Got a cute book about breastfeeding

We’re such slackers, busy with the actual day-to-day of parenting rather than dealing with our professional responsibilities. Oh well. We’ve had the most delightful children’s book sitting on our desk for months now, sent to us by the author to review, and we’re only now getting to it. You’d think that it’s a busy life being parents to three active children, three dogs, a cat and miscellaneous friends and neighbors! 🙂
Anyway, Near Mama’s Heart is a sweet little children’s book about breastfeeding and a good addition to your library if you do have little ones who are nursing. Here’s a typical verse from the book: “I love when we cuddle / with my Daddy, too. / My sister was breastfed / and look how she grew!”
I don’t entirely agree with the perspective of the author, Colleen Newman, who says that she believes breastfeeding still carries a social stigma as we’ve seen such an overwhelmingly positive, supportive reaction when we’re breastfeeding (well, when Linda’s breastfeeding, at least. People look at us oddly when I try :-), but otherwise the story of how she decided to write the book is interesting…

“The text for Near Mama’s Heart came to me late one night while I nursed my infant, Claire. I gazed down at the beautiful gift I held in my arms and thought about how perfect breastfeeding was. I admired how content and peaceful Claire looked. It was as if she were saying: “Near Mama’s heart, and at Mama’s breast, I feel loved, I feel special, and I feel blessed.â€? The rhyming text just started to flow out of my head…and heart. Near Mama’s Heart was born.
“The complete text came to me over the next several days. I thought about all the benefits of nursing that I and my babies have personally received. We all are familiar with them. For baby, there are nutritional, immunologic, developmental, social, and emotional benefits. It’s absolutely true. Breast milk is the perfect food for life in more ways than one, irreplaceable. It’s delicious, too!
“Then for mom, there are great reasons to nurse. Quicker recovery to pre-pregnancy size, reduced risk for certain cancers, natural form of birth control (in many cases), release of “happyâ€? prolactin, the milk hormone, and, most importantly, establishing an unbreakable bond with a new little miracle. Isn’t this what motherhood is all about?
Near Mama's Heart“I brought out all of these points, and more, in Near Mama’s Heart. My main target audience was older siblings and so I crafted each verse in a lively, crisp style I believed they would find appealing. The phrases sounded like music to my ears and I’d sing them to my little ones as they were falling asleep. What a lullaby! I guess my book passed muster.
“But I also felt like I was composing a great epistle to nursing moms. I wanted them to feel special because they were breastfeeding. They were doing the most important thing for their babies and deserved a testimony, an affirmation, a “thank you.â€? These moms didn’t need the American Academy of Pediatrics to recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life followed by at least another six months and until it was “mutuallyâ€? decided to wean completely off the breast. They knew all this, and more, already!
“Lastly, I hoped that Near Mama’s Heart would make an impact on people not so convinced about the beauty and importance of breastfeeding. This is really where the book’s subtle message comes in. La Leche League International 2003 statistics show that in the United States and Canada about 70% of new moms initiate breastfeeding but the number dwindles to about 30% when their infants are only four-five months old and even less at one year of age.”

That’s a lot for a simple 28 page book, but if you are nursing an infant and/or know someone who is, this could be a delightful little book to share with them. You can also learn more at the Near Mama’s Heart Web site too.

3 comments on “Got a cute book about breastfeeding

  1. You don’t know how lucky you and Linda are to live in an area where breastfeeding is so well accepted and encouraged. Not all parents are so lucky. I routinely encounter women who have experienced negativity regarding their feeding practices – especially in public settings. It’s the women of today who are in the forefront of getting breastfeeding “exposed” who are going to make it easier for the next set of young mothers. Near Momma’s Heart is a lovely, well done book, very suitable for children but it is also a wonderful way to draw in the adults around us with the gentleness and normality of the breastfeeding relationship.

  2. I feel compelled to comment on the subject of breastfeeding and bias. Online I find there is a lot of support and knowledge among women re:breastfeeding. In my life however it’s quite a different story. I think it depends not only on where you live but also the circles you travel in. I am on state medical insurance, so I am guessing that much of my experience would be typical for poorer women. My mother-in-law began telling me stories about people whose milk dried up as soon as I told her I would breastfeed. I was the only person my husband knew who breastfed. I knew more about it than the OB who delivered my first child and her pediatrician. They also ask every visit what formula (insert name of child)is on-that is the norm. And it’s been that way with all three kids. I was the first woman at my job at the grocery store(deli) to pump milk and I did endure comments from people who were grossed out that I did THAT in the bathroom! I did WIC for a time and the people in the office were always surprised to hear that I was breastfeeding. I’ve gotten dirty looks for breastfeeding in public and I’m not exactly flashy about it. Not to say I’ve never had people react positively, but there’s been much much more rudeness. The problem still exists.

  3. Hi, Dave, Jenny and Stephanie !
    First of all, my sympathies to the ladies/women who are having to deal with such narrow-minded and oppressive bigotry re: breastfeeding (in private and/or public places.
    I am somewhat passionate about this subject. God made men and women in His image. Everything He made was “good” – it worked as He intended, including “working” breasts to feed and comfort our young.
    Then society happened. It became corrupted and began to see nakedness/nudity as sin (“original sin”) and sex as dirty and breasts only as “sexual” objects.
    But, as is often the case, society (as a whole) is often wrong… original sin has nothing to do with Adam and Eve becoming aware of their nakedness – it has to do with disobeying God; sex is not dirty – it is a gift from God meant to be used as an expression of love between two people; and breasts, though they enhance the sexual experience and are a part of the “total package” of who a person is physically, are not intended as only sexual objects – an insane leap that only goes to further “objectifying” women as “objects” instead of as “persons”. As stated above, breasts are intended to be sources of food and comfort for our young.
    It stands, then, that breastfeeding is an act that allows the breast(s) to fulfill its/their function.
    On a more practical level… if a person is hungry when they are at home or even out-and- about, and they wish to satisfy their hunger/thirst, they feel perfectly free to go the refridgerator or stop in at a restaurant to satisfy their need.
    Why, then, when a baby is hungry can’t he/she do the same thing in the loving arms or his/her mother ?
    It’s the most normal, natural event (apart from the birth experience itself) that a mother and child can do.
    I have had women breastfeeding their infants while I conducted worship services, when I visited them in the hospital, and even when I visited them and their families in their home. It’s a beautiful, and even comforting/mellowing site to see such deep, non-sexual, almost agapaic love taking place. It practically borders on the spiritual.
    To this day, I regret the fact that my wife had trouble feeding our firstborn and her mother talked her into not breastfeeding.
    To all those who look down their noses at mothers doing such a beautiful, natural, normal, and healthy thing with their babies, all I have to say is… get your prudish and/or prurient nose out of the gutter, and give these mothers the dignity, space, and respect they deserve.

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