September 2011: Review of two new children's books about breastfeeding by Anna Burbidge, La Leche League GB, Chair, Council of Directors
Breastfeeding women soon discover that we live in a society where a feeding bottle is the symbol most often associated with a baby. Bottles are used to show feeding and changing rooms, on birth cards, to indicate newspaper announcements and even to show the care cycle on a washing machine. With rare exceptions, books about babies usually include illustrations of bottles. If breastfeeding is shown it is often as an alternative to bottle feeding. Breastfed children can feel confused by this and may even ask why they didn’t have a bottle, particularly when story books show even baby animals being bottle fed.
At last, however, we have two books, newly published by Pinter and Martin, which are wholeheartedly about breastfeeding, without a bottle in sight. La Leche League is pleased to say that some of our suggestions were incorporated into these beautiful books.
In You, me and the breast by Monica Calaf the mother tells her young child his breastfeeding story, from how he searched for the breast the minute he was born, through to him gradually weaning. She tells him about all the lovely things they did together while breastfeeding and how much they both enjoyed it. Beautifully illustrated by Mikel Fuentes, and winner of Illustrated Children’s Books, Fedecata, Spain, this is a delightful story of a mother and child’s breastfeeding journey, and one which will be welcomed by those who have longed for a book which accepts breastfeeding as the natural way to nurture a child.
The Mystery of the Breast by Victoria de Aboitiz looks at the breastfeeding relationship though the eyes of a big sister. She wonders why her little brother likes to spend so much time at their mother’s breast and gradually the mystery of the breast unfolds. She notices that relatives and even strangers want to help her mother while she is breastfeeding and that her home is full of love and laughter. Illustrated by Afra, the pictures capture the scenes of family life with a breastfeeding baby and this book will be a must for a parent looking for a positive book about breastfeeding for older siblings.