The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Completely Revised and Updated 8th Edition

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Completely Revised and Updated 8th Edition

by La Leche League International
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Completely Revised and Updated 8th Edition

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Completely Revised and Updated 8th Edition

by La Leche League International


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The revised go-to resource on breastfeeding that mothers have relied on for generations!

La Leche League has for many years set the standard for supporting families in the art of breastfeeding. This new edition brings that support to today’s parents, with up-to-date information, new illustrations, and stories from mothers, fathers, and grandparents around the world sharing their own experiences.

What’s inside?

• Why breastfeeding matters
• Getting started—feeding cues and nursing positions
• Life with your breastfed baby
• Managing common challenges—new research
• Going back to work—expressing and storing your milk
• Sleep (and how to get more of it), starting family foods, and weaning

La Leche League is here to help you meet your breastfeeding goals, whether you’re planning to breastfeed for a few weeks or a few years. This book puts information at your fingertips, ready to help you when you need support at any point on your breastfeeding journey.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345518446
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/13/2010
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 41,929
Product dimensions: 9.26(w) x 6.52(h) x 1.15(d)

About the Author

Since 1955, when La Leche League started in the Chicago suburbs with seven women intent on spreading information about the benefits of breastfeeding, it has grown into the leading breastfeeding advocacy organization in the world. La Leche League International regularly holds seminars and workshops for health-care professionals and parents, and publishes more than twenty books on child care.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


"When I was two, my mother came home from the hospital cradling two mysterious bundles wrapped in soft blue blankets. One was my new baby brother. She handed me the other. Underneath the folds of that soft blanket was a beautiful doll, which my mother explained would be my special baby. My father followed her with a red wooden rocking chair that he placed near my mother's rocking chair. I vividly recall watching my mother breastfeed my brother, and I followed her every move to be sure that I was feeding my own baby properly, even though my breasts looked nothing like hers. My mother and baby brother gazed at each other adoringly during the feeding. I looked down at my own doll, whose eyes closed when she lay on her back. I wanted that lifeless doll to be real. I told myself, "I can't WAIT to grow up so I can feed my own baby!"

"Twenty—five years later I gave birth to my first child. The day I came home, I sat in our wooden rocking chair, and as I held my son close and nursed him, he opened his eyes to gaze at me. At once, an overpowering recollection of that early childhood memory returned, and tears began to flow as I realized, "THIS is what I have waited my whole life to do!" —Cathy, remembering 1981

WELCOME TO OUR "La Leche League meeting in a book"! At a real meeting, you'd see a mix of pregnant women, mothers with new babies, and moms with older babies or children. You'd hear questions from women at different stages of motherhood. Some of it would sound right to you, some of it would answer questions you didn't know you had, and some of it you'd shrug and leave behind. We hope you'll do the same with this book.

The cornerstone of La Leche League (LLL) meetings is addressing questions. While a book can never match sitting around with other mothers, we can address some of the typical questions at different stages, and tell you what mothers often share from their experience, along with the research behind it all.

This first chapter of our "meeting in a book" begins with the questions pregnant mothers often have about breastfeeding. Even if you've already had your baby, the answers to these questions should make you feel good about what you're doing and tell you more about why breastfeeding is such a great thing to do.

"The newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of [his] mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three."

—Grantly Dick—Read, MD, from Childbirth Without Fear, 1955

Is Breastfeeding Right for Me?

The closer you are to meeting your new baby, the more you're probably thinking about what comes after birth. You're "nesting"—gathering the things your baby will need and making a place for him in your home. Those outfits are so cute! That changing table is precious! But while you're out shopping, your body is quietly preparing the real "nest" your baby will need—your breasts. They'll be all he really needs at first—his go—to place for warmth, security, comfort, love, and, yes, food. As cute as the outfits and decor are, what your baby will care most about is the way you and your body protect and nurture him.

Breastfeeding is far more than just a way to feed your baby. It's the way you're naturally designed to begin your mothering experience. So why doesn't it always come naturally? Some of your friends may have told you all about their tough experiences. Maybe your mother couldn't breastfeed and you wonder if you'll have trouble, too. The great news is that we've learned a lot since your mother tried. We've learned more about understanding and respecting the instincts that you and your baby both have. We've learned that the fewer interventions you have during birth, the easier these instincts will be to tap into. And La Leche League is always here to help you work through any issues that come up.

Maybe you want to breastfeed because you know it's best; science keeps finding new ways breastfeeding helps babies reach their potential and protect their mothers' health. Maybe you want to because it just feels right; every mother finds for herself all the little ways that breastfeeding brings her close to her children. Whether the urge comes from your head or your heart, breastfeeding is right for you. And it's definitely right for your baby.

How Important Is Breastfeeding, Really?

Extremely! There is almost nothing you can do for your child in his whole life that will affect him both emotionally and physically as profoundly as breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is also important to our own bodies. We can't think of an aspect of your baby's health that isn't affected by breastfeeding, and it affects a surprising number of your own health issues as well. This would be a much longer book if we described all the ways that breastfeeding is valuable for you, your baby, and your family, but here are a few highlights.

Your Milk Is Your Baby's Normal Food

There's no formula that comes even close to the milk your body creates. Your milk has every vitamin, mineral, and other nutritional element that your baby's body needs, including many that haven't been discovered or named yet, and it changes subtly through the meal, day, and year, to match subtle changes in his requirements. Living cells that are unique to your milk inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and viruses in his still—maturing system. And it's more than just living cells. For instance, interferon and interleukins are powerful anti—infectives. If you could buy them, they'd cost the moon. Your milk throws them in, free of charge. A squirt of your milk can even treat eye infections and speed the healing of skin problems!

Without his normal food, a baby is at higher risk of ear infections, intestinal upsets, and respiratory problems. Allergies and dental problems are more common. Vision, nerves, and intestines don't develop fully. Because of all these differences (and many others not listed here), a formula—fed baby has a different metabolism and a different development, and gains weight differently during his first year. His kidneys and liver work harder to process the waste products from formula. He needs more of any medication to get the same effect. His immune system's response to vaccinations is less effective. The risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome or crib death) and infant death from many other causes is higher if a baby isn't breastfed.

As an older child or adult, he is at a greater risk of Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. He responds to stress more negatively and has higher blood pressure, both as an infant and in later life. There's a higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis in later years. There are numerous IQ studies showing deficits in children who didn't breastfeed, or who didn't breastfeed for long.

Colostrum, the milk you produce in small amounts in the first couple of days after your baby is born (and which you started producing during your pregnancy), has concentrated immunological properties that are your baby's first protection against all the germs he is suddenly exposed to. This "first milk" contains high concentrations of secretory immunoglobulin A, or SIgA, an anti—infective agent that coats his intestines to protect against the passage of germs and foreign proteins that could create allergic sensitivities. Scientists have also recently discovered a new ingredient in human milk called pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor (PSTI), which protects and repairs the infant intestine. It's present in all human milk, but it's seven times higher in colostrum, providing extra protection to that delicate and vulnerable newborn intestine. Think of colostrum as a complex paint designed to seal those brand—new intestinal walls (which were, of course, designed to receive it).

Colostrum has an acid level that encourages a baby's intestines to welcome just the right mix of beneficial bacteria. And colostrum is a laxative that gets his intestines up and running and helps clean out all the tar—like stool called meconium that built up in his system before birth.

Mature milk, which phases in during the first two weeks, has a still—unknown number of ingredients that contribute to lifelong health. Along with the interferon, interleukins, white blood cells, and SIgA, the breastfed baby gains an immune system nearly as sturdy as his mother's. Human growth factor continues to develop those intestines, bones, and other organs. Insulin for digestion, long—chain fatty acids for a healthy heart, lactose for brain development—it's all there. And just as important, it's there in forms that are available to a baby. Iron is added to formulas in forms that the baby can't readily use and which can actually be harmful since it increases the risk of intestinal infection, intestinal bleeding, and anemia.

The mechanics of breastfeeding are important, too. When your baby breastfeeds, the muscles in his jaws are exercised and massaged in a way that causes the bones in his face and jaw to develop more fully. The jaw that results from bottle—feeding and pacifiers is narrower, with a higher palate that's more likely to restrict nose breathing. Babies who use pacifiers, instead of soothing themselves at the breast, are more likely to need speech therapy later. The child who breastfeeds for less than a year is much more likely to need orthodontia later on. Snoring and related breathing problems are more common as well.

Table of Contents

Part 1Planning to Breastfeed1
Chapter 1Why Choose Breastfeeding?3
A Special Journey
Best for Baby--Best for You
The Key to Good Mothering
Chapter 2Plans are Underway17
Plans for the Baby's Birth
Health Professionals Who Care
Preparing to Breastfeed
What to Wear--Nursing Fashions
Chapter 3Your Network of Support33
La Leche League Meetings
Why Do You Need Support?
How Do I Find La Leche League?
Part 2The Early Months43
Chapter 4Your Baby Arrives45
Baby's First Feeding
Breastfeeding in Slow Motion
Other Breastfeeding Positions
Engorgement--When the Milk "Comes In"
How Long to Nurse?
Hospital Routines
Breastfeeding Products
Leaving the Hospital
Chapter 5At Home With Your Baby67
Babies Are to Love
How Many Times Do I Feed the Baby?
Is Baby Getting Enough?
Caring for Your Baby
Taking Care of Mother
Going Out? Take Baby Along
Chapter 6A Time to Learn91
Why Is My Baby Crying?
Babies Who Are Colicky
Growth Spurts
Nighttime Needs
Sharing Sleep
Babies, Beds, and Sex
Chapter 7Common Concerns109
Avoiding and Treating Sore Nipples
Moist Wound Healing
Sore Nipples in Later Months
Pumping and Storing Your Milk
Breast Problems: Sore Breasts, Plugged Ducts, and Mastitis
Breast Lumps and Breast Surgery
Is Your Baby Getting Enough Milk?
The Baby Who Is Pleasingly Plump
Did You Ever Hear of a Nursing Strike?
Part 3Going Back to Work147
Chapter 8Breastfeeding and Working149
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Proceed Slowly
Some Practical Hints
Feeding Tips for the Sitter
Establish a Routine
Who Will Take Care of the Baby?
Chapter 9Making a Choice167
The Mother-Child Relationship
Take One Step at a Time
Choosing to Stay Home
Part 4Life As a Family181
Chapter 10The Manly Art of Fathering183
Fathers Get Involved
Fathers and Breastfeeding
What Can Fathers Do?
Husband and Wife--A Parenting Team
Chapter 11Meeting Family Needs193
Housework and a New Baby
Time for the Other Little Ones
Developing a Parenting Style193
Chapter 12Nutritional Know-How205
The Basic Approach
How to Eat Well
Special Hints for Nursing Mothers
Weight Loss and Exercise
Part 5As Your Baby Grows221
Chapter 13Ready for Solids223
Go Slowly at First
What Foods to Choose
Chapter 14Weaning Gradually, With Love233
More Than Milk
What If I Want to Wean My Baby?
Toddler Nursing
Pregnant and Nursing?
Tandem Nursing
Chapter 15Discipline is Loving Guidance255
Setting the Stage
Discipline and Punishment
Normal Toddler Traits
A Look Ahead
Part 6Special Situations269
Chapter 16Problems at the Beginning271
Breastfeeding after a Cesarean Birth
What If Your Baby Is Jaundiced?
Hypoglycemia in Newborns
If Your Baby Is Premature
A Baby with Special Needs
The Baby with Down Syndrome
A Baby with a Cleft Lip or Palate
Cystic Fibrosis and Other Metabolic Conditions
When a Baby Dies
Chapter 17When Extra Care is Needed295
Multiple Births--Multiple Blessings
Relactation and Induced Lactation
If Your Baby Gets Sick
Slow Weight Gain
What If Mother Is Ill?
Medications and Other Substances
Mothers with Special Problems
Part 7Why Breast is Best337
Chapter 18Human Milk for Human Babies339
How Your Baby Grows
Unique Milk for a Unique Species
Human Milk: An Arsenal Against Illness
Nature's Vaccine for the Newborn
Avoiding Allergies
More Reasons to Breastfeed
Chapter 19How Breastfeeding Affects A Mother371
How the Breast Gives Milk
Guaranteed High-Quality Milk
Breastfeeding and Your Reproductive Cycle
Part 8Mothers Helping Mothers389
Chapter 20About La Leche League391
How It All Began
How LLL Can Help You
About This Book and Its Authors
La Leche League's Influence
A Final Word--From the Founders
Books That We Publish
Other Helpful Books
Breast Pumps and Other Products
Organizations That Offer Support
Web Sites That Are Helpful
Marmet Technique of Manual Expression
Selected References
Photo Credits
From the B&N Reads Blog

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