The Breastfeeding Class You Never Had: Getting started nursing your baby by Ann Bennett

Book Review by Samantha Packham, Austin, Texas, USA

I really enjoyed reading The Breastfeeding Class You Never Had: Getting started nursing your baby, by LLL Leader Ann Bennett. It was packed with great information that was easy to digest but did not leave me feeling overwhelmed with information. So often mothers want quick information, and may not have time to read a thick book on breastfeeding, but at just over 130 pages plus reference citations, this is a quick read. I think this is a great book for first-time breastfeeding mothers to help them establish a good foundation of what is normal when nursing and what is not, so they can seek help.

The chapters in the book have a similar format to LLL meeting series:

  • Why Am I Doing This?
  • Normal vs Needs Attention
  • Getting Started/What You Can Really Expect
  • Overcoming and Troubleshooting
  • How and Where to Get Help

The second chapter focuses on what is normal baby behaviour and what needs attention. Because so many of us grew up without seeing breastfeeding, knowing what is normal can be confusing.

The next chapter is about getting started and what you need for breastfeeding. In a consumer society new mothers often think they need all the gadgets. This chapter emphasizes that what a new mother most needs is knowledge.

One of my favorite parts is the last chapter—where to look for help. While Google can be an amazing tool, there is nothing like person-to-person support. This chapter guides parents to finding a local LLL meeting/Leader or an International Board Certified Lactaton Consultant to help them work through any problems.

Just like The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, the author has provided “evidenced-based” references for the studies she used.

Overall, I would recommend this book without a doubt. I think the part about how LLL started and what happens at meetings will help new mothers find an LLL Group. Since Ann has been an active LLL Leader for twenty years her love for the LLL mission and mothers really shines in her words:

“You can come to a La Leche League meeting if you need help, just want to talk or just find out what this nursing thing is all about.”

Samantha Packham has been a Leader since 2011 in Austin, Texas, USA for the South Austin Group. She became a Leader on the same day her second son was born. It was a race to see who would finish first, the baby or the Leader Accreditation Department! She beat her son’s birth by about ten hours. Samantha has three boys between the ages of ten and three.