On Monday, I discussed a book from the La Leche International about breastfeeding. The book emphasized things I hate about even watching the news: not enough information but a ton of biased propaganda. I don’t mind people having a point of view different from mine; I mind them judging that I don’t agree. This book scared me about the other book I bought at the same time, entitled The Essential Guide to Breastfeeding by Marianne Neifert, MD. I looked at it, flipped through the pages, hoping to work up the mental strength to read it. Finally I decided to dive in.
And I was pleasantly surprised. My favorite part about this book is that it has a ton of information with no filler stories or commentary. The book gives you all the information you could need, and encourages you that if you try and aren’t successful no matter how hard you try, that you’re not a failure as a mother. After the first few chapters, I was encouraged to try this out without any guilt of failure. It doesn’t just give a ton of information on feeding, but it also gives a ton of information on newborns and infants in general. This book was everything I wanted when I went to the store that day.
Most importantly to me, this book seemed to speak to certain things that I’m practiced in from my first time around that the other book seemed to find “more harmful than good for your child”. If swaddling with a pacifier works to help your child be content, shouldn’t we do it and not feel guilty about it? While the La Leche League book mentioned how every time the baby cries, offer a boob and don’t swaddle. Just sit around topless with a baby on your chest with a blanket over him and that’s all he needs. Neifert tells says that comfort comes in many forms and to try what works for both the parent and child. In general, my ideals closely match the ones she presents in her book.
Another plus from this book is it’s easy to navigate through because of the set-up. Because this book lacks the story telling from La Leche League’s book, you get to the information quicker and can go back to it easier to help you along. The way the book is arranged, both the chapters and the information within the chapters, you can easily skip over a section that doesn’t really apply to you. I wanted a book that not only was informative at the first read, but easy to go back to and reread the information I need at a specific time. Added bonus? A ton of web resources in the back of the book. I like the idea if I can’t find help in her book, I have 7 pages of resources that might be able to help me.
I recommend Marianne Neifert’s The Essential Guide to Breastfeeding to mothers that are attempting to nurse for the first time. The information in there seems to be beyond useful. It’s not enough that she gives us “how to” information, but she gives a detailed “why”. Every bit of information she gives has a purpose, no filling to make the book longer. Her pictures give a nice subtle detail on positionings for feedings and why each position works. Another great part of the book was how she didn’t just write about breastfeeding, she gave great information about other newborn issues like sleeping routines, colic, solid foods, and how to get yourself emotionally and physically back to your normal. I’m very happy with this book, and I would recommend it highly to anyone who asked. Luckily, you guys didn’t need to ask.