When I wrote the first edition of this book back in 1971, I started off the Introduction with the following paragraph:
"If you were living at some other time or in some other place, you might not need this book. You might even wonder about its purpose, since you would be getting much of the information in these pages from your mother, your aunts, your older sisters, and your neighbors. They would share with you their breastfeeding experiences and those of their mothers before them. As you saw them suckling their infants, you would pick up the “tricks of the trade” without even realizing it. It would never occur to you that you would not nurse your baby, because every baby that you had ever seen would have been fed at his mother’s breast—except in the extremely rare case when a mother was too ill to nurse."
At that time I knew hardly any grandmothers who had nursed their own children and who could therefore be helpful to their daughters when their babies were born. Now, 38 years after that first edition was published, the situation is very different. Many of today’s young moms were breastfed themselves and so do have the benefits of motherly help. Still, we grandmas don’t know everything about breastfeeding – aside from the fact that our nursing days are long behind us. Furthermore, there’s so much new research about breastfeeding and so many lifestyle changes in our daughters’ lives that there’s still room for a book a new mom can keep by her bed, underline, and consult without turning on her computer or getting out of bed. One new section in this edition is addressed especially to grandmothers -- focusing on how we can be of most help to the woman breastfeeding our grandchild.
And so I hope that this brand-new 4th edition of THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING will become the breastfeeding “Bible” for still another generation. The beautiful new edition is just coming into bookstores now. For this edition I consulted Laura M. Marks, M.D., a Connecticut pediatrician who nursed her own three children and counsels mothers about breastfeeding and other child care issues. Laura has another connection to me, too. Her mother, Lynne, is one of the super grannies whose story of an activity she has done with her grandchildren is in SUPER GRANNY.