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The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Seventh Revised Edition (La Leche League International Book)


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The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Seventh Revised Edition (La Leche League International Book)

30 review for The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    This book is great for helping new moms get the hang of latching and positioning. That's about it. Most moms work and many of those moms work full-time, so having an entire chapter of a breastfeeding book devoted to advocating that women NOT work is unsupportive, misogynistic and completely out of sync with the reality of breastfeeding today. If the church ladies over at the La Leche League were really trying to support breastfeeding, they'd acknowledge that working moms are the majority and This book is great for helping new moms get the hang of latching and positioning. That's about it. Most moms work and many of those moms work full-time, so having an entire chapter of a breastfeeding book devoted to advocating that women NOT work is unsupportive, misogynistic and completely out of sync with the reality of breastfeeding today. If the church ladies over at the La Leche League were really trying to support breastfeeding, they'd acknowledge that working moms are the majority and provide better guidance on working while breastfeeding. Applauding stay-at-home moms for their dedication to breastfeeding and guilt-tripping working moms is totally backward. Good for you if you want to and can afford to stay home, but since it takes way more dedication to nursing to hook yourself up to a pump every two hours (and then wash your pump parts and bottles etc) than it does to just lift up your shirt and nurse, working moms should be acknowledged as the breastfeeding rock stars we are. Also, the chapter on fathering is beyond offensive. Hey, Dad! Did you know you can take care of your baby, too? Yes, you too can participate in baby care by making your breastfeeding wife a sandwich while she breastfeeds.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This is a 2-2.5 star book. I checked out The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (2004 ed.) from my local library to get a jump start on learning about breastfeeding and particularly about pumping after I return to work (baby is not yet born). It seemed like a really thorough reference for breastfeeding troubleshooting, but I'm not there yet, so I skimmed those parts and read others. I honestly found it almost unbearable to read. The scant number of pages dedicated to working mothers who pump was filled This is a 2-2.5 star book. I checked out The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (2004 ed.) from my local library to get a jump start on learning about breastfeeding and particularly about pumping after I return to work (baby is not yet born). It seemed like a really thorough reference for breastfeeding troubleshooting, but I'm not there yet, so I skimmed those parts and read others. I honestly found it almost unbearable to read. The scant number of pages dedicated to working mothers who pump was filled with guilt trips and some actually erroneous information (not sure if that's because it's from 2004 or not). It is cruel to tell a new mother that the best thing she could do for her baby is not work- especially when the majority of mothers are working mothers! LLL seems very out of touch with reality on this, and it really made me question how much of their other advice is accurate. What about single mothers? Mothers in school who can't take a break from their program without being kicked out? Or, like most people in America, mothers in two-income households that still can't afford to walk away from their job? It's despicable. I knew that the Sears books were full of this kind of stuff, but I guess I didn't realize the extent of the attachment parenting bias of LLL. That said, this book would still be useful as a troubleshooting guide, if you can ignore the agenda of the authors. On a similar note, some of the studies cited are accurate while I'm sure others are not, but there is a heavy reliance on "anecdotal storytelling as fact" throughout that makes me crazy, as a scientist. The experience of other mothers is hugely important in figuring out how to parent a child, but when all of the experiences presented are promoting the same exact agenda and using correlations to make their points, I'm suspicious and immediately distrust that information. This book would be so much better and would be a must-read parenting book if LLL could only manage to put aside their biases against certain women.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cyndi

    I wish I'd read this book before my first child was born! I think it had great advice and was really in depth and thorough. I read a few other breastfeeding books before #1 was born but breastfeeding did not go smoothly and my references books were not very help - didn't address my problem at all. I honestly though the name of the book was weird so I picked something more bland and clinical. I saw 3 lactation consultants and was really frustrated and disappointment with my experience. When I was I wish I'd read this book before my first child was born! I think it had great advice and was really in depth and thorough. I read a few other breastfeeding books before #1 was born but breastfeeding did not go smoothly and my references books were not very help - didn't address my problem at all. I honestly though the name of the book was weird so I picked something more bland and clinical. I saw 3 lactation consultants and was really frustrated and disappointment with my experience. When I was pregnant with #2, I opted to read this book as well as Husband Coached Childbirth (another one with the weird name but great advice). And I was pleasantly surprised by both! So amazing - The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding had women's stories with all sorts of problems and how they'd over come them to successfully nurse their babies. They even had my issue with my oldest in it - I wished that I'd read it earlier. My second time around, I was successful and I did see lactation consultants again but really I contacted the LLL and received the best help - very supportive and basically gave me a few pointers, told me I was doing fine and to stop second guessing myself, and stick with it and she was right! All I needed was someone to listen to me, guide me, and encourage me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ned Ryerson

    I am a huge breast feeding advocate. It saves you a lot of money, it's super convenient, it's better for baby and the closeness you feel with your baby is just breath taking. I nursed my baby for 15 months and I wouldn't trade the experience for the world. Weaning her was hard for both of us! That being said, breast feeding is a HUGE commitment. In the beginning it hurts and it is a lot of work. It is nothing to be taken lightly. You think it will be natural and instinctive, but it's not. At I am a huge breast feeding advocate. It saves you a lot of money, it's super convenient, it's better for baby and the closeness you feel with your baby is just breath taking. I nursed my baby for 15 months and I wouldn't trade the experience for the world. Weaning her was hard for both of us! That being said, breast feeding is a HUGE commitment. In the beginning it hurts and it is a lot of work. It is nothing to be taken lightly. You think it will be natural and instinctive, but it's not. At least it wasn't for me. I had to learn that shit. I mean, I took classes and had lactation consultants and joined a support group. Seriously. This book is meant to be supportive and informative, but really, to me it just added to the pressure I felt to do it right. When I consulted it for tips on weaning my baby it made me feel bad that I was weaning her at all. So, I don't know about this book. Didn't do me much good.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    I committed to exclusively breast feed by daughter long before she was born. However, this book did not help that decision. Instead it made me feel like a terrible mother when things did not work as the book predicted. This book would lead you to believe that as long as you do not have medical interventions then your child will be *perfect*. Everything from milk supply to problems with latch are blamed on epidurals. I had a completely natural childbirth. No interventions. My daughter was born I committed to exclusively breast feed by daughter long before she was born. However, this book did not help that decision. Instead it made me feel like a terrible mother when things did not work as the book predicted. This book would lead you to believe that as long as you do not have medical interventions then your child will be *perfect*. Everything from milk supply to problems with latch are blamed on epidurals. I had a completely natural childbirth. No interventions. My daughter was born with a cleft lip (which we knew about prenatally) and had problems breathing at birth (because of meconium aspiration). She spent 5 days in the Special Care Nursery, and I pumped and tried to nurse frequently. However, I was very anemic from blood loss. I have PCOS. Adding all that together made for a difficult picture. My supply (despite trying MANY solutions) never truly came in. My daughter nursed some for the next few months, but did not gain back her birth weight for two months (and only after we started supplementing). Their only advice for mothers of babies with cleft lips is, "it shouldn't be a problem." This book advocates not giving your child formula for any reason. They would have recommended that my daughter do without food rather than take formula. There is not a breast milk bank in our city (the suggested alternative to formula). If, for any reason, you have to use formula, this book will make you feel horrible. It will convince you you're giving your baby poison. I reread this book after my daughter was born and it only made me feel despair for the situation we were in. I am a stay at home mom (and planned to be)but there seemed to be very little advice for women who planned to go back to work.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    While this book contains some good information on breastfeeding, I found that, overall, it functioned more as an ideological manifesto than a how-to guide. The answers to most of my breastfeeding questions and problems had to be found elsewhere. (Primarily through friends and the excellent site, kellymom.com). Worse, the book actually angered me at numerous points. It is judgmental and doesn't consider the realities of many women's lives. I know the La Leche League is beloved by breastfeeding While this book contains some good information on breastfeeding, I found that, overall, it functioned more as an ideological manifesto than a how-to guide. The answers to most of my breastfeeding questions and problems had to be found elsewhere. (Primarily through friends and the excellent site, kellymom.com). Worse, the book actually angered me at numerous points. It is judgmental and doesn't consider the realities of many women's lives. I know the La Leche League is beloved by breastfeeding women everywhere, and I know that we owe them a debt for the current acceptance of breastfeeding in American society. Still, enough with the attachment parenting cult, the repeated use of William Sears (and no other pediatricians) to hammer home your points, and no acknowledgment of either the difficulties of breastfeeding or the LEGITIMATE NEEDS OF MOTHERS.) When I looked up the section on sleep, for example, I was not given a list of options for approaching night time feedings. Rather, I was told that it was wrong to even be concerned about my own sleep needs. No one has a right to a full night's sleep, the book scolded me. The best solution to not getting any sleep is to simply accept, cheerfully, that my sleep deprivation is best for my baby. (While that is true in the baby's earliest months, pediatricians agree that babies become neurologically and physiologically capable of sleeping for 5-6 hour stretches after 3-4 months of age.) No, there is only one answer: and that is to nurse all night, while bed sharing, until my baby -- at whatever age -- wants to do something else. It does contain some helpful information. But avoid it if you're not ready for your first dose of parenting guilt and judgment.

  7. 4 out of 5

    ba

    This book advocates for FOD (Feeding on Demand) and talks a lot of shit about Kathleen Huggins' PDF (parent directed feeding) system. Hilariously, both methods actually are close to the same, once you get past the terminology. Too much of the book is spent attacking PDF (the breastfeeding philosophy, not the portable document format) and talking about how kick-ass FOD is. I just noticed that I seem to be the only male who reviewed this book. Weird, huh?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    DNF, and it was the 2010 edition if that makes any difference. One part mommy-shaming, one part pseudoscientific crap, and two parts informercial for La Leche League, this book made me so angry I almost cracked my Kindle's screen removing it. I'm as pro-breastfeeding as the next woman, but the author of this book seems to delight in making up her own facts. No, your baby will not become an emotionally stunted, developmentally disabled diabetic if you find yourself in a situation where you have to DNF, and it was the 2010 edition if that makes any difference. One part mommy-shaming, one part pseudoscientific crap, and two parts informercial for La Leche League, this book made me so angry I almost cracked my Kindle's screen removing it. I'm as pro-breastfeeding as the next woman, but the author of this book seems to delight in making up her own facts. No, your baby will not become an emotionally stunted, developmentally disabled diabetic if you find yourself in a situation where you have to use formula. No, your baby will not be ruined forever if you require interventions during childbirth. (I have to say, never before have I been told I need to worry about not bonding with my baby if she should happen to glance at someone else other than me immediately after she's born.) And no, breastfeeding will not be as easy as breathing if you can just quit thinking about your own health and safety long enough to have the perfect, all-natural childbirth. And I say all this as a pregnant, attachment parenting stay-at-home-mom who plans to have an all-natural childbirth and exclusively breastfeed. But FFS, the shaming has got to stop and this book seems to be ground zero for the mommy wars. I thought the lactivists online were bad, but these LLL women take it to a whole new level of scathing judgement. If you're looking for science-based, shame-free facts about how to breastfeed and why you should consider giving it a whirl if you can, toss this in a dumpster (preferably one that's on fire at the moment) and look elsewhere.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cori

    This book is great for the woman already determined to breastfeed, however I worry that a woman on the fence or that is struggling with negative feelings towards breastfeeding, might be put off by the overly positive portrayal of breastfeeding. I've exclusively breastfed two children, for me every moment was a struggle but a worthy one. I will strongly encourage my future childbirth students to breastfeed... so I am on the La Leche League's side, but the judgmental tone of the book put me off. This book is great for the woman already determined to breastfeed, however I worry that a woman on the fence or that is struggling with negative feelings towards breastfeeding, might be put off by the overly positive portrayal of breastfeeding. I've exclusively breastfed two children, for me every moment was a struggle but a worthy one. I will strongly encourage my future childbirth students to breastfeed... so I am on the La Leche League's side, but the judgmental tone of the book put me off. I've definitely experienced the "nursing high" but I've also experienced low milk supply due to polycystic ovary syndrome and disphoric milk ejection response, two breastfeeding complications not addressed, and I wonder if that's because it's difficult to but a glowy spin on them. Breastfeeding is hard sometimes, sometimes it sucks, but it is what is best and denying that reality hurts this book's credibility with the women who are privy to the other side. I found the chapter on working mothers especially disappointing, offering some tips in the beginning, but wrapping it up with "success stories" of women who chose to leave their careers for their children. This is not much different from formulas who offer breastfeeding advice and wrap it up with their own agenda.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Echo

    This book has a lot of valuable information in it if you are, or would like to, breastfeed. However, I must say that no one should ever sit down & read the whole thing cover to cover unless they want to know more than anyone ever wanted to about nursing! Use it to troubleshoot, or pick & choose the chapters that apply, but it was really rough to read the whole thing. I cheered when I got through the last page. Although, I have also successfully nursed 3 children already & knew quite This book has a lot of valuable information in it if you are, or would like to, breastfeed. However, I must say that no one should ever sit down & read the whole thing cover to cover unless they want to know more than anyone ever wanted to about nursing! Use it to troubleshoot, or pick & choose the chapters that apply, but it was really rough to read the whole thing. I cheered when I got through the last page. Although, I have also successfully nursed 3 children already & knew quite a bit of this stuff just through trial & error, so... Do what you will with it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    I wish I could have given this book a better review, but it has problems that many others have already pointed out, and one that nobody else has mentioned: Not everyone is able to breastfeed. Many women need to return to work immediately, particularly in our post-meltdown economy, and do not have supportive workplaces where pumping is possible. Some women have biological issues that prevent their children from breastfeeding, despite endless endless consultations with lactation experts, weeks on I wish I could have given this book a better review, but it has problems that many others have already pointed out, and one that nobody else has mentioned: Not everyone is able to breastfeed. Many women need to return to work immediately, particularly in our post-meltdown economy, and do not have supportive workplaces where pumping is possible. Some women have biological issues that prevent their children from breastfeeding, despite endless endless consultations with lactation experts, weeks on medication to keep their milk production up, and endless hours applying peristaltic pumps to their nipples. Few would deny the benefits of breastfeeding in this enlightened time, yet breastfeeding activists are far too quick to judge those mothers who are forced by their circumstances to make a less-optimal choice. Inability to breastfeed despite the best intentions and greatest efforts has been a factor in the postnatal depression of more than one of my friends. We could all be a little more understanding.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Fields

    Let's start with the good: this book has many useful tips about breastfeeding, from pumping to the benefits to understanding the reproductive cycle while breastfeeding. It's obviously pro-breastfeeding and offers numerous ways for women committed to breastfeeding to address problems that may arise. I recommend it for these practical reasons. Now for the not-so-good: I've read lots of pregnancy books over the last 8 months. Often I read reviews of these books that detect a condescending tone Let's start with the good: this book has many useful tips about breastfeeding, from pumping to the benefits to understanding the reproductive cycle while breastfeeding. It's obviously pro-breastfeeding and offers numerous ways for women committed to breastfeeding to address problems that may arise. I recommend it for these practical reasons. Now for the not-so-good: I've read lots of pregnancy books over the last 8 months. Often I read reviews of these books that detect a condescending tone (e.g., that natural birth is the only way to go). I haven't found any of these books to be particularly condescending, though most of them (Our Bodies, Ourselves is an exception) assume traditional gender roles in a household, which is annoying, and most have a pretty clear agenda. In this reading context, then, I found The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding to be fairly condescending. Or, more aptly, the book assumes too much. This was published in 2004, and the book assumes that I'm going to be waiting for my husband to come home at 5pm so I can get a little rest, and that I'm going to have to educate my husband about how to be an understanding and loving father. They suggest that I should wait as long as possible to go back to work, as if the majority of American women have that luxury in one of the worst parental leave contexts in the world. One personal example from the book is from a wife whose husband lost interest in the baby because babies "don't do anything." The wife, who was, we assume, breastfeeding every 2-3 hours, spent time and energy coaxing him otherwise and was successful in doing so. OK. If my husband did that, I'd throw his ass to the curb before he could complete the sentence. Yet the example is presented as if it's something others will have experienced. Maybe I'm too idealistic and I expect more from my partner than other women, but I doubt it. I don't think any woman should have to even bother convincing a male partner that he should be as invested in caregiving as she is. Overall, the book needs to be updated for tone and an acknowledgment of the diverse reality of families and gender identities. There is a glaring lack of acknowledgment for families that do not consist of a husband and wife, or even families that consist of partners who do everything they can (because they want to) to participate equally in the development of their children.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    This is an excellent resource for anyone wishing to breastfeed. Despite LLL's reputation for being militant when it comes to the "breast is best" philosophy, I didn't find the book to be overly dogmatic or off-putting in any way. Excellent troubleshooting section.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Dennison

    An incredibly thorough book that covers just about everything you need to know about breastfeeding! I don't know what else to say about it, other than if you are expecting a baby, this is a must-have for your bookshelf! It will help prepare you well, and will no doubt be an incredibly valuable reference. I want to address some concerns other reviewers have made. It seems people perceived some kind of lack of information about pumping/needs of working moms, etc. Even that the book/LLL "guilts" or An incredibly thorough book that covers just about everything you need to know about breastfeeding! I don't know what else to say about it, other than if you are expecting a baby, this is a must-have for your bookshelf! It will help prepare you well, and will no doubt be an incredibly valuable reference. I want to address some concerns other reviewers have made. It seems people perceived some kind of lack of information about pumping/needs of working moms, etc. Even that the book/LLL "guilts" or "shames" moms about this. First of all- NOT TRUE. There is ABUNDANT information about how to pump, as well as how to make breastfeeding (and pumping) succeed during the separation caused by a working mother. TONS of information. I truly can't fathom what information may have been left out, or how they could have been more thorough. In the very beginning of the book, the authors explain that since breastfeeding is the biologically normal mode of nourishment, that they will use breastfed babies as a benchmark to compare formula/formula fed children. In this perspective, the risks/benefits are portrayed as increased risks of formula feeding vs the "benefits" of breastfeeding. This makes perfectly logical sense and is a very reasonable approach- although obviously some individuals will be offended by this perspective. That is a personal problem, not a bias of information or fact. Similarly, the "bias" people perceive about how information for working mothers is portrayed. It is the biological norm for babies to breastfeed and have access round the clock to their mother's breasts for nutrition and comfort. THIS IS THE BIOLOGICAL NORM- and therefore it is the ideal situation for babies. In other words- IT IS NOT IDEAL FOR A MOTHER TO HAVE TO LEAVE HER BABY TO WORK. This does not mean working mothers are sub par. It's just a fact that from their baby's standpoint, and the physiology of breastfeeding, they are at a disadvantage. Therefore, much of the advice is centered around how to reach the biological norm in ways that meets the mother's need to work, or how to mimic the biological norm as best as possible. It would do women and babies a huge disservice to ignore the biology of it all and just say "good for you, going back to work!". Of course a working mother is just as good a parent as a stay at home mother, all else equal. But we need to acknowledge the drawbacks of working mothers especially in terms of a successful breastfeeding relationship. Of course it is possible to work and carry on a healthy, long term, breastfeeding relationship! But since it is not the biological norm, it is challenging. Any challenges pose a risk of premature weaning- given the health benefits to mother and baby, as well as the emotional aspect, it is critical to be up front about why these risks/challenges exist. And that is because working mothers are not ideal, from a purely biological standpoint. There is absolutely nothing wrong in recognizing and saying this. It is not a guilt trip. It is a fact. If YOU perceive it to be a judgement on the quality of your parenting, then perhaps you have some underlying hangups. Being less than ideal biologically doesn't mean "bad parent". It also doesn't mean the book is sexist or biased.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mina Villalobos

    So... breastfeeding! I began reading this book about a month before my baby was born. I never finished it before the birth, and after the birth I was usually reading on my phone while I breastfed, and if I had doubts or questions I looked them up online (kellymom.com, that's all). Handling an actual physical book while trying to feed the baby just didn't work for me, so that's one reason I didn't give this as much use as I thought I would. The other reason is that, though I definitely agree that So... breastfeeding! I began reading this book about a month before my baby was born. I never finished it before the birth, and after the birth I was usually reading on my phone while I breastfed, and if I had doubts or questions I looked them up online (kellymom.com, that's all). Handling an actual physical book while trying to feed the baby just didn't work for me, so that's one reason I didn't give this as much use as I thought I would. The other reason is that, though I definitely agree that breast is best and I'm all in for exclusive breastfeeding the first six months and to the right of women to breastfeed their babies for as long as they want, the book was still *too* in my face about it. Like, look. You are in the hospital. Perhaps, like me, you ended up having a c-section after labor failed to progress and there was fetal distress and you cried because this was not what you wanted and maybe no one was on board with the whole breast crawl in the operating room and maybe you were exhausted and in pain because you are resistant to painkillers and you are trying to have the baby latch and he just doesn't know how and you don't know how because for all the photos and youtube videos in the world you have only two hands and how exactly do you cup your breast with the c-hold and bring your baby to the breast while keeping his mouth open and positioning and all that shit that later comes super easy? And you cry. And the nurse asks if you want a bottle of formula. You know what? IT'S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. Yes yes nipple confusion and colostrum and all that. My milk didn't come in for about a day and a half and I was offering the baby the breast so if there was colostrum coming out he was having it, but it was also sweltering hot and I kept going through water bottles and this tiny human was having only drops of liquid. I was going mad. In part, with guilt. For offering him a bottle after half an hour of clumsy breast latching. The book did a good job of making me feel like shit (along with a few unhelpful visitors because BREAST BREAST ONLY BREAST DON'T OFFER ANYTHING ELSE) but not much helping. I think it has plenty of great advice, but I could have used a book that told me to calm down and do what I could instead of parroting the same things with these mom-stories confirming that YES BREAST IS BEST BREAST IS BEST BREAST BREAST. I wasn't lazy. I wanted to do it. I eventually got the hang of it. I do believe breast is best. But let me tell you something: Take it easy. Breastfeeding is hard as it is. Don't cry. You'll get there. And if you need to offer a bottle for the sake of your sanity, then give baby a bottle and don't go down the rabbit hole.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    This is a very informative tome, covering lots of different breastfeeding topics. It covered the stuff that is in all the pregnancy and early childcare books, as well as topics I wouldn't have thought of, such as different feeding holds/techniques, unique troubleshooting information, and lots more. It includes many different references, not just for breastfeeding, but for other issues as well, such as sleeping, feeding solids, etc. The downfalls to this book, however, were annoying enough that This is a very informative tome, covering lots of different breastfeeding topics. It covered the stuff that is in all the pregnancy and early childcare books, as well as topics I wouldn't have thought of, such as different feeding holds/techniques, unique troubleshooting information, and lots more. It includes many different references, not just for breastfeeding, but for other issues as well, such as sleeping, feeding solids, etc. The downfalls to this book, however, were annoying enough that they kind of shadowed my overall reading experience. One of my problems is that they place themselves (La Leche League) above the medical community as breastfeeding authorities. There is an actual chart in this book that says doctors\OBs probably don't have breastfeeding know-how, and that the only reliable resource if you are struggling is through the La Leche League. Granted, members/leaders are mothers who have presumably breastfed at least one child; that, however, does not mean they are medical authorities themselves, or that they know better than professionals. That kind of rubbed me the wrong way, especially since every situation is personal and unique. Additionally, and somewhat related, is another complaint I have. They stand very firmly on the side of natural birth (which in and of itself is fine), and seriously vilify any kind of medication or birthing assistance (caesarian)(this, I don't think is fine). They don't take into consideration scenarios where non-natural birthing experiences may be necessary. They also imply that formula is never an option, and even if you have to pump your breast milk, that's not good enough either, because the baby is not physically breastfeeding. I just feel that that is doing a disservice to all the women who don't have perfect textbook births and feeding experiences. Despite not wanting to support pumping outright, to their credit, they do include information for the mother who has to do that, or is pumping while going back to work or while weaning.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I liked the book and I found it helpful. I did read it cover to cover and my LO has not even arrived yet, I have also already been attending my local LLL meetings and trying to get comfortable with the wild world of breast feeding, so this probably colors my review somewhat. There is a lot of great information in the book and I can see it being a tremendous reference for troubleshooting. I did not get the same anti-working mom vibe that others have cited...maybe I have a different edition? If I liked the book and I found it helpful. I did read it cover to cover and my LO has not even arrived yet, I have also already been attending my local LLL meetings and trying to get comfortable with the wild world of breast feeding, so this probably colors my review somewhat. There is a lot of great information in the book and I can see it being a tremendous reference for troubleshooting. I did not get the same anti-working mom vibe that others have cited...maybe I have a different edition? If you are looking for a book that is going to say "hurrah for formula" this is probably not the book for you, similarly, given that it is published by a breast feeding support group, one should expect that they are going to advocate exclusively breastfeeding. Does the book have its own orientation and agenda? Yes. Does that agenda negate the down to earth practical advice given throughout? I guess thats up to the individual to decide. I think you take what you want and leave the rest. I, for one, am glad I read it and happy that I will have it on hand.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Audra (Unabridged Chick)

    For such a massive tome, a bit thin on details -- for example, every section about problems with nursing was supremely unhelpful and super vague. I found more detailed info from websites like KellyMom and Facebook groups. Perhaps for those who can't get online, this might be a helpful start, but pretty disappointing.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    Summary: 90% judgment and extremely biased nonsense, mayyybe 10% useful information. Dangerously misleading. "If your friend tells you how she 'loved her epidural,' ask her how her first month of motherhood went." Wow lady, every new mother I've ever asked said the first month was terrible regardless of epidural or not, so let's not encourage all our readers to be as b*tchily morally superior as you, OK? I'm officially giving up on this book. I attempted to read it cover to cover, but it starts Summary: 90% judgment and extremely biased nonsense, mayyybe 10% useful information. Dangerously misleading. "If your friend tells you how she 'loved her epidural,' ask her how her first month of motherhood went." Wow lady, every new mother I've ever asked said the first month was terrible regardless of epidural or not, so let's not encourage all our readers to be as b*tchily morally superior as you, OK? I'm officially giving up on this book. I attempted to read it cover to cover, but it starts with two chapters of preachy nonsense about how all women and babies are born knowing instinctively how to magically birth and breastfeed as long as you stay away from hospitals. So far there's very little practical information about how to actually do anything. Other reviews have mentioned that it's helpful as long as you ignore most of it and dig up the parts with actual information, which makes it sound like a pretty lousy book, no? The entirety of chapter 2 on labor describes how natural childbirth is an amazing miracle that you will cherish forever, how obstetricians and hospitals are the enemy, how everything will be magically wonderful as long as you do it naturally, and all problems with birth and breastfeeding stem from any medical procedures that you allowed to happen, which are always referred to as "interventions." In maybe a few places, they concede that some of these interventions may be necessary for those poor souls who have high-risk pregnancies though these women should still fight tooth and nail to do everything naturally. It handily glosses over the risk of, you know, death, and how an intervention might prevent it. I believe the following lines were the first point at which I considered giving up on the book: "Muscles just can't work beyond their own ability. Same with labor. Natural contractions _always stop within your ability to cope_[emphasis theirs], because it's your own unmedicated muscles that are doing the work." Is it just me or does this imply that in the absence of those evil medical interventions, your body would never give you more than you could cope with during labor, say in a way that could kill you or your baby, because dying in childbirth has never happened in the history of women or anything. -_- I mean yes you don't want to scare women silly with death and doom, but in 400+ pages, it might be good to mention at least once that there are valid, mortality-avoiding reasons to have medical interventions and give babies formula. From reading the other reviews, it really sounds like this book is not what you want if you're looking for unbiased recommendations based on scientific data, and practical tips on how to breastfeed. But for anyone looking for a book with a pre-determined agenda backfilled with selective scientific evidence, and lots of judgment implying you're twisted and evil should you not find every part of motherhood magical, pleasurable, and easy as long as you do it "naturally," spliced with occasional information on how to actually breastfeed, you've found just the thing. I'll update if I find a book that contains the useful information without the other stuff. I just don't have enough patience to wade through the absurd just to get at the useful. This also makes me very wary of joining in on LLL meetings.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Doreen

    La Leche League started out as a group that sought to support women who wanted to breastfeed, a progressive organization that wanted to give women choices. With the publication of this 7th Revised Edition of their handbook, however, it's become clear that they've turned into an organization intent on shaming mothers who don't breastfeed instead. It was difficult for me to read this book because it's written like a religious tract. Breastfeeding = good behavior, and should you transgress, a) La Leche League started out as a group that sought to support women who wanted to breastfeed, a progressive organization that wanted to give women choices. With the publication of this 7th Revised Edition of their handbook, however, it's become clear that they've turned into an organization intent on shaming mothers who don't breastfeed instead. It was difficult for me to read this book because it's written like a religious tract. Breastfeeding = good behavior, and should you transgress, a) you're not a good mother/person, and b) you're subjecting your child to all sorts of terrible things due to your sinning. It's clear that the authors expect you to martyr yourself for your child. According to the book, you don't need sleep: feeding your child is that much more fulfilling. The chapter on balancing work with motherhood basically boiled down to "you should really consider being a stay-at-home mom." As a stay-at-home mom, even I was offended by this: I can't imagine how it comes across to women who choose to go back to work full-time. And the language is so ridiculously fluffy. "Babies are born to be breastfed." I don't care if it's a quote from the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services: it's a ridiculous quote. "Babies are meant to be breastfed" at least makes sense, but babies aren't born to be anything. And this one-sentence paragraph from the foreword should have had me backing off slowly from the rest of it: "Breastfeeding is about the power of peace, the power of goodness, and the power of responsibility." What. In. The. There's some useful information tucked in there amongst the proselytizing, and some really obvious stuff (e.g. if your child is fed and in his crib crying, consider picking him up. Duh.) But there's some pretty awful advice, too, such as: don't keep any formula in the house, because you'll be tempted to use it. Firstly, formula is not rat poison. Secondly, I'm of the belief that you should feed your child if he's hungry, and formula, while not optimal, is still nutritious, especially if you're having trouble lactating. I'm sure there are better breast-feeding books out there. I wouldn't recommend getting this one.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    If I could give half stars, this one would get 2.5. It did have some very good information that I will be using. However, it was almost overwhelmed by the obnoxious attitude taken by LLL towards breastfeeding. Yes, I know this is a book advocating breastfeeding, but LLL, despite what they weakly disclaim in the beginning of the book, takes a pretty hardline "my way or the highway" approach to breastfeeding that is a huge turn-off. If anything, I think this book would make women feel inferior if If I could give half stars, this one would get 2.5. It did have some very good information that I will be using. However, it was almost overwhelmed by the obnoxious attitude taken by LLL towards breastfeeding. Yes, I know this is a book advocating breastfeeding, but LLL, despite what they weakly disclaim in the beginning of the book, takes a pretty hardline "my way or the highway" approach to breastfeeding that is a huge turn-off. If anything, I think this book would make women feel inferior if they are not able to nurse their baby for whatever reason. They have one tiny section (in the back of the book) devoted to women who've adopted or had some kind of breast surgery and are unable to nurse. If a woman falls into this category, I wish her good luck getting through the rest of the book before getting to the section relevant to her. And the options LLL offers to these women are ridiculously unrealistic for most modern women. I also felt the authors would only appeal most to 1950s housewives, which I suppose makes sense since the book was first written in 1958. The authors all seem, from their bios, to have been stay at home mothers. The book touches briefly on working mothers, and then dives right into a sermon about perhaps it would be better if Mother stayed at home. What the fuck? Welcome to the 21st Century, ladies. And it never once mentioned single mothers. Overall, the book contained some useful information on general parenting and baby care as well as specifically breastfeeding information. However, I would recommend trying to find something a little more modern, realistic and accepting than this one if you are looking for help with breastfeeding.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Beth Dillon

    So ... this book is not for everyone. Which sucks, because it postulates that it is. But not everyone has a glowing relationship with breastfeeding, or has a lifestyle that aligns with prioritizing breastfeeding over all else (i.e. breastfeeding on demand, bed-sharing, not using a bottle, etc). And not everyone is planning to nurse through toddler-hood. That being said - this book helped me immensely. During the fog of sleep deprivation of those first few weeks - reading the appropriate chapters So ... this book is not for everyone. Which sucks, because it postulates that it is. But not everyone has a glowing relationship with breastfeeding, or has a lifestyle that aligns with prioritizing breastfeeding over all else (i.e. breastfeeding on demand, bed-sharing, not using a bottle, etc). And not everyone is planning to nurse through toddler-hood. That being said - this book helped me immensely. During the fog of sleep deprivation of those first few weeks - reading the appropriate chapters and having "someone else" tell me that what I was doing wasn't insane, gave me the strength to forge ahead. And when I got mastitis, I must have read and re-read everything they laid out on the subject. But perhaps more importantly, it helped me learn to follow my instincts. As a first time mom, I had no clue how much pressure there is from other people on how exactly you should be parenting. Sleep training vs. not vs. attachment parenting vs. baby-led weaning vs. etc etc etc. It's exhausting. And I found on multiple occasions that it was easy to let the opinions of others crowd into my parenting style. Reading this book in pieces - and re-reading certain sections - helped me tune out all of the noise and focus on what I felt was the best course of action. And that's pretty much why I give it 4 stars.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jen Leap

    A must for every pregnant woman/new mother's bookshelf!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Book 5 of the year. 1st Doula training book. Excellent read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Blair

    Blech. My kid and I figured out things ourselves and definitely found the cultish La Leche League to be a bit much for our taste.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lora

    So here I am innocently reading Talmage's Jesus the Christ when GR pulls a blast from the past and recommends, based upon my reading, this book. OK then! It's not topical, it's statistical, these recommendations, and even if it were on topic, I doubt it would be able to access the nuances of mood and flavor that affect me in any particular reading choice. Having said all that, I scrolled through to read more about this wonderful book and glory be! Saints above! What is this layer of negative So here I am innocently reading Talmage's Jesus the Christ when GR pulls a blast from the past and recommends, based upon my reading, this book. OK then! It's not topical, it's statistical, these recommendations, and even if it were on topic, I doubt it would be able to access the nuances of mood and flavor that affect me in any particular reading choice. Having said all that, I scrolled through to read more about this wonderful book and glory be! Saints above! What is this layer of negative attitude that is fuming up from some of the negative reviews? Oh, it's working women defensiveness! Well, don't you worry, working women, because stay at home moms are about as invisible and undervalued as a free human being can be. Feel better now? No? Well then, how about instead of complaining about anything that supports stay at home moms, you just take from the book what works for you and leave the rest? I loved the book, it worked for me, and as a new mother ages ago who had no positive mother examples to fall back on, both the title of this book and many of its chapters helped me in multiple ways. And know what I did about the chapters that did NOT directly address my life? I assumed they were for somebody else and I moved on. Honestly, the book could probably use some updating. But for heavens sake, relax. The war between working mothers and stay at home moms was designed by evil forces who want us at each others' throats instead of building a better world with and for our children. It's a falsehood and an illusion that many of us- myself included- have fallen for. There is no war between women, and there should not be this drama, either. We all feel guilty- the worker for leaving her children behind and the stay at home mom for not being what society considers productive ($$). Society is shifting the other way, as well, as more working women stay home these days and discover that BOTH SIDES OF THE COIN ARE STILL THE SAME COIN. I know I learned more about that when I had to work for money. Fight the good fight, not the useless fight. It's a great book, by the way. It was one of many mentors in book shape that I relied upon while raising my children. I like it when I fall asleep in the middle of a book instead of in the middle of a conversation. Not nearly so awkward.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This is the new 8th edition, which I hear is a wonderful improvement. After reading Amber's review (http://www.strocel.com/the-womanly-ar...), I've been anxious to see what changes have been made. It's definitely heftier than the previous. Aug 17 Just finished chapter 4. I was already learning new stuff in chapter 1. Chapter 2 is about setting up support for yourself. Chapter 3 is about birth. Chapter 4 is about latching. Loved the new latch approach, it will definitely empower new moms. That This is the new 8th edition, which I hear is a wonderful improvement. After reading Amber's review (http://www.strocel.com/the-womanly-ar...), I've been anxious to see what changes have been made. It's definitely heftier than the previous. Aug 17 Just finished chapter 4. I was already learning new stuff in chapter 1. Chapter 2 is about setting up support for yourself. Chapter 3 is about birth. Chapter 4 is about latching. Loved the new latch approach, it will definitely empower new moms. That chapter was just so full of hope and "we know it'll work out for you!" enthusiasm. The next section is divided up by stages of development. Looking forward to it. I think this book is better organized than the previous edition. Where it's lacking at the moment: I looked up thrush b/c I've got that and there really wasn't much. Thrush is so common, especially since antibiotics in labor are pretty common, that I would have hoped there would be more. On to chapter 5... Sept 2 Chapters 5 to 11 are divided by stages of development from newborn to toddler. It was interesting to learn that during the time your supply is being regulated in the first two or three weeks, you hit the point where you're making more milk than you will for the rest of your breastfeeding relationship. If you are scheduling or trying to get your baby to STTN at that stage, you might be inadvertently causing low supply because your body will think that your maximum need is low. Sure, growth spurts and herbs can cause an increase in production, but it won't be quite at the level you had in the beginning. It's amazing how important those first few weeks are. I'm almost done with chapter 12 which is about sleep. I love that they give a list of lots of sleep ideas beyond holding and rocking to sleep. I think almost every baby can learn to sleep well without CIO, but we parents just don't know where to find other ideas to try since the CIO ones are so publicized. I know The No Cry Sleep Solution has a lot more ideas; I've only read the No Cry Nap Solution, though. I was surprised at how much they endorsed bedsharing since it seems every organization that endorses always puts caveats on. They do mention things that make it unsafe, so the caveats are there, but they aren't the focus whereas most bedsharing recommendations focus on the "well... make sure that you don't...." Much more positive here. Update September 19: Chapter 13- Solids. Very laid back, not black and white (child led weaning/self-feeding) and informative. Like it. Chapter 14 On when you can't be with your baby, and chapter 15 on expressing milk are two that I'll need to re-read a few times to get it all in since I don't have personal experience with either of those. But I learned some great stuff! I really love how relaxed the authors write- you can feel that they really want to help women succeed and are so encouraging. Chapter 16- weaning. Also wonderful information for pretty much any weaning circumstance imaginable" abrupt, gradual, night weaning, pregnancy weaning, child-led, mother-led, etc. I'm in the "Alternate routes" chapter now. Sept 27: I'm done! Wow. Definitely more thorough than the seventh edition. Lots of great new stuff. Chapter 17- "Alternate routes" with a good variety of issues: exclusive pumping, premature babies, multiples, relactation, induced lactation, special needs babies (clefts, Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, etc), maternal issues (HIV, diagnostic medical tests, cancer, breast surgery), lactation after baby's death. A good chapter to review every so often because I don't have personal experience with these. Chapter 18-Tech Support. All the things that get in your way. I think the section on blebs is funny. Or just that "bleb" is a funny word. Probably the later. This chapter has the usual issues: mastitis, food sensitivities, jaundice, nursing strikes, oversupply, piercings, PPD, low supply, etc, but also has a few I hadn't thought about like eating disorders in the mother or bariatric surgery. And I learned that something called D-MER existed. Good to know. I think the section on supplementation was really well-though-out. Lots of suggestions for supplementing so that breastfeeding can continue. I'll need to bookmark that. Most of the issues were really full of information. I'm still a little upset that after all that great information, the section on yeast is so small. Really? 3 great authors and yeast gets 2 paragraphs? Maybe it didn't get as much attention because it's at the end alphabetically. Chapter 19- About LLL. Purpose and History of LLL and how to get help through them. Chapter 20- Tear-out sheets. Some of these are just so wonderful. The partners sheet and the grandparents sheet just tickled me; the authors were able to give great information without sounding like they were talking down to family caregivers. And I like how important information-dense sections of the book (like bottle-feeding a breastfed baby and milk storage) were summarized into tear-out pages. And fussy baby ideas, which is so much of an issue for many new and experienced moms, also got a tear-out sheet. I've already used some of the ideas with Isaac. Over all, I thought this was a great edition. Definitely hard to read through, but it's broken down into great sections and the index is much more thorough and easy to use than the last edition's. This one is definitely staying on my shelf and was worth the money. Lots of new stuff, newer research, and a wonderful conversational tone. I heard one mom at LLL this past month say that this new edition has "renewed her faith in LLL." Ditto.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    I wish I had read this book a year ago. I read it cover-to-cover instead of hopping around it like with a reference book, and I'm glad I did--ten pages from the end, I finally found out why I had a certain pain in the first month of nursing!!! I feel so much better prepared for weening my firstborn (when she's ready) and nursing any more babies who may come our way I wish I had read this book a year ago. I read it cover-to-cover instead of hopping around it like with a reference book, and I'm glad I did--ten pages from the end, I finally found out why I had a certain pain in the first month of nursing!!! I feel so much better prepared for weening my firstborn (when she's ready) and nursing any more babies who may come our way 🙂

  29. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    Couldn’t stand this book. I tried to get info on breastfeeding but I found lots of chapters started on a topic about nursing and ended with info that had nothing to do with breastfeeding. The chapter on weaning leads into how to feed your kid a balanced diet. If I needed a book to tell me how to eat well, I’m sure I could find one but I found myself skipping so many parts that had nothing to do with breastfeeding. They seem to say they support mothers going back to work or not breastfeeding Couldn’t stand this book. I tried to get info on breastfeeding but I found lots of chapters started on a topic about nursing and ended with info that had nothing to do with breastfeeding. The chapter on weaning leads into how to feed your kid a balanced diet. If I needed a book to tell me how to eat well, I’m sure I could find one but I found myself skipping so many parts that had nothing to do with breastfeeding. They seem to say they support mothers going back to work or not breastfeeding exclusively yet it seems to always lead back to comments that felt a little judgemental about these choices. For the little info I got about breastfeeding, it wasn’t worth wading through the excessive, irrelevant and judgemental parts.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tze-Wen

    While a book can never replace the wisdom and personal advice of an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), this is a really nice reference book to have on hand when you feel exhausted, full of doubt, or just plain curious about breastfeeding. Great resource!

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