Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” as Want to Read:
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  5,259 ratings  ·  541 reviews
The long-awaited revised edition!

It’s no secret that breastfeeding is the normal, healthy way to nourish and nurture your baby. Dedicated to supporting nursing and expectant mothers, the internationally respected La Leche League has set the standard for educating and empowering mothers in this natural art for generations. Now their classic bestselling guide has been retool
ebook, 448 pages
Published July 13th 2010 by Ballantine Books (first published September 1958)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This book is great for helping new moms get the hang of latching and positioning. That's about it.

Most moms work and many of those moms work full-time, so having an entire chapter of a breastfeeding book devoted to advocating that women NOT work is unsupportive, misogynistic and completely out of sync with the reality of breastfeeding today. If the church ladies over at the La Leche League were really trying to support breastfeeding, they'd acknowledge that working moms are the majority and prov
Ned Ryerson
I am a huge breast feeding advocate. It saves you a lot of money, it's super convenient, it's better for baby and the closeness you feel with your baby is just breath taking. I nursed my baby for 15 months and I wouldn't trade the experience for the world. Weaning her was hard for both of us!

That being said, breast feeding is a HUGE commitment. In the beginning it hurts and it is a lot of work. It is nothing to be taken lightly. You think it will be natural and instinctive, but it's not. At leas
This book advocates for FOD (Feeding on Demand) and talks a lot of shit about Kathleen Huggins' PDF (parent directed feeding) system. Hilariously, both methods actually are close to the same, once you get past the terminology. Too much of the book is spent attacking PDF (the breastfeeding philosophy, not the portable document format) and talking about how kick-ass FOD is.

I just noticed that I seem to be the only male who reviewed this book. Weird, huh?
I wish I'd read this book before my first child was born! I think it had great advice and was really in depth and thorough. I read a few other breastfeeding books before #1 was born but breastfeeding did not go smoothly and my references books were not very help - didn't address my problem at all. I honestly though the name of the book was weird so I picked something more bland and clinical. I saw 3 lactation consultants and was really frustrated and disappointment with my experience.

When I was
This is a 2-2.5 star book.

I checked out The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (2004 ed.) from my local library to get a jump start on learning about breastfeeding and particularly about pumping after I return to work (baby is not yet born). It seemed like a really thorough reference for breastfeeding troubleshooting, but I'm not there yet, so I skimmed those parts and read others. I honestly found it almost unbearable to read. The scant number of pages dedicated to working mothers who pump was filled
The enthusiasm of the writers tend to portray breast feeding as an all encompassing parenting tool. Breast fed babies are smart, secure, happy so you don't even have to parent! Getting past that- the chapters are well organized starting from breast changes in pregnancy all the way toward weaning. Each topic is comprehensively covered. This is written for at home mothers as well as working mothers. It discusses premies, normal, and special cases so a new mother can recognize and address special n ...more
This book has a lot of valuable information in it if you are, or would like to, breastfeed. However, I must say that no one should ever sit down & read the whole thing cover to cover unless they want to know more than anyone ever wanted to about nursing! Use it to troubleshoot, or pick & choose the chapters that apply, but it was really rough to read the whole thing. I cheered when I got through the last page. Although, I have also successfully nursed 3 children already & knew quite ...more
I wish I could have given this book a better review, but it has problems that many others have already pointed out, and one that nobody else has mentioned: Not everyone is able to breastfeed. Many women need to return to work immediately, particularly in our post-meltdown economy, and do not have supportive workplaces where pumping is possible. Some women have biological issues that prevent their children from breastfeeding, despite endless endless consultations with lactation experts, weeks on ...more
This book is great for the woman already determined to breastfeed, however I worry that a woman on the fence or that is struggling with negative feelings towards breastfeeding, might be put off by the overly positive portrayal of breastfeeding. I've exclusively breastfed two children, for me every moment was a struggle but a worthy one. I will strongly encourage my future childbirth students to breastfeed... so I am on the La Leche League's side, but the judgmental tone of the book put me off. I ...more
This is a very informative tome, covering lots of different breastfeeding topics. It covered the stuff that is in all the pregnancy and early childcare books, as well as topics I wouldn't have thought of, such as different feeding holds/techniques, unique troubleshooting information, and lots more. It includes many different references, not just for breastfeeding, but for other issues as well, such as sleeping, feeding solids, etc.

The downfalls to this book, however, were annoying enough that th
Amanda Fields
Let's start with the good: this book has many useful tips about breastfeeding, from pumping to the benefits to understanding the reproductive cycle while breastfeeding. It's obviously pro-breastfeeding and offers numerous ways for women committed to breastfeeding to address problems that may arise. I recommend it for these practical reasons. Now for the not-so-good: I've read lots of pregnancy books over the last 8 months. Often I read reviews of these books that detect a condescending tone (e.g ...more
I liked the book and I found it helpful. I did read it cover to cover and my LO has not even arrived yet, I have also already been attending my local LLL meetings and trying to get comfortable with the wild world of breast feeding, so this probably colors my review somewhat.

There is a lot of great information in the book and I can see it being a tremendous reference for troubleshooting. I did not get the same anti-working mom vibe that others have cited...maybe I have a different edition? If yo
While this book contains some good information on breastfeeding, I found that, overall, it functioned more as an ideological manifesto than a how-to guide. The answers to most of my breastfeeding questions and problems had to be found elsewhere. (Primarily through friends and the excellent site,

Worse, the book actually angered me at numerous points. It is judgmental and doesn't consider the realities of many women's lives. I know the La Leche League is beloved by breastfeeding wo
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
For such a massive tome, a bit thin on details -- for example, every section about problems with nursing was supremely unhelpful and super vague. I found more detailed info from websites like KellyMom and Facebook groups. Perhaps for those who can't get online, this might be a helpful start, but pretty disappointing.
Pharlain Ross
It has some great feedback for breastfeeding, particularly if you're struggling. But in order to get the beneficial advice you have to sit through a lot of guilt tripping and judgement about your choices. Others have touched on the discouragement of going back to work, the condescending method with which they treat dads, and various other judgements passed. What really got me was very early on talking about the trauma of birth and basically suggesting that if you didn't go all natural poor poor ...more
Blech. My kid and I figured out things ourselves and definitely found the cultish La Leche League to be a bit much for our taste.
Tamamını okumasam da parça parça okuduğum kitap. La Leche League International'ın Türkiye'de de ayağı var, emzirme, emzirmeye dirençli bebeği alıştırma ve annenin yaşadığı tüm sıkıntılara yönelik destek grupları oluşturuyorlar. Özellikle ilk kez anne olduğunuzda en önemli şey yalnız olmadığınızı bilmek oluyor, bu sadece benim başıma gelmiyor, bunu sadece ben yaşamıyorum diyebilmek, destek görebilmek çok önemli.

26 ay boyunca çocuğunu emzirmiş bir anne olarak, emzirmek hayatımda yaşadığım en güzel
I avoided reading this for a long time before a friend lent it to me. I have some ideological differences with La Leche League, but still found this book to be informative as long as I took the advice and information in the book with a grain of salt. Yes, the book is helpful for those who want to learn about breastfeeding, but it's also really out of touch and preachy sometimes.

It's funny how all of the little stories of breastfeeding moms interspersed in the book are all unicorns and rainbows.
This is the new 8th edition, which I hear is a wonderful improvement. After reading Amber's review (, I've been anxious to see what changes have been made. It's definitely heftier than the previous.

Aug 17
Just finished chapter 4. I was already learning new stuff in chapter 1. Chapter 2 is about setting up support for yourself. Chapter 3 is about birth. Chapter 4 is about latching. Loved the new latch approach, it will definitely empower new moms. That chap
There's SO much more to this book than breastfeeding! First off, I read all the most popular baby/pregnancy books and for some reason, this was the ONLY one to mention the "laid back" (literally, in a reclining position) method of breastfeeding, which seems to me to be the easiest and most straightforward to do it (granted, my due date is still a few months out so I haven't actually *tried* this, but it will be the first thing I attempt once she's born!). There's also a ton of information about ...more
THE breastfeeding bible.

If not for La Leche League, I don't think breastfeeding would have come back from the brink of "science is way better than nature."

Here's my take on breast v. bottle. Breastfeeding is not only best, it is the biological norm. Formula is an acceptable alternative for some, assuming you have access to clean water and soap for sanitation, and the money that the formula and extra doctor bills will cost you. That holds true for many in developed nations like the US, but not
La Leche League started out as a group that sought to support women who wanted to breastfeed, a progressive organization that wanted to give women choices. With the publication of this 7th Revised Edition of their handbook, however, it's become clear that they've turned into an organization intent on shaming mothers who don't breastfeed instead.

It was difficult for me to read this book because it's written like a religious tract. Breastfeeding = good behavior, and should you transgress, a) you'r
Bonnie (Words at Home Blog)
I recently finished the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (the revised and updated 8th edition) by La Leche League International for the second time and enjoyed it as much as the first time I read it. The first time I picked up this book I was pregnant with my first child and reading it as an expectant mom who had no previous knowledge of, or experience with, breastfeeding - I found it immensely helpful. Not only for the 'technical' aspects of breastfeeding, but also for things like what I can expect ...more
Kristin Dennison
An incredibly thorough book that covers just about everything you need to know about breastfeeding! I don't know what else to say about it, other than if you are expecting a baby, this is a must-have for your bookshelf! It will help prepare you well, and will no doubt be an incredibly valuable reference. I want to address some concerns other reviewers have made. It seems people perceived some kind of lack of information about pumping/needs of working moms, etc. Even that the book/LLL "guilts" or ...more
Aww, this book is lovely. You really do get to feel like, Breastfeeding is a womanly art. You feel very connected to your baby, your body, the breastfeeding community. You think things to yourself like, God bless those pioneering La Leche founders. Truly, I thought before I had my baby that breastfeeding was beautiful, and I wanted very much to do it, but after actually doing it for a couple of months, I was starting to feel a bit disconnected from it all. Reading this book reminded me that I'm ...more
If I could give half stars, this one would get 2.5. It did have some very good information that I will be using. However, it was almost overwhelmed by the obnoxious attitude taken by LLL towards breastfeeding.

Yes, I know this is a book advocating breastfeeding, but LLL, despite what they weakly disclaim in the beginning of the book, takes a pretty hardline "my way or the highway" approach to breastfeeding that is a huge turn-off. If anything, I think this book would make women feel inferior if
I committed to exclusively breast feed by daughter long before she was born. However, this book did not help that decision. Instead it made me feel like a terrible mother when things did not work as the book predicted.

This book would lead you to believe that as long as you do not have medical interventions then your child will be *perfect*. Everything from milk supply to problems with latch are blamed on epidurals. I had a completely natural childbirth. No interventions. My daughter was born wi
This book was so helpful the first few days after our baby was born. Le Leche League has really "relaxed" in terms of it's strict reputation. I learned many things about how to breast feed, many things about what to let a sitter know, things about what to do about infections, low milk supply, restarting milk supply, and so much more. In fact, the book made me feel like I was not a failure because my milk didn't come in until 72 hours after baby was born. He had been screaming in hunger and we ha ...more
I really enjoyed this book. Breastfeeding was something I was fearful wouldn't happen for me due to all the myths and problems posted out there on the mommy boards. This book really put my mind to ease. It gave a wealth of information and lots of options for real life support.

That said I think it is important to balance out some of their advice with titles like Lean In (sad that is the only one I can think of). Not everyone can just change their entire life/job to be a full time stay at home br
I love this book. I learned SO much about breastfeeding, and found explanations to some of the reasons why I didn't last as long as I wanted with my first baby. Many of my problems with breastfeeding were emotional rather than physical obstacles. This book addressed nearly all of my concerns, and helped me find ways around the challenges I had faced the first time around. With my second baby, I went into it knowing exactly what I needed to do, and why, and armed with the confidence to do so. I l ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth
  • The Breastfeeding Answer Book
  • Mothering Your Nursing Toddler
  • Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding
  • Active Birth : The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally
  • The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
  • Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way
  • Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers
  • Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation
  • The Nursing Mother's Companion
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn, Revised and Updated: The Complete Guide
  • Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and Beyond
  • The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers : The Most Comprehensive Problem-Solution Guide to Breastfeeding from the Foremost Expert in North America
  • The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child
  • Gentle Birth Choices
  • So That's What They're For!: The Definitive Breastfeeding Guide
  • Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience
La Leche League International is the most trusted name in breastfeeding information, support, and advocacy. Founded in 1956 by seven intrepid women, the League now has more than 7,000 accredited leaders in sixty-eight countries, and offers phone, online, and in-person consultation to breastfeeding mothers.
More about La Leche League International...
Feed Yourself, Feed Your Family: Good Nutrition and Healthy Cooking for New Moms and Growing Families La Leche League 2-Book Bundle: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding; Feed Yourself, Feed Your Family Whole Foods For Kids To Cook Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family Feed Yourself, Feed Your Family: Good Nutrition and Healthy Cooking for New Mums and Growing Families

Share This Book

“A father from New Zealand, Harry Parke of Cambridge, told a group of fathers, "My wife and I figured that by nursing our first son, Christopher, we saved considerably in the first year by not using formula, sterilizers, early solids, electricity, birth control means, etc. Raewyn immediately decided that the money saved was to be a deposit on a freezer, and now it stands in the hall.” 1 likes
“unless you’re very long-breasted or wide-breasted,” 0 likes
More quotes…