When I discovered I was expecting our first baby, after just one year of marriage and with two years of law school left for my husband, I was nervous and so excited. I decided I was going to give as much dedication to my new role as a mother as my husband did to his future role as a lawyer. So, much scholarship was in order. One of the first books I read ,cover to cover, as a brand new expectant mother was La Leche League's publication of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. In honor of this book's 50th anniversary, I recall the impact it had on me.
My first year of marriage was spent learning Natural Family Planning through the Couple to Couple League. That and my year working in a natural/health food store convinced me of the importance of breastfeeding. The Womanly Art, though, gave me specific and convincing facts as to why breastfeeding is so crucial to mother and baby, and gave the information I needed to succeed. This book helped to develop my framework for all the other pregnancy and parenting books I read thereafter, because I determined that if following some bit of advice would jeopardize my breastfeeding relationship, the advice probably wasn't so great. The book encouraged me to see pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding as part of a continuum of baby care, and that my choices regarding my pregnancy and birth could impact the health of me and my baby, and my ability to breastfeed. The Womanly Art even gives guidance for healthy eating for the whole family, for it's natural to desire to feed ourselves and our babies well while we're breastfeeding and as baby weans from the breast.
So, Happy Anniversary to The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding! May many more mothers, babies, and families grow and learn from your sage words.