Life can include some incredible moments. I experienced one in London on the 26th of October, when I was privileged to speak at the Womb to World conference along with sleep researcher Helen Ball, author Deborah Jackson (Three in a Bed), and my coauthor and all-around marvel Kathleen Kendall-Tackett. This was the first conference where the second edition of Kathy’s and my book for parents, Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers, was on hand.
Being in London was fabulous. Speaking with my coauthor at the same conference was also a rare treat. But to have our book debut in such an exciting place with the two of us together made the event even more special.
The question I was asked most often that day was, “What’s new in the second edition?” I was happy to report that lots had changed even in the five short years since the first edition was released. It felt fitting to talk about these changes at this particular conference, as Suzanne Colson was the conference chair and it was sponsored by her organization The Nurturing Project. It was Suzanne’s 2008 journal article that triggered a sea change in our understanding of breastfeeding dynamics, which is reflected in this second edition. You can read more about these new perspectives by clicking on my blog history section “Laid-Back Breastfeeding.”
In addition to her amazing insights into how mother’s body position can make early breastfeeding easier or more difficult, Suzanne’s research also inspired us to tweak our Natural Law #1. Rather than reading “Babies Are Hardwired to Breastfeed,” as it did in the first edition, it now reads, “Babies and Mothers Are Hardwired to Breastfeed.”
Over the last decade, we in lactation came to accept that human babies, like all other mammals, are born with reflexes that help them get them to their feeding source and feed. Now—thanks to Suzanne’s research—we must seriously consider the possibility that mothers may also have breastfeeding instincts. However, one drawback to being human—at least as far as breastfeeding is concerned—is that we have large brains, which makes it possible to overthink it. Some of my most respected colleagues are beginning to suggest that despite our sincere desire to help, some breastfeeding interventions and instructions—including positioning and latch-on—may actually cause breastfeeding problems. When mothers are convinced to let others guide them, this may short-circuit their instinctive breastfeeding behaviors and cause difficulties. Stay tuned for more on this…
Today, I’m basking in the glow of my London memories and excited that my second new book of 2010 is finally out. Kathy and I are very happy with our new-and-improved Breastfeeding Made Simple. We hope you like it, too.