Here is an awesome new tool that can go a long way, babe, to helping mothers succeed at breastfeeding: The Essential Breastfeeding Log by Sarah Bowen Shea and Suzanne Schlosberg, available today wherever books are sold. It’s a perfect shower gift, especially as a motivator for brand new moms who are unsure about breastfeeding but willing to give it a try.
I had a common experience after the birth of my first baby: Everything I thought I knew about frequency of feedings or number of wet diapers to look for went out the window. I am sure there was a chart somewhere in the mound of badly xeroxed and boring sheets they gave me at the hospital, but it got lost in the shuffle. Brand new moms are like budding fitness devotees—smart and stylish tools and accessories can boost your self-confidence and skill-set and improve the odds that you will stick with it for the long term. Getting through the initial learning curve of breastfeeding can be challenging, just like starting to work out, and this snazzy little book can help you make sense of the process and appreciate your and baby’s progress. Both authors breastfed their babies, including exclusively nursing twins (!) for over one year, so they have walked the talk.
While I’ve seen a number of logs created to track feedings, diaper changes and the like, this is the first feeding log devoted to the mother who wants to breastfeed. The log pages are extremely well designed, and I think they represent a significant advance over other logs on the market. You will find a page for each day of the first six months, with a place to track feedings, diapers, sleep habits, and notes; even a gentle nudge for moms to get back to exercising to boost those endorphins! Scattered throughout the book are “breastfeeding factoids” which will not only amaze and inspire you but subtly dazzle and educate your babysitter, your friends and your mother-in-law, as you leave the log out to be filled in by others on your way to the gym or a well-deserved date night. These breastfeeding facts are so intriguing that it is worth buying the book just to pore over them at your leisure, and are what sets this book apart from other logs; you are not just noting the facts but getting inspired and empowered along the way. This handy log also serves to help break down one of the hidden obstacles to breastfeeding—what Best for Babes calls the “booby traps”, the cultural and institutional barriers to success. In our bottle-friendly and measurement-obsessed culture, many moms and many pediatricians are ill-at-ease with breastfeeding’s natural intuitiveness. “How will I know how the baby is getting enough?” is a common refrain. This log is a valuable tool to track visible signs that the baby is truly getting enough (and remember, babies are hard-wired to breastfeed) and provide comfort and reassurance to those who are not yet proficient in working with breastfeeding moms and babies!
We strongly encourage you to read the full intro, and not just skip to the log pages. The intro is well-written and will help boost your knowledge and motivation to succeed. We’re adding a couple of tips here, based on our experience in the breastfeeding biz: 1) amazingly, exclusively breastfeeding moms actually report feeling more well-rested and get an average of 45 minutes more sleep per night; 2) rely on word-of-mouth or your breastfeeding network to find a good breastfeeding class and lactation counselor—hospitals with poor breastfeeding success rates are not the best place to turn for help; 3) you may not need to supplement, but if you do, push for donated, screened, pasteurized breastmilk through a milk bank (it is significantly superior to artificial substitutes, as per the World Health Organization).
Best for Babes is pleased to recommend the Essential Breastfeeding Log for it’s ability to inspire, prepare and empower new moms to breastfeed successfully.