Wow, Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy by Laura Keegan R.N., F.N.P has to be one of the most beautiful and unique books about breastfeeding I've yet had the privilege to review. What makes it really special is that it is absolutely packed full of intimate, heart-melting and tender breastfeeding photographs; photographs of real mothers breastfeeding their beautiful babies in comfort and joy!
You just have to flick quickly through Laura's book to see the effect breastfeeding has on a mother, her baby and even the father. Babies from newborn to several months old latching, suckling, falling asleep drunk on their mother's milk; healthy, clear skinned babies and contented mothers who are obviously very comfortable with each other and in the company of Laura, who I must say is an extremely talented photographer, not to mention Registered Nurse and Family Nurse Practitioner who has helped hundreds of mothers and babies to successfully breastfeed.
Perhaps the thing that most struck me about Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy was the photos of babies latching, perhaps because it is often one of the most difficult aspects of breastfeeding, yet most important, to get right. By showing very close up photos rather than the usual scientific diagrams or most basic of pencil drawings prevalent in so many breastfeeding books, Laura succeeds in making latching look so much easier. I only wish I'd had this book 8 years ago when I had dreadful problems getting my daughter's latch correct. It's all fine and well for someone to tell you how to do it but photos make it real. Even as an experienced breastfeeding mother of three I could see immediately what a proper, effective latch should look like and now understand what I was doing wrong with each of my babies!
Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy also features many photos of mothers breastfeeding their twins and although it's something I've never had to do, the pictures manage to make it look both easily manageable and very comfortable; one photo in particular brought tears to my eyes when I realized one twin was gently holding the other's arm as they fed!
Moving away from the photos (which you can see I really loved), Laura's book has lots of wonderful motherly advice about all aspects of breastfeeding. She informs mothers how to prepare for and achieve a successful breastfeeding experience without overwhelming them with medical jargon. She advises them what to do if things don't go according to plan and when a baby is not able to feed at the mother's breast, Laura is not opposed to the temporary use of bottles (preferably bottles of breastmilk). As a mother of four fully breastfed babies you can really tell Laura writes from both personal and professional experience and this makes the book a real gem.
If Breastfeeding in Comfort and Joy doesn't inspire you to give breastfeeding a try, or to keep at it through the occasional difficult times, then I honestly don't know what will. My copy will be sitting on the coffee table as a beautiful reminder of what breastfeeding is all about... and I'll definitely be recommending it to all of my pregnant or breastfeeding friends!