As an expecting mom, you only have so much bandwidth. Advice is flying at you from all angles and you’re getting recommendations for everything from cribs to maxi-pads. Thankfully, I’ve got three books to tell you about to at least save you time on the breastfeeding-book-hunt. These three books will help prepare you for what is to come and give you insight into what to expect as you enter your breastfeeding journey.
If you had to choose only one book to help prepare you for breastfeeding, this book would be the common recommendation, and for good reason. It’s published by La Leche League and since they’re the most well-known international breastfeeding organization, their information is spot-on and supported by years of knowledge and research. This book not only covers breastfeeding basics like preparation and what to expect in the early days of breastfeeding but information about the natural advantages to both mother and baby are outlined along with tips on developing the all-important support network that is so vital to meeting one’s breastfeeding goals. Latching, positioning, expected number-of-feeds, dealing with pain, how to prevent and treat mastitis, and nursing strikes: all these topics are addressed, making this a great side-table companion in those beginning months. However, the book’s contents really do span the duration of the nursing relationship, so keeping the book around for the long-term, for thing like weaning tips, when the time comes, will also be helpful. Also included in the book’s pages are tips on how to involve your partner in bonding with baby, how to prepare for going back to work, and advice on staying healthy while breastfeeding. While this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list of the topics in this book, the breadth of information is clear. This is a book that you will thumb through repeatedly as you encounter new experiences throughout your time nursing your baby. It is guaranteed to offer you peace of mind and encouragement as you and your baby get a solid hold on breastfeeding.
This book is golden! The four-breastfeeding-expert-authors present baby’s sleeping patterns, not in terms of how we, as parents, desire their patterns to be but how they actually are! This helps parents set appropriate expectations for baby’s first year and beyond. With a culture that bombards us with ideals rather than realities and hundreds of authors willing to sell you books filled with impossible, nature-defying tactics to force sleep, this book is a breath of fresh air. Published by La Leche League, the book is chock-full of evidence-based information about how the nursing dyad is physiologically hardwired to operate together through both waking and sleeping hours. The authors cover basic attachment, safe bedsharing tactics, child’s common sleep stages from birth through toddlerhood, and even advice on how to defuse criticisms one might encounter regarding baby’s sleep. This book offers such encouragement through biologically-based advice and includes the hard-science to support it. If you’re questioning how to manage breastfeeding along with maximizing both your own sleep as well as baby’s, this book is for you!
If you have any plans to offer a bottle to your baby at some point, this is a great read. If you know for sure that you will be headed back to work and baby will be using a bottle regularly while in the care of someone else; this is a must-read. The authors, Amy Peterson, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Mindy Harmer, speech-language-pathologist, walk Mom through how and when to best introduce a bottle, breast-pump considerations, how much expressed milk a baby will likely need while separated from Mom, and even potential pumping schedules. Paced feeding and the significance of slow flow nipples, how to maintain your supply, and milk storage are also covered. The authors address breast and bottle refusal, troubleshoot a variety of potential issues, and help with preparations in how to delay weaning until your breastfeeding goals are met. For the working-mom, this book will be a frequent reference while getting your footing and adjusting to balancing breastfeeding with bottle-feeding.
I encourage you to take the time to read these books and to keep them close-at-hand as you navigate your breastfeeding journey. Having solid information as a springboard to your nursing relationship will help bolster your confidence and trust in both your body’s and your baby’s ability to reach your breastfeeding goals!