Are you keen on learning all the ins and outs of breastfeeding?
Are you the type of person who likes to hold an actual book full of all the information you need without having to search it all out on the internet? Are you trying to avoid books by unreliable sources or those proven to offer poor advice?
If so, check out our list of best breastfeeding books. We’ve used these books ourselves, and thousands of other readers swear they’ve been helpful. They’ll be a trusted resource for you throughout your breastfeeding journey.
- Covers everything about pumping
- Entertaining content
- Axiom Business Book Award Winner
- Thorough book
- Credible author
- Well-sectioned book
- Author is a midwife
- Includes health benefits of breastfeeding
- Includes information on twins
- Covers both breastfeeding & pumping
- Evidence-based insights
- Addresses baby’s milk needs by age
- Encourages you to pump longer
- Well-organized book
- Covers every aspect of exclusive pumping
When to Start Learning About Breastfeeding
Your best bet is to start reading up in your first or second trimester. That gives you plenty of time to order your nursing pillow, nursing covers, breast pump, breastmilk storage containers, and other equipment, so you’ll be ready to start when your baby is born.
Breastfeeding should begin right after your baby is born, so you can hit the ground running. Those first few drops of colostrum help build your baby’s entire immune system.
How to Choose a Breastfeeding Book
Any book you choose should have all the information you’ll need to pull off your breastfeeding mission successfully. But in addition to being a comprehensive book, a good book should be all of the following:
If you’d rather do anything, including pump milk in public, than read breastfeeding books, you’re probably choosing books that are too boring. You’ll never learn enough about breastfeeding if your eyes glaze over every time you try to read about it. Look for engaging books with personal anecdotes.
Full of Pictures
Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. Nothing helps you understand what an incorrect latch is better than a picture.
Someone You Can Relate To
Most moms like reading books by an author who feels like a close friend or a wise older sister. And if you’re a young first-time mom, you might not want a breastfeeding book aimed at women with lots of experience.
Supportive and Honest
Sometimes breastfeeding can get hard, and when that happens, you’re going to need a little extra encouragement. A book that reminds you about the benefits of breastfeeding for both you and your baby may be enough to keep you motivated. You’ll also want something that doesn’t make you feel bad when you get it “wrong.”
The Best Breastfeeding Books of 2022
Here are our favorite breastfeeding books.
1. Work. Pump. Repeat.
Best Breastfeeding Book for Working Moms
The book “Work. Pump. Repeat.” by Jessica Shortall will help moms balance their busy, demanding careers with their desire to give their baby the best nutritional start in life.
Shortall knows what she’s talking about as she’s a mother of two with a demanding career. When she was pumping for her children, she was traveling worldwide with her job with TOMS Shoes.
This book covers how to craft in-the-office pumping schedules and how to handle pumping if your job takes you on the road for a few days. Plus, it addresses the less-than-optimal pumping conditions many women face while at work. It shows you how to build a freezer stash and even how to handle uncomfortable situations with coworkers.
This book will help you realize that you can get through pumping at work, even if it’s not easy. Lots of women have been trailblazers in recent years, so you don’t have to choose between working and feeding your baby breast milk. This book will give you plenty of encouraging stories and details provided by working women.
Shortall’s conversational tone makes this book an easy and enjoyable read.
- Entertained read.
- Covers everything you’ll need to know about pumping at work.
- Written by a woman who pumped while traveling globally — if she can do it, anyone can.
- A bit heavy on the anecdotes and light on checklists.
- Even though you’re busy, you might wish this book was a little longer than 208 pages.
2. The Nursing Mother’s Companion
Best Breastfeeding Book for New Moms
Finally, a book that admits that breastfeeding isn’t instinctual. Women who feel they have been given mixed messages about breastfeeding will appreciate this book. Many of us have been told we’ll automatically know what to do when it comes time to breastfeed, but here we read the stories of women who describe how challenging it really can be.
In Kathleen Huggins’ “The Nursing Mother’s Companion,” she informs us that breastfeeding is a good choice, but women and babies don’t always know how to do it without instruction.
This book provides the solid groundwork you’ll need for success, such as breast pump reviews and determining how much milk your baby needs. It’ll also show you have to overcome some of the challenges and setbacks you might experience along the way.
Even more, it offers some non-breastfeeding advice you might be wondering about, like co-sleeping and the risk of SIDS.
Readers can trust that Huggins knows what she’s talking about because she is a lactation consultant and registered nurse.
- At 368 pages, this a thorough book.
- Huggins’ medical training gives her a lot of credibility with readers.
- Well-indexed book means you can easily find the information you need when you need it.
- Some sections can get a bit repetitive.
- Includes some debatable information, like recommending babies take fluoride supplements. Always check with your pediatrician before giving your baby anything besides breastmilk.
3. Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding
Best Book for Breastfeeding Twins
This book has a chapter dedicated to breastfeeding twins. Moms with multiples will learn a lot about how to multitask safely.
One of our favorite chapters is “Problem-Solving During the First Week.” When you’re a mom, you may run into setbacks and decide to throw in the towel because it’s too hard. But if you use this chapter to get you through the rough patches, you’ll be that much closer to reaching your breastfeeding goals.
Other chapters involve what to do when your baby gets sick, working outside the home, the basics you’ll need to begin breastfeeding, sleeping arrangements, and even weaning.
Readers who aren’t familiar with author Ina May Gaskin can rest easy that they’re getting their advice from a certified professional midwife with more than 30 years of experience.
This book is 352 pages long and will guide you from your baby’s first day until they no longer need to be breastfed.
- The author has tons of experience as a midwife.
- The book visits the health benefits of breastfeeding, which is a powerful motivator when times get tough.
- It includes information on twins, which is an area some books neglect.
- The section about breastfeeding after returning to work could have been more informative.
- The book also covers the history of breastfeeding in America, which is something some moms may not be interested in.
4. Working and Breastfeeding Made Simple
Best Book for Breastfeeding and Pumping
This book by Nancy Mohrbacher has a whole chapter dedicated to the different time frames in which women might be going back to their jobs after giving birth. It gives you vital information for breastfeeding and pumping at every stage.
The content doesn’t just include information for moms in the workforce; it also focuses on breastfeeding moms returning to school.
We also love the chapter about realistic pumping expectations.
The experienced author operated a private lactation business for more than ten years.
- This is really thorough, covering both breastfeeding and pumping.
- The author knows what she’s talking about.
- The section about the baby’s milk needs by age is particularly helpful.
- Very detailed book could have been much shorter.
- Informational but lacks a personal feel.
5. Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk
Best Book for Exclusively Pumping
“Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk” by Stephanie Casemore is a good resource for moms who aren’t breastfeeding but still want their babies to have breast milk.
This book deals with the emotional aspect of exclusively pumping and the feelings it can bring up for moms. It also has tips for increasing your milk supply and getting past some of the biggest pumping obstacles.
Moms of preemies will appreciate the special advice just for them, and all moms will like the detailed storage information. Beginners can use the schedules she offers because until pumping becomes a routine, it’s helpful to visualize how often you should be doing it.
Casemore learned about exclusively pumping when she became a mom herself. In addition to being a mom, she’s a writer and teacher who lives in Canada.
The book is 284 pages long and is packed with information to help women with the daily ins and outs of pumping, both emotionally and physically.
- This might encourage you to pump longer than you would have otherwise.
- The book is organized well.
- Every aspect of exclusive pumping is covered.
- There’s a fair amount of repetition, which some moms may not like.
- The book could have had a more engaging tone.
The Bottom Line
Half the battle with breastfeeding is not giving up. And to keep you in the game, the best breastfeeding books need to inspire you. That’s why Work. Pump. Repeat. comes out on top for us.
It’s for working moms, those who are dedicated to breastfeeding and the longevity of doing the best for their babies. It’s by someone who has had to walk the walk, not just talk about it.
It will entertain you while you learn. It’s a lot like parenthood in that respect!