I started a short series on the La leche League last week, in honor of World Breast Cancer Awareness month. I looked at Se7en of the Best things about the La Leche League. This week I thought I would look at Se7en of the Best La Leche League Books.
An added perk to La Leche league Membership is that you are automatically allowed to take books from the library in the group you are attending – this gives you access to a whole heap of parenting books that have been tried and tested and approved by nursing mothers the world over… you don’t get a much better book recommendation than that.
Here comes my opinionated opinion: I am always surprised that people spend more time researching their new car than their parenting options. When you fall pregnant you don’t actually have to listen to the car-salesmen (apologies for the stereotype!!!) of the parenting industry you can read, read, read and get informed. I read anything and everything and very soon found the parenting help I needed and was able to filter out the rest. Opinion button off!
These really are my favorite parenting books and ones that I have found to be good guide books.
- Obviously the La Leche League’s own book provides a great guide to anything about nursing. Quick answers to heaps of questions, with a great index for those desperate moments at two in the morning!
- Anything by Dr Sears is brilliant. He and his wife have eight kids and really have lived through the gamut of parenting issues, therefore a great resource! He has a whole series of books on parenting and the one I like best is The Baby Book:
This book is the ultimate classic Baby Book – it has everything you need to know about babies, parenting and so on. How to feed them, love them, get them to sleep, teething, starting solids, discipline – the list just goes on… Really this is a fabulous gift for anyone you know who is about to have a baby – I discovered it after having had a couple of Hoods, and read it in a sitting (Don’t be amazed!) it was brilliant. Not to mention that it is a great book for dipping into on a desperate topic. A really great book.
- Anything by Shiela Kitzinger is great. Great for you, less great for the bossy-type care-giver. She is very empowering and will take away that I am on the conveyor belt through childbirth feeling. Many mothers have found that the right information can liberate them from being the I accept whatever you say pregnant patient to the pregnant woman with an inquiring mind.
This book is short and easy to read and while it is advocating homebirth it is full of good ideas that you can ask your doctor and things you can pop into your birth plan in a way that doesn’t put the entire medical profession’s back-up. Not to mention that her birth books are full of beautiful pictures of babies which are just lovely to browse while you are waiting for your own one to hatch.
- The World Health Organization and almost any other pediatric association recommends that you nurse your child exclusively for the first six months of life and then at least for the first two years of life or until both the mother and baby pair are complete. I won’t tell you what the average age of weaning is, world over!!! Just to say, for all those people that tell you that your baby is six months old and now your breast milk is useless may want to do some research!
So how do you nurse an older baby and cope with all the issues that this brings, read this book long before you have a toddler it is full of little hints and tips to help you cope: with yourself, your baby and not to mention all those people that have so much parenting advice to share – and believe me if you haven’t had a child yet you will discover the world is packed with well meaning informants, that aren’t always that informed.
- And this is not for fainthearted!!! What happens if you fall pregnant while your first baby is under a year and really still needs to nurse – well here you go – it can be done, you can nurse when you are pregnant – though it is the one thing that almost every care-giver and ill-advised old aunt will advise against. I think, actually, more people do this than people think, it is the skeleton in the closet of nursing!
So from my own experience it so can be done and this book is packed with anecdotes from mother’s who have. The baby inside you will get the nutrients it requires, your older baby is not stealing from it and the new baby will not hatch stunted and undersized: living proof almost everyHood is larger than the Hood before it. That being said it is not an easy thing to do and neither is it required of you. Being pregnant is not easy and if the thought of your child crawling around on your fatigued self, trying to nurse sends you through the roof then don’t do it! But we found that it was great fro sibling rivalry (we have never actually experienced that), no one has had to give up their beloved mum for a new baby and so on – it works and if you want to know more read the book.
- I am not the greatest weaning advocate in the world, you may have gathered that, but sometimes it needs to be done and this book will tell you how to go about it in a friendly non-dictatorial way. It looks at weaning in a holistic way, how to introduce solids how to wean in your own way one step at a time. A very useful and realistic book. Not your typical command center approach but more gentle and easy on the mother person.
- Now this book may not look like what you would expect from La Leche League, but it is! Not exactly about nursing but it is the one book that I think every woman should read her about her personal safety and how she can feel safe with her children, beware the mother-bear and her babies!!! It is all about knowing your children, which starts with infant hood. It is all about letting go, eventually… and how to do it in baby steps along the way.
If you live in a society, like ours where violent crime is completely normal and you are terrified of your child being abducted or worse, then this book will reassure you. It is all about enabling you to recognize who the really threatening people are and also that not everyone out there is trying to hijack you! Very reassuring… but won’t leave you complacent either.
There you are, arm yourself with good information and happy reading.