Giveaway: Can This Breastfeeding Book Change Our Culture?

Written by Bettina Forbes, CLC

There are an ever growing number of breastfeeding books coming to market, some that are more evidence-based than others, some that are more user-friendly than others, some that bring a much needed sense of humor.   All come with the intention of helping mothers to succeed at breastfeeding.

breastfeeding book comfort joyAnd then there is Laura Keegan’s book, Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy:  A Photographic Guide for Mom and Those Who Help Her which can be ordered exclusively at giveaway below!) There are many ways that this book is different from all the others I have seen; and not just because it has almost as many photographs as it does words.   Uniquely, this book unfolds in lustrous images and reassuring words, page by page, drawing the reader in soothingly, much as a new mother draws her baby close for comfort and sustenance.   It is easy to read in one sitting; in fact I could not stop.   I was as mesmerized by the language as I was by the photos, most of which were taken by the author.    I still get goosebumps from the photo on page 2.

Although the photos–which are unapologetically graphic–do tend to take center stage, the text is a worthy match.   The introduction lays out the intention of the book to clear away the chatter of breastfeeding war stories we’ve all heard before, and to remind us that breastfeeding can actually be incredibly wondrous and enjoyable if moms are given the right support.   This concept is very much at the heart of what Best for Babes is all about–breastfeeding has been made far too difficult by a gauntlet of “booby traps” that keep moms from succeeding, despite their best intentions.   We believe that no one should tell moms what to do, but for pete’s sake, if she wants to breastfeed, let her succeed!   As long as 60% of moms are being prevented from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals by our disapproving culture and by hospitals, physicians, employers and insurers, it will be hard to get breastfeeding continuation rates to go up–only 11% are making it to the minimum 6 months recommended by the AAP.  As long as moms are struggling unnecessarily and not enjoying the breastfeeding experience they will pass on their horror stories and dissuade their peers.   We can do better for moms!

There is a surprisingly large amount of evidence-based information packed in to a small space.   There have been other excellent reviews of the lactation science in the book (see Mother’s Utopia, The New Born Baby, Permission to Mother, Linda Draper and the Motherwear Blog), and I defer to these IBCLC experts.  However, I was very interested and happy to see the context Keegan established about “bottle-feeding imprinting” and how our culture interferes with mother’s natural nursing instinct.   I enjoyed how she succinctly explained skin-to-skin contact and the work of Lennart Righard, as well as the mother’s amazing ability to regulate her temperature to warm up her baby, even on command.    As someone who is squeamish about breastfeeding at heart, I did gulp at some of the photos, but I think they are incredibly important for helping moms get comfortable with their bodies, and they are needed to help change our culture.   Most of all, though this book wants us to fall in love with breastfeeding, and I did, in a way that I didn’t get a chance to experience when I was going through it myself.   For an expecting mother or new mother, I can’t think of a better gift.

kelly rutherford0001I am especially pleased to be able to share actress Kelly Rutherford’s endorsement of the book as well.   Kelly has been very outspoken about breastfeeding, sharing her story openly with us and using her celebrity status as a star of  the hit show Gossip Girl to raise awareness and appreciation of breastfeeding, and helping us shift the pressure off moms and on to the “booby traps”.   Here is what she had to say about Breastfeeding With Comfort and Joy:


Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy is amazing. I received the book while I was pregnant with Helena, and it was a gift that touched my heart. This book could be given at baby showers and available at every place we bring babies. I would like to see it at hospitals caring for moms and babies and at every pump station in LA!!
Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy celebrates our ability to nurture our children. The book is an extremely practical breastfeeding guide, but also gets us back to what it means to nurture through its words, images, and helpful ideas. It teaches women about breastfeeding in a non-threatening way, respecting that every breastfeeding mother and baby pair is unique, facing different circumstances in their lives.
All of the women in this book are different, but all are nurturing their babies; some with babies feeding at moms’ breasts, others just cuddled close to mom (or dad). When we come from a place of nurturing our babies without guilt, mothers and babies find their way and feel beautiful. — Kelly Rutherford

To order the book, go to  I am giving away one copy of the book, to enter to win, post a comment below by October 23rd explaining how you would use this book to help mothers and babies.   Only entries from the United States please.

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43 Comments | Last revised on 10/12/2009

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43 Responses to Giveaway: Can This Breastfeeding Book Change Our Culture?

  1. Jennifer Link says:

    The book sounds great. I can’t wait to read it!!

  2. Amber McCann says:

    What a great opportunity to show breastfeeding as normal and wonderful. I’d leave it on the coffee table of my office as a fitting show of how great it can be.

  3. CaroLyn says:

    Hi there! I’d love a copy of this book: If I won it, I’d read it and then give it to a friend who is a doula and pregnant with twins. She plans to breastfeed and I hope it goes well for her!

    Thanks for the great website, by the way 🙂

  4. juli says:

    I have breast fed each of my three children (actually am still breastfeeding my third), and I advocate breastfeeding to every new or expecting mother. How could you not want to give your child the best start in their lives? I am always encouraged when I see stores, brands, etc. making breastfeeding “normal” and “ok.” This book sounds great, and I would love to read it and to share it with other moms in my network!

  5. Emily says:

    I am definitely a visual learner, so this really appeals to me! I am early in my doula career and want to be able to offer really great resources to my clients to encourage them to have a successful breastfeeding relationship with their babies. I’d love to be able to offer this book in my lending library.

  6. Sonja Ritchie says:

    This looks like a well planned, purposeful book. I will be getting a copy, a “won” one would be wonderful! I have a huge library already that I share with several of my friends. Many of us are young mothers now and I have several that I can think of that are becoming mothers soon that I would like to share this with before they have their babies. I would also like to share it with my LLL leader who is preparing to expanding our group library. This looks like a book she needs to have.

  7. Brittany says:

    I would love to get my hands on this book because breastfeeding did not come easy with my first child and I only managed to do it for 4 weeks. After I gave up, I felt like a terrible mom. I know that in that moment I thought I was making the right decision, but I definitely regret not trying harder. Right now, my husband and I are trying for baby #2 and I am committed to breastfeed the rest of my kids, but having a book that would help educate me and encourage me may be exactly what I need.

    After I read the book, I would definitely pass on the wisdom and knowledge with my other mommy (and mommy-to-be) friends. Like Kelly Rutherford said, it would be a great baby shower gift, too! 🙂

    • Bettina says:

      Just wanted to acknowledge you for your honesty and encourage you to be gentle and loving with yourself and heal from your previous experience. Breastfeeding is being made a lot harder than it needs to be and moms are not at fault. When most moms are being “booby-trapped”, it is a wonder that any are making it past the first few days. Check out “the learning curve” for more. Kudos to you and good luck with growing your family!

  8. Whozat says:

    I would love to win this book, to donate to my local LLL group’s lending library.

  9. Rachel says:

    I would love a copy of this book. I’m going to send a friend here to register as well – she’s about to give birth and looking forward to her breastfeeding experience! 🙂

  10. Mindy says:

    sounds like a wonderful resource for me and for my clients!

  11. vbacwarrior says:

    I would love, love, LOVE a copy of this book. I was nursing my newborn baby at a park recently and my 4 year old daughter came up to me, followed by two 8 year old girls she had met on the playground. My baby began to fuss so I lifted my shirt and latched her on. The two 8 year old girls looked at me shocked and wide-eyed and said, “WHAT are you DOING to that baby?!”

    They didn’t know what breastfeeding was. They had never seen it. Sadly, there are many grown women who give birth having never SEEN a mother nursing a baby, either. My own mother nursed her last 5 of 7 children and I don’t even remember SEEING my mother nurse my siblings. She did it behind closed doors and under blankets.

    This book would greatly help women who dont have in-person visual examples of nursing.

  12. Cheryl Marian says:

    Wow, reading your description and going to Laura’s website has sold me. I am a lactation consultant, volunteer at our local pregnancy center and give 2 hour BF classes for low income and other mothers who wish to attend. This book would be a wonderful resource to show in class and read excerpts to validate many of the points I teach. I would also, have the book available for lending on and off site for all mothers to read and to look at the real moms actually breastfeeding and loving their newborn/s and showing how involved father’s are also, even though baby is Breastfeeding. Thank you!

  13. Kim says:

    I would love to have this book as a resource. I am a maternity nurse and lactation consultant. Almost all of the moms in my hospital breastfeed, but most have no commitment to exclusive breastfeeding, despite our encouragement to room in, kangaroo, et cetera. Maybe this book will help our moms “fall in love” with breastfeeding, as I did.

  14. mamasara says:

    I would love to have this book to share with my doula clients. I receive so many questions about BF’ing, and I think this would be of great benefit and could reach many women.

  15. Andrea says:

    What a beautiful book! It looks to be a blessing for mothers young and old, and also for their children.

  16. Angela says:

    I so wish for breastfeeding to be considered an everyday act. We are trying here in our community to but together and act that allows people to just see breastfeeding as a need for nutrition for baby and “JUST IS” nothing shocking or miraculous. I hope one day for it to be a common place as it should be. Thank you for this opportunity and all that you are doing.

  17. Raina says:

    As a former extended nursing mom, I would cherish a book like this. I, too, have a library that I share with as many new moms as possible and thos would be an awesome addition. Thank you!

  18. Jennifer says:

    Oh what a wonderful book! I believe women need to SEE breastfeeding as well as read about it. We need more breastfeeding images out there so people can see what a beautiful, wonderful thing it is.

  19. Jennifer Rose says:

    I am a momma to 7, soon to be 8. I am already teaching my two daughter the benefits of breastfeeding for when they are mommas someday. They love to read books on the subject. I’d read it, let them read it and then probably donate it to my best friend who is a certified lactation consultant with a lending library that she uses for her clients, so they can all read it as well.

    Thank you so m u ch for working so hard to make another resource for moms & babies out there!

  20. Gemma says:

    I am a breastfeeding supporter and would love to get my hands on this book, I like anything that brings breastfeeding information from a new angle!

  21. Heather says:

    I’d love to have this book to share with my ever growing LLL group. It would be a great tool for home/hospital visits.

  22. Lorien says:

    I am the new mum of nine-week old Jack and the first of my circle of friends/family to have a baby. As an admitted research-aholic and book-o-phile, I already have people coming to me for info of the “so, if this happens, what will you do?” variety. I am also exclusively breastfeeding and (to my surprise) a not-so-closet lactivist. I would like to have this book available in my home as part of my library of breastfeeding literature so that I can show it to friends who may need a little nudge in the boob direction when their turn comes to choose how to feed their babies.

  23. Lisa Carey says:

    What a wonderful book! This is a must have for me.

  24. millefleur says:

    I would love to win this book. As my partner and I make plans to have a baby, I want to successfully breastfeed for as long as possible. I know so many new moms who have trouble with it and I would love to share this book with them as well! I think it would really make a difference.

  25. I hope to win this book and if it seems appropriate, to share it with all my students. Young people need this type of information.

  26. Pingback: Another “Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy” Giveaway! « Woman to Woman Childbirth Education

  27. Katy says:

    As a first-time mom-to-be (due in December) with many friends in the same boat of having their first babies, I’d love to have this book to read, share, learn from, pass around, and wonder over together amongst ourselves!

  28. Bri says:

    I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to win this book. We just found out we are pregnant with baby number 2 last Tuesday and are ecstatic. I breastfed my son until he was 13 months old and had to stop because I still had not gotten my period and we really wanted to grow our family. I would love to get this book because even though I ended up having a beautiful experience breastfeeding my son, it started out rocky. I also want to become a doula and would use this book for my clients. PLEASE PICK US!!!

  29. Jenna says:

    Not only would I use the book myself, with my first child due in April, but I’ve been writing very openly about pregnancy and related issues and I would love to have another resource to introduce women to. I’m also a photographer so I love the idea of a photo heavy book featuring beautiful photographs of women engaging in such a beautiful act with their babies.

  30. misty says:

    I am going to breatfeed the child I am carrying now I think it is such a beautiful thing and I regret that I didnt try with my son!!!

  31. EnjoyBirth says:

    I am a Childbirth Educator and just took my Lactation Education Training and will be teaching my first breastfeeding class in a few weeks. I would love to have this book to share with my class!

  32. Jessica says:

    I’d love this book to share with my clients. I am a new doula. My passion is working with teen moms, too few of whom choose to breastfeed their babies! Young women need to understand the “normalcy” of breastfeeding!

  33. Jessica says:

    Oh, no… I left a terrible type-o! I mean, “My passion is working with teen moms, too few of whom choose [NOT] to breastfeed!” Oops! I do believe every woman should try to breastfeed!

  34. Heather says:

    As I am becoming a doula, this would be an invaluable resource to help the woman I serve.

  35. Alejandra says:

    As a lactation counselor I would have this book on my desk for clients to look at while they wait to be seen or while they nurse their babies. What a great tool to nurture the beauty and normalcy of breastfeeding!

  36. shelsy says:

    I would share this book with my sister. She gave up breastfeeding my nephew after just a few weeks–she had absolutely no support. She’s already decided that she’s not even going to try with her next baby–she doesn’t think it’s worth the effort. Even though my own six months (and counting!) Of breastfeeding have been near perfect, she doesn’t believe that it can be an easy, pain-free, wonderful experience.

  37. Mandy W. says:

    I would love to have this book to read and possibly recommend to the moms I work with in Lactation.

  38. Sounds fantastic, I would love to read it and pass it on to my friend who is expecting her first this spring!

  39. My mom is a lactation consultant and I know she would LOVE to share this book with the Breastfeeding Coalition she is part of.

  40. aya says:

    I am a new mama, surprised at all the changes in my mind and heart–suddenly I see how our society ignores needs of breastfeeding moms, from returning to work to simply socializing at a cafe. as a designer, I am on a new mission to help make things easier for breastfeeding. I would love the chance to read this book carefully to help inspire and support new design solutions for moms everywhere, at home, office, or out and about.

  41. Janis Bush says:

    I teach a unique method of successful method of breastfeeding that I call Infant Instinct Breaastfeeding TM. I have found no books published in America which support what I teach. I would love to win or get this book and if it indeed supports breastfeeding methods which I teach, I will recommend it.

    Janis Bush, BA, ACCE, LCCE, FACCE
    The Breastwhisperer TM
    Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii

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