From the lists of traditionally "prohibited" foods (you know that something's up when the list varies dramatically by culture), to the more modern confusion over omega 3's and vitamin D, it can be hard to figure out what to eat.
And the advice about when, what, and how to feed babies once they start solids is changing, too. And moreover, most books present food in a very isolated way: here's what the nursing mom should eat, here's what the kids should eat, and the partner...I guess it's pizza again.
Having read some bad food advice in books for breastfeeding moms I'm always a little wary of the topic. That's why I was pleased to see this new offering from La Leche League International - a name you can trust for breastfeeding-friendly feeding advice.
Feed Yourself, Feed Your Family by La Leche League International, presents food from pregnancy through breastfeeding and weaning, and is addresses these needs in the context of the whole family. That, in itself, is pretty refreshing.
The advice about nutrition during breastfeeding is up-to-date and evidence-based, though not preachy or presented in an overly complicated manner. The information about starting solids reflects the current trend toward "baby led weaning (solids)." The recipes look healthy and the accompanying images are beautiful, and many are La Leche League member favorites - including a generic starter mix. I'm planning on trying a number of them.
In the Omega 3 and Vitamin D sections the information is slightly different than what I've seen some of the experts recomend. The book suggests a level of DHA (200-300 mg) that is lower than what Dr. Kathleen Kendall-Tackett recommends. In the Vitamin D section the book suggests that 4000 iu during breastfeeding may ensure adequate levels in milk to eliminate the requirement for Vitamin D supplementation of the baby, but Dr. Carol Wagner and her colleagues are suggesting 6,400 iu may be the appropriate amount.
In a culture of frequently bad breastfeeding advice, you can trust this book to be breastfeeding-friendly: from the time-saving nature of the recipes (they know you're going to make some of these "one handed"), to the statements about how your diet affects your baby's health and tastes, to the information about weight loss during breastfeeding. To not have to be on guard for bad information - that's worth the price in itself.
* I was provided a review copy of this book.