A big Fire Family “WELCOME!” to the September Carnival of Breastfeeding readers. Glad you found your way over here as it is our first time participating in the Carnival! Be sure to check out the links at the end of the post for other Carnival posts. This month’s theme is “Learning to Breastfeed.”
Learning to breastfeed. Seems strange, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t something so natural just be an automatic response? One would think. However, as a book lover and book-based-learner, I found that reading about the process of breastfeeding really helped me get a handle on what to expect, what to look for and what to reach for goal-wise. I read more than the following three books, but these are the three that I suggest, in order, to mothers who are just starting out in their breastfeeding research. I normally suggest this kind of thing to my other book-loving, book-based-learning type friends. If that’s you, read on!
1. Mama Knows Breast by Andi Silverman. If you’re already familiar with breastfeeding, you could probably skip this book. If you’re unsure whether you want to attempt breastfeeding, are kind of scared at the prospect or have absolutely no prior exposure to breastfeeding, this might be the book that gives you the gentle push towards nursing. There’s no guilt. There’s no big scare tactics. It’s a book that I’ve reviewed before and that put my mind at ease regarding several aspects. It’s definitely not a how-to manual but it’s a great place to start. (This book is not pictured as it is currently on loan to a friend who needed a gentle push! Also, it’s blue, not pink, which I find interesting!)
2. Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mother by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-tackett. I can’t promote this book enough. Similar to Mama Knows Breast, this book doesn’t thrown any harsh judgments or guilt at you. However, this book picks up on what the other leaves out: the how-to-stuff. I learned a lot about proper latch, the importance of breastfeeding on demand and other important tips that help mothers reach their breastfeeding goals. This book is able to do all that without making you feel like a heel for either experiencing problems or having questions. I think every expectant mother should be given this book. It was an easy-quick read and one that I kept on hand during those first two months during that learning-to-nurse phase.
3. The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning by Martha Sears. This book picks up where the prior on leaves off and addresses every possible thing that can go wrong in minute detail. And that’s why I have to put a warning on this book: don’t read it first. It’s long. It’s harder to read than the previous two. And when you get into the thick of what can go wrong in breastfeeding, it can be overwhelming. Keep in mind that a large majority of mothers and babies don’t have horrible problems with nursing. It was this book, however, that gave me enough information about LittleBrother’s tongue tie that I was able to figure it out on my own and bring it up with my son’s pediatrician. I do believe that this book really is a must-have-on-hand book for those chance times that something does go wrong.
My book-based-learning self would love to tell you that reading these books taught me everything I needed to know and that nothing went wrong and that it’s just as easy as reading a book. But, for me, it wasn’t quite so easy. We struggled initially. In the hospital, I had some help. But something wasn’t working right. By the time my milk came in, I knew something was wrong. But I couldn’t quite tell what. It was through the third book and the help of a local lactation consultant that LittleBrother was diagnosed with a (severe!) tongue tie. Thankfully we were referred to a fabulous set of doctors at Children’s Hospital. Immediately after his frenotomy, I felt relief and LittleBrother was able to stay latched. Without the help of that lactation consultant, I don’t know if I would have had the nerve to discuss it with my doctor.
Finally, the biggest key in my nursing success has been an amazing group of online friends. Yes, online. Not many people in my immediate, local life have nursed. But my online support group? They’re the best. Let me tell you, they have heard me whine, complain, over-think, panic and generally freak out about everything from engorgement, the tongue tie drama, supply issues and issues with weight gain. They have offered advice and experience-laden stories when needed. They have given me the swift kick in the pants when needed. And they have simply let me “let it all out” when I needed to vent, having been there at one point or another themselves. Without such an amazing group of women, I don’t know if I would have made it through some of our challenges.
All of these things combined, from the books to the lactation consultant to my friends, have taught me so much about breastfeeding. Without each playing off the other, I don’t know if I would be where I am today, just under two months from LittleBrother’s birthday with no real obstacles (knock on wood) in our path. I hope that other expectant mothers are encouraged by some of these suggestions. If you need some online encouragement, I’m your best cheerleader. Trust me! Just hit me up via comments or the contact form! I don’t bite. LittleBrother does but I don’t!
For more on breastfeeding education in this month’s Carnival of Breastfeeding, hit these great posts: Breastfeeding Education at Hobo Mama | Breastfeeding Education at Breastfeeding123 | Learning to Breastfeed at Breastfeeding Mums | So, You Want to Work in Breastfeeding Support at The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog | How I Learned to Breastfeed at The Beautiful Letdown | Carnival Post at Momopoly | Let’s Take Our Perverted Society to School at Babyfingers |