding. She gives you invaluable practical advice that will help you nurse your baby in the most fulfilling way possible. The book is filled with helpful advice, medical facts, and real-life stories that will help you understand how and why breastfeeding works and how you can use it to connect with your baby and your own body more deeply. Whether you’re planning to nurse for the first time or looking for the latest, most up-to-date expert advice, you couldn’t hope to find a better guide than Ina May.
4. The Nursing Mother’s Companion by Kathleen Huggins
The Nursing Mother’s Companion has been among the top two best-selling books on breastfeeding for more than 30 years, with more than 1 million copies sold. It is respected and recommended by professionals and is well-loved by new parents for its encouraging and accessible style.
Kathleen Huggins equips breastfeeding mothers with the information they need to overcome potential difficulties and nurse their babies successfully from the first week through the toddler years—or wherever in between they choose to wean. This fully updated and revised edition provides information on the benefits of breastfeeding, how to cope with breastfeeding obstacles and challenges, incorporating a nursing routine into working life, expressing, storing, and feeding breast milk, and more.
5. Breastfeeding with Confidence by Sue Cox
Breastfeeding with Confidence is a practical guide to breastfeeding designed to take the mystery out of the process and provide new mothers with the practical skills and insights they need to be successful. Author Sue Cox explains both the art and the method of breastfeeding and addresses that making milk comes naturally, but breastfeeding is a learned skill. When many mothers-to-be are asked if they’ll breastfeed, they often answer, “I will if I can.” Cox counters that answer proactively and positively with information, advice, support, resources, and encouragement for new mothers.
6. The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers by Jack Newman, M.D., and Teresa Pitman
In this comprehensive guide, Dr. Jack Newman, a leading authority on infant care, and Teresa Pitman, a La Leche League leader for more than twenty years, give you the facts about breastfeeding and provide solutions for the common problems that arise. Filled with the same practical advice that made the first edition a must-have for nursing moms, the new edition features updates on achieving a good latch, what to do if your baby refuses the breast, avoiding sore nipples, ensuring your baby gets enough milk, feeding a colicky baby, and breastfeeding premature and special-needs babies.
7. The Breastfeeding Book by Martha Sears and William Sears
From pediatric experts Martha Sears, R.N., and William Sears, M.D., they provide comprehensive, reassuring, authoritative information on:
- How to get started breastfeeding, with illustrated tips for latching on
- Increasing your milk supply
- Breastfeeding when working away from home
- Pumps and other technology associated with breastfeeding
- Ensuring your nursing baby gets optimum nutrition, including the most recent information about the importance of omega-3 fatty acids and “milk-oriented microbiota.”
- Nutrition and fitness for moms
- Nighttime breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding and fertility
- Toddler nursing and weaning
- Special circumstances
And much more!
8. Work Pump Repeat by Jessica Shortall
Meet the frenemy of every working, breastfeeding mother: the breast pump. Many women are beyond “breast is best” and on to figuring out how to make milk while returning to demanding jobs. Work. Pump. Repeat. is the first book to give women what they need to know beyond the noise of the “Mommy Wars” and judgment on breastfeeding choices.
Jessica Shortall shares the nitty-gritty basics of surviving the working world as a breastfeeding mom, offering a road map for negotiating the pumping schedule with colleagues, navigating business travel, and problem-solving when forced to pump in less-than-desirable locales. Drawing on the war stories, hacks, and humor of working moms, including her own stories from her demanding job and travel in developing countries, she gives women moral support for dealing with the stress and guilt that come with juggling working and breastfeeding. As she tells the reader in her witty, inspiring manifesto, “Your worth as a mother is not measured in ounces.”
9. Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk by Stephanie Casemore
An alternative to formula exists! Sometimes breastfeeding doesn’t work out, from situations like a premature or an ill baby that can delay breastfeeding to choosing not to breastfeed. Exclusively pumping breast milk- using a breast pump to initiate and maintain lactation- is viable and can be done long-term. Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk offers women the knowledge, advice, and support necessary to initiate and maintain their milk supply with a breast pump.
This second edition of the first and most comprehensive-book about exclusively pumping offers well-researched information and plenty of tips and tricks to help you on your journey. In addition to the basics of exclusively pumping, the second edition includes information on lactation and breast milk composition, increasing and decreasing supply, overcoming common challenges, pumps and accessories, storing expressed milk, weaning, and a chapter specifically for mothers with babies in the NICU. Exclusively pumping breast milk is possible, and this book will provide accurate information and support to provide your baby with “expressed love.”
10. Latch: A Handbook for Breastfeeding with Confidence at Every Stage by Robin Kaplan
Latch is a judgment-free guide to breastfeeding that will teach you precisely what you need to know to meet your personal breastfeeding goals. In Latch: A Handbook for Breastfeeding with Confidence at Every Stage, International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant, Robin Kaplan, addresses specific breastfeeding concerns, allowing you to feel empowered while breastfeeding and overcome challenges as they arise. After working with countless mothers who have felt unique in their breastfeeding challenges, and as the mother of two who overcame breastfeeding challenges of her own, she knows how deeply personal breastfeeding is. Compassionate and supportive, Latch covers the most pressing topics at each breastfeeding stage.
What books did you read during your pregnancy—or even after baby—that you found helpful? What would you add to this list?
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