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August 27, 1982

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

Author Affiliations

Northwestern University Medical School Children's Memorial Hospital Chicago


ed 3; 368 pp, with illus, $12.95, Franklin Park, IL 60131 (9616 Minneapolis Ave), La Leche League International, 1981.

JAMA. 1982;248(8):993-994. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330080067041

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This is in many ways a splendid book. Among its virtues are ample and well-presented information about the advantages of breast-feeding for mothers and babies and about breastfeeding techniques. Also included are practical hints not well covered elsewhere concerning ways to care for a household and older children while absorbed in nursing a baby. In comparison with the previous edition, this volume has strengthened sections concerning the role of fathers and some topics not directly related to nursing, such as injury prevention, discipline, and infant nutrition after the introduction of solids. The large and varied collection of photographs of women nursing babies is a welcome addition.

Despite its considerable strengths, the book's tone is a major weakness, which unfortunately limits its usefulness to many mothers. The La Leche League International (LLLI) has evolved what is almost a subcultural life-style in which family organization and relations center around breast-feeding and the