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Top 10: Best Books on Breastfeeding

Best Books for Moms on Nursing Your Baby

I came across this great list from a blog dedicated to breastfeeding out of Dublin, Ireland.  The author, Nicola O’Byrne, is an expert in the field.  Here’s her bio:

I’m an international board certified lactation consultant working in private practice in Dublin since 2005. Previously I worked in paediatrics and neonates as a nurse. Im married with 5 children ( aged 6months to 13 years old)…

I am personally not a breastfeeding expert but I did breastfeed all three of my kids until they were nearly two-years-old and had a terrible time — each child successively worse — weaning them!  But I did love nursing them!  These are the tips that I can recall:

  • The first few days are the most difficult!  My nipples were very sore despite using special lanolin cream, but it’s surprising how fast your nipples adjust — about a week.  And I had to go through this with every child even when I used the lanolin cream weeks in advance to “prep” for the baby it made absolutely no difference!
  • Nurse one side until it’s empty and then go to the other.  Make sure to massage out any lumps of milk so you don’t get mastitis (an infection in your breast).
  • If a duct is blocked and nursing your baby doesn’t clear it out, take a hot shower or put a warm, damp washcloth to steam open the duct.  Then pump the breast to empty it, massaging the lump until it’s gone.  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO DO!  If you get mastitis, it can mean a trip to the hospital plus antibiotics which is no fun for anyone!
  • To super-produce milk for storage, pump one breast while simultaneously nursing the other.  Set up apparatus before picking up your baby.  It’s a juggling feat but I found that the breast being pumped produced more milk than when pumped by itself.
  • I found that co-sleeping helped me get more sleep but it also meant that my kids did not sleep through the night until they were weaned.

That’s all I can remember so I leave you in hands of an expert and a blog devoted to breastfeeding.


There are great web resources now for breastfeeding information but I’ve got to say each time I had a newborn I loved having a book nearby to browse.

1) The Womanly Art Of Breastfeeding – LLL- Diana West, Diane Wiessinger, Teresa Pitman

The new edition has just been published and its fantastic ! There’s a comment from a breastfeeding supporter in Ireland on page 66, it’s me!  It’s the first time I’ve been acknowledged in a book  (I’m named twice in the acknowledgements. It made my day.)

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2) So That’s What They Are For – Janet Tamaro

A witty, girlfriend type book with accurate info for all stages of breastfeeding.

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3) Bestfeeding – Mary Renfrew, Chloe Fisher

The first book on breastfeeding I ever read. Twas in my bag in the Coombe all those years ag ! Lots of illustrations – needed in the first few days as most new mothers cant process text when sleep deprived.

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4) Saggy Boobs  and other Breastfeeding Myths– Valerie Finnigan , Lou Gardnier

Great book for a breastfeeding Support group, just leave it lying around for mums to browse though.

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5) The Breastfeeding Mothers Guide to Making More Milk– Diana West, Lisa Marasco

I recommend this one to mothers who had problems breastfeeding on a previous baby. Most of the time its just poor management but sometimes there are other issues that can be helped if caught early.

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6) No Cry Sleep Solution – Elizabeth Pantley

When the lack of sleep starts to bother you , this book will give you hope.

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7) Supporting  Sucking  Skills in Breastfeeding Infants– Catherine Watson Genna.

More of one for professionals but I ate it one day  for lunch and dinner. If you want to know more about tongue ties , Catherine Watson Genna’s your woman.

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8) Sleeping With Your Baby – Dr James McKenna

See number 6 – you really do get more sleep. Here’s the research to back it up and feel  to safe when some “well-meaning” person tells you otherwise.

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9) Breastfeeding Made Simple – Nancy Morbacher, Kathleen Kendall Tackett

Probably my favourite at the moment, looking forward to a new edition due out in December 2010.

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10) Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple (2010 ed) by Nancy Morbacher

This is really for breastfeeding counsellors but its an excellent resource guide, the  a-z of breastfeeding.

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To view any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. I have most of these books and read them before my son was born but unfortunately NONE of them prepared me for the fact that I would just truly hate breastfeeding. I had a hormonal reaction to the act of breastfeeding where I would begin sobbing uncontrollably. I stuck with it and my son is five months old now and still exclusively breastfed, BUT, no thanks to these books, sad to say. I wish that breastfeeding books took time to address more than just pat issues with breastfeeding. . . were it not for a lactation consultant who appeared in my life, I would have stopped. Strange enough, the LC was familiar with all that I was going through and had great advice to help me cope- not one book even ADDRESSED it making me feel like a strange freak.

    Good post- and good books to be sure, I just wish they delved into the hard stuff because there are some women who desperately want to breastfeed but are suffering and need support that these books do not provide.

  2. T. Wahyudi

    Read this book slowly, it offers many good advices and tips. When I had a first child, I breastfed her for three weeks, on and off. It seemed long enough for me. I had problem with the latching on. She cried a lot and I gave up, I gave her formula feeding.With the second baby, I read this book when I was pregnant and started to breastfeed as early and often as possible and although I still had many problems and it was difficult in the first six weeks, I could eventually manage them.I also follow "sleep sharing", which really helps me. My family is abroad and nobody helped me to take care the baby. It was hard for the first few days, I could not afford to wake up at night to pick up my baby from the crib, so I took him to our bed. Our family slept well after that and I healed faster. My baby gained a lot, rarely cries, healthy and I still nurse him now at 4 months. It is especially easy to travel, I don’t have to prepare bottle, water, etc.. I breastfeed him in our car in the parking lot, just before we go to supermarket/shopping mall, and we had good time. Honestly, after going through bottlefeed and breasfeed, breastfeed indeed brings me closer to the baby. Thanks Dr. Sears

    • To T.,
      I subscribe to Dr Sears advice too and I also co slept with my babies. It made breastfeeding manageable for me. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

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