Posted by: Admin | June 11, 2011

The Week-End Post – Children’s Books Portraying Breastfeeding


It is important for our children to be exposed to breastfeeding. Some of you are breastfeeding in front of your other children, and this will expose them early on to the normality of breastfeeding. They will know that babies are fed with their mother’s milk and will want their own children to be breastfed.

Eventually, they will notice that some babies are being fed with bottles. They will go to daycare or to a friend’s house and will play with dolls. The first time I saw my daughter feeding a doll with a bottle, I asked her what she was doing and she answered:

‘I’m feeding my baby with a dju dju bottle!’.

Dju dju is the Cree word for ‘milk’. What I find quite interesting is that in the Cree language, there is only one word for ‘milk’. Whether it is breastmilk or cow’s milk, it is still called ‘breastmilk’. This is because there was no other way to feed babies back in the old days. At bedtime, during our ‘girl talk,’ as we like to call our nightly chats, I asked her if she remembered how she was fed. As she was breastfed until she was four years old and is now six, she has a vivid memory of drinking her mother’s milk. She answered earnestly:

‘I drank dju dju from your breasts, mommy!’

‘So why?,’ I asked her, ‘Why do you feed your dolls with bottles?’

‘I don’t know…all my friends do it!,’ she answered, shrugging her shoulders.

‘Do you want me to show you how to breastfeed your dolls, like I show the moms I help?,’ I asked.

‘ Oh no, you don’t need to do that. I always breastfeed my dolls at home.  We don’t have dju dju bottles here,’ she said.

Little children are wise, are they not? In a single conversation she had summarized the difficulty we encounter when promoting breastfeeding. In her child’s words, she expressed how children and women are exposed mainly to bottle feeding, and that it is easy to use bottles and formula when they are easily available!

I have never bought any dolls or toys that came with a baby bottle. I do not buy books that have the picture of a baby being bottle-fed or the image of a baby bottle in them. I remember so well feeling completely dismayed when I noticed that the Baby Sign Language book I had bought to help my daughter learn signing had the picture of a baby bottle for the milk sign. I threw it away and complained to the company. Bottle-feeding is everywhere, and it is very difficult to find books that portray breastfeeding. As a Lactation Consultant, I have a small collection of those books. Below are a few titles, all available at Amazon.ca. Also, here is a preview of one of the books:

Near Mama’s Heart by Colleen Newman (Paperback – Apr 7 2006)

Mama’s Milk / Mamá me alimenta by Michael Elsohn Ross and Ashley Wolff (Paperback – Mar 1 2008)

I’m Made of Mama’s Milk by Mary Olsen (Board book – Jul 15 2003)

Mama Means Milk by Anne Marie Myers (Paperback – May 2002)

The Wonders of Mother’s Milk by Dana T. C. Simpson and Mishawn Purnell-o’neal (Hardcover – Oct 3 2005)

Breastmilk Makes My Tummy Yummy by Cecilia Moen (Hardcover – Aug 31 1999)

Hello Benny!: What It’s Like to Be a Baby by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley (Hardcover – Sep 1 2002)

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Responses

  1. I agree with your post – there are not a lot of children’s books that portray a mother breastfeeding her child. After my son was born 4 years ago I decided to write one, which I recently had published. Please have a look – http://www.perfectlywarm.com.

    • Hello Anna,

      I do not usually suggest a book I have not read so I will try to find a way to take a look at your book.

      Thanks for the information,

      🙂


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