Book review: Why Breastfeeding Matters, by Charlotte Young
You may be familiar with Charlotte Young, the sometimes-ranty but always well-informed blogger known as The Analytical Armadillo, one of the few reliably evidence-based information sources to be found online. Her wealth of knowledge is collected here into 16 neat chapters on the how and why of breastfeeding.
Like other books in the Why It Matters series, this is small but dense, covering how breastfeeding works; the wide range of normal baby behaviour and parental strategies for coping with it; expressing, formula and mixed feeding; and a couple of good chapters on the socio-cultural context of breastfeeding, and the impact of the formula milk industry.
Young is very aware of being a passionate supporter of breastfeeding mothers, in a bottle-feeding society, so much of her work is around myth-busting, whether she’s addressing the nonsense idea that breastfeeding mothers must eat a bland diet, or the notion that Mommy Wars is a feminist advert. She is careful to reference everything; perhaps a little less careful not to sometimes come across as sarcastic.
If you’re looking for an accurate breastfeeding text that pulls no punches, gives both the practical side of things and the context, and explains all of this logically and clearly, then this book is highly recommended.
[Disclosure: I obtained a free review copy of Why Breastfeeding Matters from the publishers. You can order a copy and get 10% discount using the code SPROGCAST, from their website here]