Books

World Breastfeeding Week – Books for Your Library

The Background

Last Week was World Breastfeeding Week (WBW). This special time is celebrated across the globe every year from August 1-7 to support and increase awareness of breastfeeding. WBW commemorates the Innocenti Declaration, signed in August 1990, by government policymakers, the World Health Organization (WHO), and UNICEF to promote and protect this important first food. Breastfeeding is a human right; it saves lives; and it helps communities. However, there is very little in the way of children’s books on this important topic.

Breastfeeding Benefits

I first noticed this deficiency while I was working as an elementary school librarian. Newly married, my husband and I were considering beginning a family. I was thinking through all the choices mothers have when it comes to childrearing. My mother had breastfed my sister, my brother, and me, and she always talked about it being a lovely experience. It was surprising to me that the picture books I could find, showing mothers feeding their babies, displayed only bottle-feeding.

When I gave birth to my first child and began nursing him, I enjoyed the closeness. Breastfeeding helped us develop a beautiful bond, and I soon discovered that exclusive breastfeeding had many additional benefits:

  • Convenience
  • Financial savings
  • Postpartum weight loss
  • Delayed menstruation
  • Disease prevention (Breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancers, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.)
  • DHA and immune boosting antibodies for baby
  • Pleasant-smelling diapers (Let’s face it, the poop of breastfed babies doesn’t stink!)

The Question

Why wasn’t there more literature out there for children about this miracle fluid?

If I, as a young mother, craved a book to share with my child about the beauty of breastfeeding, there must be other nursing mothers who felt the same way.

Community members and employers can play a significant role in helping to normalize breastfeeding. Through a diverse collection, libraries can help expose children to the universal nature and beauty of the act. Why not celebrate World Breastfeeding Week by increasing your library’s inventory of nursing books? You never know… you may even save lives.

Suggested Books for Libraries

Picture Books:

  • Babies Nurse / Así se alimentan los bebés by Phoebe Fox
  • Cuddled and Carried / Consentido y cargado by Dia Michels
  • Best Milk by Kate Carothers
  • Mama’s Leche by Michelle Hackney and Mia Ortiz
  • You, Me, and the Breast by Monica Calaf
  • This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Board Books:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Books for Older Children:

  • If My Mom Were a Platypus: Mammal Babies and Their Mothers by Dia Michels
  • The Best Gifts by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What other books would you recommend on this topic?


Our guest blogger today is Phoebe Fox. Phoebe is an elementary school librarian, children’s book author, and host of “Storytime Saturdays” on YouTube. When her oldest son was a toddler she began work on a rhyming picture book about breastfeeding, which ultimately became the book Babies Nurse. She lives in Phoenix, AZ with her husband and three sons. Visit her at www.mamafoxbooks.com or on Facebook and Instagram @mamafoxbooks.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

4 comments

  1. kati nolfi

    We like to nurse too / Mary Young
    Mommy feeds baby / written and illustrated by Christy Jo Hendricks
    A smickmackamookum drinks belly / by S.A. Blackman
    Nos gusta amamantar = We like to nurse / Chia Martin
    Nursies when the sun shines / Katherine Havener
    Maggie’s weaning / by Mary John Deutschbein

    1. Phoebe Fox

      Wonderful suggestions!

  2. jac

    Fantastic list! As a former breastfeeding Mother, it’s great to see that there are books celebrating this most precious super power!

    1. Phoebe Fox

      Thank you. So true! It really is a “super power!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *