Breastfeeding and Nutrition Books we recommend for anyone interested in learning more about breastfeeding.
1) Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers ~ This is by far the best ‘how to’ and problem solving book out there for nursing moms ~ I give it to all new mom friends who are planning to breastfeed. Perfect gift for a mom planning to nurse.
2) The Baby Bond: The New Science Behind What’s Really Important When Caring For Your Baby by Dr. Linda Palmer – One of my all-time favorite, wish-every-parent-would-read books. If you are already a breastfeeding mom, this book will come as encouraging and empowering support of all you are giving your little one. If you are contemplating nursing a future baby, this book will give you oodles of research with which to make your decision. [This book used to be titled, “Baby Matters”]
3) Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Dr. Sarah Buckley – This book has an excellent chapter on breastfeeding, but the whole text is outstanding (for topics of BOTH birth and mothering)!
4) Our Babies, Ourselves by Dr. Meredith F. Small – Small’s book is along the same lines as The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost but more ‘reader friendly’ for the general population. It is an easy to devour book with words of wisdom that highlight the dramatic impact breastfeeding has on all aspects of babyhood, childhood, and adulthood – not to mention the implications on attachment between mother and her little one. Grounded in biology, anthropology, and related sciences, Small speaks on many other aspects of parenting as well, all of which are connected to the way we feed our young.
5) Take Charge of Your Child’s Health by Dr. George Wootan. A great reference to have on hand for a variety of issues and a superb chapter on breastfeeding as well as great information on exclusive breastfeeding for the optimal duration of time for children’s health.
6) Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin – Brand new, hot off the press, and OH-SO-GOOD!! This is a must read for any and all mothers and mothers-to-be. Ina May’s chapter on nipplephobia in North America makes it worth the purchase for that section alone! Absolutely excellent and a fabulous addition to the collection of breastfeeding literature.
7) Natural Family Living – I love the chapter on breastfeeding in this book. It reaffirms women’s mothering instincts and the fact that baby had no other needs than those that can be met by his/her mother’s loving care and warm milk.
8) Birth & Breastfeeding by Dr. Michel Odent – This book is primarily geared toward breastfeeding in the early weeks/months of a child’s life, and especially around the time of birth. All of Dr. Odent’s work is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!! He is such a wise obstetrician (and supporter of midwives).
9) The Politics of Breastfeeding: When Breasts are Bad for Business by Gabrielle Palmer – This book is absolutely essential to understanding the reasons that breastfeeding is vital to the wellbeing of humanity and the hardships faced throughout the world as a result of women not receiving the support, encouragement and empowerment to naturally feed their babies. An eye-opening book that will equip breastfeeding mothers with the knowledge needed to combat trials they face along the way.
10) Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Dr. Jack Newman
11) The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding ~ revised/updated 8th edition ~ the ‘classic’ breastfeeding book by La Leche League International
12) The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk
13) Having multiples? The book, Mothering Multiples will answer all your breastfeeding questions as well as help out with much more. It is an excellent resource for mothers-to-be of multiples, as well as those working to help multiple moms. Having Twins and More does not focus as much on breastfeeding (although a good section is included) but includes more indepth information on other aspects of multiple pregnancy, birth (including accurate intact care information), and childhood. These 2 books together are the perfect gift for any multiple mom to be. The resources and information in them is unmatched elsewhere.
13) Breastfeeding Older Children – the title is slightly misleading because while this book is an empowering read for sure, it is also full of information pertaining to the reasons why so many children in some developed nations (like the US, Canada and the UK) do not breastfeed for the optimal (and WHO recommended) duration of time. It is a must-read for all lactation consultants and those who work with mother/baby pairs around the time of birth. If you are nursing your older child right now, read this book and know you are far from alone in giving your child the milk designed for him or her.
14) Adventures in Tandem Nursing – some of the most ill-informed advice that I continue to hear OBs give to their newly pregnant clients is that they must stop breastfeeding. This is complete garbage. Tandem Nursing (i.e. nursing more than one child at a time) occurs all the time and it is absolutely normal and natural. You were given two breasts and enough milk making capabilities to sustain multiple lives. If you are going to be pregnant while nursing, or plan to nurse more than 1 child at a time, get this book.
15) Mothering Your Nursing Toddler – don’t let the dated cover photo fool you, this book has timeless gems of information, tips, and knowledge for mothers nursing toddlers today and tomorrow.
16) How Weaning Happens by Diane Bengson – Includes excellent examples of how weaning happens in a variety of situations, with little ones of all different ages. It is an especially good collection of information for mothers nursing an older baby OR if a mother finds herself in a position where she feels she must complete the weaning process. Note: ‘Weaning’ includes the time from the FIRST introduction of a non-breastmilk item until the last drop of breastmilk is consumed. Therefore, for most babies, the time of ‘weaning’ occurs over several years.
17) Baby-led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett – This book is more about the introduction and starting of solid food feeding (i.e. anything that is not breastmilk) rather than weaning in and of itself. As mentioned above, weaning starts when baby receives his/her first non-breastmilk source of food and ends when breastmilk is no longer being consumed. This book is excellent in establishing healthy eating habits for toddlers after their exclusive breastfeeding days. It is one which makes baby-feeding easier on parents, easier on baby, and a more enjoyable, healthy (NATURAL!) experience all around.
My only disagreement with Baby-led Weaning is that lactation/nutritional/health research demonstrates the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding over partial breastfeeding do not begin to diminish until after a baby (born at full term) is 8-12 months old. This means that we’d grant our babies the optimal health they were designed to achieve if they had onlybreastmilk in their diet for the first 8+ months of life, minimum. Then start into baby-led weaning.
When the time comes in your baby’s life that it is in their best interest to begin solids (to transition from exclusivebreastfeeding to partial breastfeeding), I’d also recommend these books in addition to the above Baby-led Weaningtext.
1) Baby Greens
2) Boost Your Child’s Immune System: A Program & Recipes for raising strong, healthy kids
80% of the immune system (keeping your little one healthy) is located in the gut. This is why the things you put into your baby’s mouth truly do matter!
*Reviews on breastfeeding books and opinions are our own