Book Review by Sophie Burrows IBCLC

The Breast Book by Emma Pickett

This book came on Friday 15th March after I pre ordered it before the end of last year. I’ve been looking forward to it and read it in a matter of hours!  Defiantly worth the wait for sure.  This book is the book I wish 10-year-old me read for many reasons.  My only thought about this review is I’m 30, this book is aimed at girls going through puberty so I am looking at it with my 30 year old eyes and not the 10 year old me eyes. I cannot say if it works for that age range but it is uncomplicated and to the point with some excellent moments of humour spread throughout, these really made me smile and want to continue the read.  I suppose it’s only a slight disclaimer to remember I am not 10 and you will know your around about 10-year old’s ability and need for this book better than me (target market is I believe 9-14 years of age). One thing is for sure it’s a book all women should read at some point, even if you are way past the target age.  The breast book talks about breasts for their main purpose, it helps girls know that they are like others and my favourite part of :

“no one feels like they are normal”

news flash really goes well with the whole theme of the book.

The book encourages closeness with our young infants and why breasts are part of that connection which was lovely to read.  There is description of all the different mammals, why humans milk is like it is and why its like that which should really help for future mothers to understand.  Around pg. 26 is a description of the day in a life of a baby and their normal feeding and activity. This is really really lovely and something I would love to see on a handout to give to mothers.  I especially liked the phrase “cuddly parent” for the parent not lactating showing that they are an important part of the picture and that’s the other parents special time to bond. 

This book talks about consent in a very good and needed way.  Consent with everything to do with our bodies and sex and why we might be blindsided by breasts for logical reasons.  The normalisation of breastfeeding throughout is wonderful and that breastfeeding is more than just the milk.  

There are stories from others throughout the book which are really well put together and aptly placed, really enrich the book and is meaning.  I especially liked Philippa’s story in page 152, Philippa talks about her Tubular breast syndrome. For me as some one who deals with breastfeeding mothers often these stories are important.  It’s important, I feel, that the community are aware of things to look out for. By the sounds of things (and personal experience) many people in the health service aren’t aware of these types of issues and how they might affect milk supply. I’m pleased this story was featured as a way of hopefully spreading the word so the next person who comes across something like this might know what to do before it becomes and issue. 

The book talks in a useful and thought-provoking way about formula advertising too (and how they are very good at how they play their game).  It talks about things we should question and that its ok to be angry about things and question things.  It also talks about choice, some women may choose not to breastfeed or they may need to stop or stop because of lack of support. This is not a “force you to breastfeed” book, it’s a “this is a breast book, breasts provide this function” book.

A very well put together book that touches on needed and major issues and hopefully, positively changes and directs our young women’s mindsets for a future we would like to see blossom.  So many times, in my adult life I have had realisations that are within this book. Well done Emma, thank you for putting in such hard work to produce a book that will be a great resource for young females going through some of the biggest changes in their life and allow them to think deeply about some of the greatest difficulty’s women face in their lifetimes.

Book Review – The Breast Book