Review: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

If you’re looking to become a “mommy martyr,” this book is for you! It’s got good tips, but only if you’re willing to wade through the thick molasses of judgeyness.

According to LLL, the only “good” birth is a completely unmedicated vaginal labor, if you are struggling with breastfeeding it is because you haven’t tried hard enough and aren’t going to LLL meetings, formula is literal poison that will cause unlimited unknown scary side effects, and women shouldn’t want to go back to work or think hanging out with an infant is boring.

It also is laced with a bunch of recommendations that other experts flatly disagree with. Points of disagreement include: claims that breastfeeding boosts baby’s IQ (not a measurable amount after other factors are controlled for); pacifiers are horrible (pacifier use boosts breastfeeding and lowers risk of SIDS); husbands have no role in bonding with a baby (it’s cool if he wants to help in feeding); mom’s sleep doesn’t matter (lack of sleep is tied to postpartum depression); bed-sharing is the only way to go (higher risk of SIDS); breastfeeding is really tough if you had an epidural or IV—and don’t even get them started on c-sections (it will be fine).

Too fear-mongering and overblown for me. If anything, it guarantees I won’t be attending an LLL meeting.

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