Nursing a baby—it’s the most simple, natural thing in the world, right? Then why is it so fraught and freighted for so many women? In Unbuttoned, a collection of essays edited by Dana Sullivan and Maureen Connolly, 25 women share their thoughts and feelings about breastfeeding, all from the standpoint of personal experience. By turns enlightening, entertaining, moving, and thought provoking, their stories are sure to get readers talking.
The essays are as varied as women themselves. Best-selling author Julia Glass describes nursing her two sons after being treated for breast cancer. Rebecca Walker remembers breastfeeding her seriously ill baby in the neonatal intensive care unit. And humorist Suzanne Schlosberg milks the logistics of nursing twins for laughs, while columnist Patricia Berry defends her decision to bottle-feed her three daughters. Linda Murray, editor-in-chief of BabyCenter.com, contributes a thoughtful foreword. The essays are organized in a way that echoes the chronology of the nursing experience itself. In Part One, Latching On, women share their stories about starting breastfeeding; by Part Four, Letting Go, they’ve moved on to the sometimes-wistful, sometimes-welcome process of weaning. In these pages are laughter and tears, love and longing, tenderness and temper tantrums—and above all, a multifaceted portrait of what it means to nurture a baby.
Unbuttoned makes a wonderful gift for new or expectant mothers, not to mention their partners. It’s also an intriguing selection for book groups or moms’ groups, who will surely find much to discuss among the essays. Even women whose nursing days are well behind (or ahead) of them will find food for thought in this insightful collection.