The Best Breastfeeding Books to Guide You Through Every Nursing Challenge

"Breastfeeding Made Simple" doubles as a guide for any nursing challenges

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products. Healthcare professionals review articles for medical accuracy. Learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Welcoming a newborn into your family is such an exciting time. If you choose to breastfeed your baby, a book about breastfeeding (or two or three) can be such a helpful resource. Breastfeeding requires a learning curve for some new parents, so getting solid, expert advice about how to take on this beautiful new duty is never a bad idea. 

Reviewed & Approved

"Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers" helps parents understand breastfeeding and overcome common challenges. For a more holistic approach, we recommend "Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding: From the Nation's Leading Midwife."

“Moms can learn a lot of things crucial to breastfeeding, such as finding a comfortable and effective position, how often to feed, along with other things like what’s normal or abnormal for stools, weight gain, etc.,” says Ashley Georgakopoulos, IBCLC, Lactation Director of Motif Medical who recommends reading a breastfeeding book before the baby arrives. 

Consider breastfeeding books that fit your needs, provides illustrations for easier understanding, and matches the tone you're looking for. We carefully considered material, tone, value, and illustrations when reviewing products.

Here are the best breastfeeding books available for nursing parents.

A Note About Feeding

When it comes to feeding your child, ultimately fed is best. Books can provide helpful guidance and advice from experts or other parents' anecdotal experiences. At Verywell Family we know breastfeeding is not the best choice for every family, and you have every right to feel supported in the decisions you make—whether you are breastfeeding, formula feeding, bottle feeding breast milk, or some combination of all three.

"Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers"

Breastfeeding Made Simple
Photo © Amazon.com
Pros
  • Provides breastfeeding positions

  • Teaches how to wean

  • Describes mental/physical effects of milk production

Cons
  • Biased against bottle use and formula 

"Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers" ranks high on our list because this book helps parents understand breastfeeding and overcome common challenges. Lactation consultant Georgakopoulos likes this book because it is a “wonderful breakdown by two IBCLCs of how breastfeeding works physiologically and how mothers can make it their own, with an excellent foundation in evidence-based research, making it trustworthy.” A wealth of information, this book is helpful from the newborn stage through the transition to solid food.

"Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding: From the Nation's Leading Midwife"

Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding
Photo © Amazon.com
Pros
  • Discusses obstacles to breastfeeding

  • Boosts confidence for breastfeeding in public

  • Personal stories spaced throughout

Cons
  • Some information is outdated

  • Makes some parents feel guilty

Parents familiar with Ina May Gaskin will appreciate her warm, welcoming style in this guide to breastfeeding. Lactation consultant Ashley Georgakopoulos tells Verywell Family that this book is “a gentle, holistic approach, based on years of experience as a midwife” and recommends it, especially to those that appreciate Ina May’s style. Filled with a range of medical facts, real-life stories, and helpful advice, this book broaches every topic in a warm, caring manner.

"Lactivate!: A User's Guide to Breastfeeding"

Lactivate!: A User's Guide to Breastfeeding

Source: Jill Krause

Pros
  • Funny writing style

  • Highlights importance of mental health

  • Troubleshooting tips

Cons
  • Information is too basic for some

An excellent option for first-time parents, this book offers tons of judgment-free advice, information, and help in a caring manner. Short and simple, this guide has lots of colorful (and helpful) illustrations that make it a quick read, which is good for tired new parents. This book gets bonus points for being very funny, so don’t be surprised if you LOL.

"The Nursing Mother's Companion: The Breastfeeding Book Mothers Trust, From Pregnancy Through Weaning"

Nursing Mother's Companion

Photo © Amazon.com

Pros
  • Tips on balancing work and breastfeeding

  • Info on postpartum period

  • Talks about breast milk storage

Cons
  • Not supportive for some

  • Lacks inclusive language

This selection is a classic that will appeal to some caregivers, while others may prefer a more contemporary book. In its 8th edition, the book is chock-full of information and answers virtually every question a new parent could have. Some readers may find the tone judgmental and may be put off by the way it addresses only mothers. 

"Working and Breastfeeding Made Simple"

Working and Breastfeeding Made Simple

Source: Nancy Mohrbacher

Pros
  • Info on pumping strategies

  • Tips for working mothers

  • Uses evidence-based research

Cons
  • Lacks detailed information

It’s so helpful to have a book focused on breastfeeding for the parent employed outside of the home. This guide provides all the essentials new parents need, whether they work close to home, travel regularly, commute, or work from home. The evidence-based insights will be helpful for any parent as they navigate the challenges and benefits of working, breastfeeding, and caring for their baby.

"Making More Milk: The Breastfeeding Guide to Increasing Your Milk Production"

Making More Milk

Amazon

Pros
  • Explains how body makes milk

  • Helps determine causes of low supply

  • Inclusive, nonjudgmental language

Cons
  • Not a quick guide to breastfeeding

Supply issues can be super stressful, so it’s useful to have a book in your library that speaks to  milk supply. If you’re dealing with this issue, this comprehensive, well-researched guide can be a lifesaver as it focuses on specifics like supplementing, boosting supply, pumping, making more milk to go back to work, caring for a preemie, feeding twins, and much more. We appreciate that the second edition of this book makes an effort to include nursing parents who don't identify as mothers.

"Adventures in Tandem Nursing"

Adventures in Tandem Nursing

Amazon

Pros
  • Humorous and supportive

  • Doesn’t sugarcoat a difficult decision

  • Research-backed information

Cons
  • Could use more advice on breastfeeding issues

  • Not helpful for parents of multiples

If you find yourself pregnant and breastfeeding at the same time, this book is bound to be your BFF, empowering you to embrace your options. With humor and support, Flower combines medically backed research and the real-life experience of hundreds of other parents. The book normalizes tandem breastfeeding and brings some levity to what can be a stressful time for a growing family.

"Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins or More!"

Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins or More!

Source: Karen Kerkhoff Gromada

Pros
  • Detailed info on feeding schedules

  • Helps prepare for a multiple birth

  • Advice for feeding NICU babies

Cons
  • Biased against formula

  • No inclusive language

Parents of multiples face a whole extra set of challenges when it comes to breastfeeding, but they are not insurmountable! Showcasing all kinds of tips, research, and real-life experience, this book is a realistic and helpful guide to breastfeeding multiples. In addition to feeding basics, coordinating timing, positioning and more, the book from a La Leche League International leader addresses issues that new parents have, like varying feeding styles, feeding a baby in the NICU, and so much more. 

Final Verdict

The best book you can choose is one you’ll actually read! If you know you’re in a specific situation (birthing multiples, going back to work quickly, etc.) it can be helpful to read a book that normalizes your situation and provides specific support. For a great general guide, "Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers" (view at Amazon) is a warm, supportive book that is recommended by many experts. If you prefer a more humorous (but truly helpful) take, try "Lactivate!: A User's Guide to Breastfeeding" (view at Amazon) so you can laugh and learn at the same time. 

How We Selected

We studied the best-sellers and best-reviewed books on the topic of breastfeeding, using customer reviews and reviews by competitors to help us narrow down this list to the most useful and easiest to read. We made sure to include a variety of books that address specific issues that different types of nursing parents may face. Lactation consultant Ashley Georgakopoulos, IBCLC, also advised us on her favorites.

What to Look for in a Breastfeeding Book

A breastfeeding book can sometimes be more helpful than the internet or in-person advice, since parents can physically hold the book, flip to the topics of most interest, put the book down (hello crying newborn), and easily pick up where they left off. But not all breastfeeding books are for all people, so here's what to consider when choosing for yourself.

Your Needs

Are you struggling with a specific part of breastfeeding or are you overwhelmed about the whole process? If you've got breastfeeding almost down pat, but are struggling with something like milk supply, it may be best to find a book that addresses that specific problem. However, if you're caught up in your emotions and need further guidance, consider a more extensive guide.

“Once we are sleep-deprived, anxious, or even urgent, it’s really difficult to take in new information that can be applicable in our situation," Georgakopoulos says. "A lot of obstacles that we face can be lessened, or even avoided, with a good foundation in breastfeeding education.”

Illustrations

Consider finding a book with helpful photos or illustrations. The images can be useful for applying the practices you've been reading about. Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Tone

If you're looking for educational content but also a book to ease your worries, you may want a book with a more conversational tone. A book with personal anecdotes can help you feel empowered and understood as you move through your journey of learning how to breastfeed.

 Finally, Georgakopoulos reminds new parents that while a book is a useful tool, there are limitations.

“If there is a present or foreseeable issue with the breastfeeding relationship and/or anything indicative of a health concern, it’s best to reach out [to a professional] as soon as possible,” she says. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How often should I breastfeed my baby?

    Newborn babies need at least eight to 12 feedings in a 24-hour period. You will want to feed your newborn when they signal that they are hungry, but you also need to watch the clock because young babies don't always signal frequently enough and may sleep through feeding time. Feeding every two to three hours during the day and no longer than every four hours at night will make sure you baby gets enough milk and help you build up a good milk supply. This means that you may have to wake your baby to feed them.

  • Does breastfeeding hurt?

    Breastfeeding should not be painful, but figuring out the right position and method of getting your baby latched may take some time. You may also experience some tenderness at the start while you and your baby are learning.

    If you experience extreme pain or you have lots of difficulty getting your baby to latch, reach out to your healthcare provider or a certified lactation consultant. The may be able to see what the issue is and help you start nursing comfortably.

  • How long does breastfeeding last?

    Breastfeeding is recommended as the sole source of nutrition for the first six months of your baby's life. It is recommended to continue to breastfeed for one year or more while adding in complementary solid foods. Then, you can stop whenever either you or your baby do not want to continue.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She’s also the mom of an 11-year-old son, 8-year-old son, and 4-year old daughter. Maya read a few parenting books, but didn’t have a breastfeeding specific one. With her first baby, she was ready to get out of the house and went to an in-person breastfeeding support group when her son was 4 weeks old. She still texts some of the friends she met in that group daily, travels with them and their families, and can’t believe they met each other with their boobs out.

Was this page helpful?
3 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. How often to breastfeed.

  2. Lucas R, Zhang Y, Walsh SJ, Evans H, Young E, Starkweather A. Efficacy of a breastfeeding pain self-management intervention: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Nursing Res. 2019;68(2):E1-E10. doi:10.1097/NNR.0000000000000336

  3. American Academy of Pediatrics. Breastfeeding.