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Breastfeeding is natural, but there are so many things that can throw it off course.
As a new nursing mom, you are going to have many questions. You need to have reliable sources to get answers. One of the best ways to get reliable information is to have one or two good books about breastfeeding.
But there are so many different books about nursing it can be crazy-making to figure out which are the best books on breastfeeding.
Choosing a book on breastfeeding is not a one size fits all proposition. There are a variety of things nursing moms need to know about and a range of breastfeeding experiences.
I researched and read books that address many different breastfeeding situations. These are my recommendations for the top breastfeeding books you should buy.
WHY YOU NEED BOOKS ON BREASTFEEDING
Being well informed is crucial to having a good breastfeeding experience.
While blogs like this one are an excellent place to get information, it’s also essential to have at least one book about breastfeeding.
Having one or two of these top breastfeeding books will save you time and frustration. They will also provide you with evidence-based information and practical advice.
BEST BOOKS ON BREASTFEEDING
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiesinger and Diana West.
No list of the best breastfeeding books would be complete without the perennial favorite, the La Leche League breastfeeding book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. First published in 1958 and currently in its 8th edition.
This is a popular book that has withstood the test of time. I encourage you to include another general breastfeeding book as The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding has not been updated since 2010.
- Includes chapters on sleep and solids
- An alphabetical guide to common breastfeeding challenges
- Kindle or paperback
BEST BREASTFEEDING BOOKS FOR FIRST TIME MOMS
The Nursing Mother’s Companion by Kathleen Huggins
When I worked at a hospital, this book was in a gift bag that we gave our new moms. I reviewed many books when I was deciding which one to include. This one was the winner hands down. I love how easy it is to find the answers to your questions.
The Nursing Mother’s Companion is a book that you will go back to time and time again when you find yourself in a new breastfeeding stage.
Kathleen Huggins first wrote it in 1986. She revises it regularly, most recently in 2017. The author is an RN with a Master’s Degree in perinatal nursing. She is an IBCLC and has been helping nursing moms for over 30 years.
- Over 1 million copies sold
- From pregnancy preparation to weaning
- Easy to locate survival guides
- An extensive list of resources for nursing moms
- Appendix on the safety of drugs during breastfeeding
- Available both on Kindle or paperback
- Spanish version available
BEST BOOK OF QUICK BREASTFEEDING TIPS
Sometimes you don’t want to read a long chapter to find out if what is happening is normal. You want quick information.
I wrote Breastfeed Like a Boss – 52 tips for the first year of breastfeeding so that you could get the information you need in bite-size pieces of information. It is easy to navigate. A click on the topic in the table of contents will take you to the tip.
This book is a digital download.
BEST BREASTFEEDING BOOKS FOR WORKING MOMS
Work, Pump Repeat by JessicaShortall
This book was written by a mom who has been there, done that. The tone is conversational, like a chat with your best girlfriend.
Author, Jessica Shortall declares that her book is a “no-judgment zone.”
Sh addresses all the practicalities of being a breastfeeding mom who works from choosing a pump to your legal rights and what to do when things go wrong.
Work, Pump, Repeat is a must-read for any mom who plans to go back to work and continue to breastfeed.
- Published 2015
- Kindle, Hardback or Audio
BREASTFEEDING BOOKS FOR CHILDREN
Best Milk by Kate Carothers
Written by an RN/IBCLC, Best Milk discusses breastfeeding from a big sister’s perspective. It even covers pumping.
What is remarkable about this paperback book is that it comes in three different versions:
- Caucasian family
- Black family
- Bilingual Spanish/English
BEST BOOK FOR MOMS TRYING TO INCREASE MILK SUPPLY
The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk by Diana West and Lisa Marasco
This book is written for moms, but the information in it is so valuable and well-researched that I refer to it regularly.
The authors are highly respected lactation consultants.
They provide well-researched details about the causes of low milk supply as well as helping women determine if there really is a problem.
The basics of making milk is covered. There is a comprehensive list of methods to increase supply is presented.
They also talk about unique situations:
- Returning to work
- Exclusively pumping
- Induced lactation
- The first edition came out in 2009 and it was fully updated in 2020.
- Kindle or paperback
COOKBOOK FOR BREASTFEEDING MOTHERS
Eat To Feed – 80 Nourishing Recipes For Breastfeeding Moms by Eliza Larson and Kristy Kohler
Nursing moms want to have a good milk supply. You know there are foods that can help you achieve this goal, but it can be challenging to come up with your own milk-boosting recipes while breastfeeding.
Eat To Feed has healthy breastfeeding recipes for every meal of the day, including snacks.
What I love about this book is not only does it have 80 healthy recipes for breastfeeding mothers, but it is packed with pictures. I love a cookbook that is generous with pictures. This will help inspires you to make these breastfeeding-friendly recipes.
- Published in 2019
- Kindle or paperback.
BEST BREASTFEEDING BOOKS FOR NEW MOMS EXCLUSIVELY PUMPING
Whether you find yourself exclusively pumping by necessity or choice, this book will answer all your questions and provide you with invaluable tips to help you through your exclusively pumping journey.
- Making the decision
- The differences from direct breastfeeding
- Milk supply
- Originally published in 2004 it was updated in 2014
- Kindle or Paperback
BREASTFEEDING BOOK FOR MOTHERS OF MULTIPLES
Mothering Multiples – Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins or More! by Karen Kerkoff Gromada
This is a paperback book by La Leche League International and was written by one of their LLL leaders who is an RN and IBCLC and a mother of twins.
This book is very comprehensive. Mothering Multiples is not just about breastfeeding. It takes a mom through pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and toddlerhood. There is a chapter on the NICU experience.
The author gives practical tips on the logistics of caring for more than one baby.
Third revision published in 2007.
BREASTFEEDING BOOK FOR ADOPTIVE AND SURROGATE MOTHERS
Induced lactation is not a DIY project.
This complex and unique situation requires answers and a plan for the mother who does not experience pregnancy but still wants to provide her baby her breast milk.
The author has the perspective of a mother who breastfed her adopted child and as an IBCLC.
BREASTFEEDING BOOK FOR MOMS WHO’VE HAD BREAST SURGERY
Diana West is an IBCLC who has coauthored other books I have recommended. She wrote Defining Your Own Success in 2001. It is available in paperback and hardcover.
Some of the information in this book is dated and the author even acknowledges the chapter on increasing milk supply is outdated. She recommends Making More Milk which she also coauthored.
I included this book because there just hasn’t been anything else written from the perspective of both a mom who breastfed after breast surgery who is also an IBCLC.
BEST BOOKS ON WEANING
A Loving Weaning – How To Move Forward Together by Winema Wilson Lanoue.
Weaning is effortless for some mothers and babies. Other moms struggle with the decision to wean, especially if their child is not on board with that decision.
The author discusses both the emotional and physical aspects of weaning. She has a section on weaning FAQs.
The book presents a four-step plan that can be implemented at different ages. All methods of weaning are presented.
- Published in 2017
- Kindle or Paperback
WEANING BOOKS FOR TODDLERS
My Milk Will Go, Our Love Will Grow – A Book For Weaning by Jessica Elder.
This book is presented as a conversation between a mama and her toddler. It provides answers to the questions a toddler might have about weaning.
The author provides reassurance for children about this life transition. Written in rhyme and beautifully illustrated.
BEST BOOK ABOUT HOW TO GET YOUR BREASTFED BABY TO SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT
The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.
While this is not specifically a breastfeeding book it does provide practical advice for something that is a challenge to many breastfeeding mothers.
I am not an advocate of cry-it-out techniques for dealing with a baby who wakes during the night to breastfeed. I tried cry-it-out with my first baby. It didn’t work and it traumatized both of us. When I read this book I wished it had been written when I had babies.
The author presents a tested method of helping your baby learn how to sleep through the night. I consider this book a must-read for every parent.
- First published in 2002
- Updated in 2020
- Kindle or paperback
- Sleep-deprived mamas will also appreciate that it is available on
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST BREASTFEEDING BOOKS
Choosing one or two of these books on breastfeeding will help set you up for a positive breastfeeding experience.
You will know what is to come. And when you hit those inevitable bumps in the road on your breastfeeding journey you will have somewhere to turn to help you get to the other side.
Andrea Tran RN, MA, IBCLC
Andrea has been working with new families as an RN for over 35 years and a Lactation Consultant for over 25 years.
She has her MA in Health and Wellness with a focus in Lactation.