Sally Fallon Morell and Thomas S. Cowan, MD have written a new book focused on how to nourish our children! The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Preparing for your Baby
Chapter 2: Fetal Development
Chapter 3: A Healthy Pregnancy
Chapter 4: Your Baby is Born
Chapter 5: Newborn Interventions
Chapter 6: Vaccines
Chapter 7: The Feeding of Newborns
Chapter 8: Bringing Up Baby
Chapter 9: Nourishing A Growing Child
Chapter 10: From Birth to Adulthood
Chapter 11: Child Spacing & Birth Control
Chapter 12: The Role of Illness in Child Development
Chapter 13: Strategies for Infectious Disease
Chapter 14: Treating Diseases of the Ear, Nose & Throat
Chapter 15: Treating Allergies, Asthma & Eczema
Chapter 16: Treating Neurological Disorders
Chapter 17: A Catalog of Childhood Illnesses
Appendix I: Therapy Instructions
Appendix I: The GAPS Diet Protocol
Appendix III: Recipes
Appendix IV: Resources
The book will be available in February. You may order now! Amazon has offered a pre-sale opportunity! I have placed my order! http://tinyurl.com/cxrn5n3
Some have wondered, what is the author’s position on breastfeeding?
Sally sent me the chapter that focuses on breastfeeding, and I reprint the introductory remarks by permission:
“It is assumed that any pregnant woman reading this book plans to breastfeed her baby. Mothers who recognize the importance of diet in the physical health of their infants will opt for mother’s milk—a food uniquely designed for the infant—rather than commercial formula based on powdered milk, industrial oils, refined sweeteners, questionable additives and artificial vitamins. The trend towards more natural methods of childrearing began with a comeback for breastfeeding during the 1970s, as much a reaction to a medical establishment deemed paternalistic and insensitive to women’s needs as a recognition, backed by many scientific studies, of breastmilk’s amazing properties. For most women, breastfeeding comes easily. Immediately after birth, baby is put on mom’s chest. He turns his head to the breast—he may even wiggle up her torso to the breast—roots his head back and forth to find the nipple and latches on. If the baby is healthy and strong, he will latch on with a tremendous, sucking grip, giving first-time mothers something of a shock. As baby sucks, mom feels a let-down reflex and the milk begins to flow. Baby nurses only a few moments at first, then longer and longer with each nursing. Within a few weeks, baby nurses for twenty minutes every two to three hours, steadily gains weight, and is contented between nursings. Mom and baby settle into a routine and all is well.
But for some women, even many women, all does not go well. Breastfeeding may be painful, mom may develop sores, baby may not latch on properly, and most seriously, baby does not gain weight, cries a lot and is obviously hungry. Or, mom may be exhausted or sick; breastfeeding may make her feel resentful, or even embarrassed; she may need to return to a work environment that makes breastfeeding difficult if not impossible. Or, she may not have any milk at all—due to illness, surgery or the fact that she has adopted her baby.
Most of this chapter will be dedicated to addressing these problems—not because we don’t think breastfeeding is important, but because little needs to be said about normal, successful breastfeeding. After all, women have been breastfeeding for thousands and thousands of years. Those for whom breastfeeding goes smoothly will not even need this chapter; those who are struggling need detailed and specific advice.
Unfortunately, discussions about infant feeding today have become polarized, even acrimonious. Whereas fifty years ago, the medical community pressured women into giving formula as the scientific and modern thing to do, today many women feel pressured into continued breastfeeding even when baby is obviously not doing well. Breastfeeding literature tends to be judgmental—often implying that lack of breastfeeding success is the mother’s fault, and that if she switches to formula, she is a bad mother.
We need to accept as a fact of life that breastfeeding is not always successful, in spite of the best efforts of the mother. In fact, it would be amazing that out of all the organs in the body, women’s breasts had the unique property of working well under all circumstances. Fortunately, we now have homemade alternatives to breast milk that are much healthier than commercial formula. The important thing is to provide the information needed to maximize either breastfeeding or formula-feeding success. Let’s keep in mind that breastfeeding is not some kind of contest between moms to see who can do it longest and best, but away of providing maximum nutrition to the infant; and that our role as parents, mentors, advisors and friends of a new mother is to provide information in a calm and rational way, and then to support her in whatever decision she may make.”
What do you think of this perspective?
When I post content that may be controversial, I keep in mind Bill Cosby’s words: “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
If you don’t resonate with the author’s perspective and want to express an alternative viewpoint, please keep your discussion focused on ideas and not individuals. We are deeply committed to cultivating discourse that honors the principles of Nonviolent Communication.
Again, the book will be available in February. You may order now! Amazon has offered a pre-sale opportunity! http://tinyurl.com/cxrn5n3
40 Responses to Sally Fallon Morell on Breastfeeding
I’ve been blessed to be able to nurse easily, but I think it is so important that information about healthy homemade formula be made available to mothers, as well as how critical proper nutrition is for pregnant and nursing moms. Can’t wait to read the book!
Thanks, Becky. I appreciate your response – I am excited to read it as well!
Very well written :) coming from a low producer who clung to the WAPF homemade formula despite having a fantastic diet.
Yes, this is fantastic news! I’ve pre-ordered my copy and will certainly be adding this wonderful book to my resources section for new parents.
Hi Annika! Did you order today as a result of my announcement? I seem to have started a wave of authentic interest! We will read the book as part of the Nutritional Wisdom Book Club – I hope you’ll join us!
Very well written and validating for a mother of two who truly had a clinically low milk supply despite nearly making myself mentally and physically sick with grief while nursing and pumping around the clock for six months to give my children as much as I had. It was shocking to me how little information and professional help & knowledge there is for woman with true milk supply issues. I have to say it is incredibly refreshing to reach for a book that doesn’t belittle woman like myself by stating low milk supply or breastfeeding problems in general are extremely rare to non-existent. How I wish someone would have given me “permission” to nourish my children to the best of my ability, breastmilk or otherwise. My boys, now two and three years-old are incredibly healthy, smart and attached to me in the most healthful of ways. I know in my heart this would have been true whether or not I forked out hundreds of dollars on lactation advice, hospital grade breast pump rentals, supplements, drugs and gadgets for supplemental feedings, all the while suffering emotionally and enduring;loss of sleep and precious time with my infants. Looking forward to reading this book, thank you!
Thank you for sharing your experience, Jennifer. I trust Sally Fallon Morell will appreciate reading about it as well. I would like women to feel supported! It saddens me to read about the invariable sense of guilt many mothers experience.
We need more women like you Jennifer stepping out and being cool with admitting that we weren’t able to exclusively BF. I spent hours and days and probably the first 2 years of my first born’s life beating myself up over the fact that I couldn’t nurse her past 6 or 7 weeks. NO support. In any arena. I got over myself with my second born and it helps knowing how extremely healthy my 2 littles are :) I did the best I could and know I have done everything I can to nourish them. I truely think that had it not been for being a low supplier that I wouldn’t have found WAPF and I wouldn’t have worked SO HARD to create a nourishing taste palate in my babies starting with yolks and CLO at 4 months. I so badly wanted to have kids that ate well even though I couldn’t nurse them.
Heads up mamas! It’s all good ;) No more shame!
It was not possible for me to exclusively breastfeed my gigantic hungry twins. They hated my left nipple because it was slightly different from the right so I could not tandem nurse. There are just not enough hours in the day to feed two hungry newborns unless you tandem nurse. I supplemented with organic formula and I only wish I knew about homemade. Kudos to Sally for making that possibility widely known by publishing a book.
Thank you, Julie! I believe you what you’ve shared will be of value to other women.
People it isn’t a’ how to’ breast feeding book. There are plenty of those. This is a book on baby and child care. It can only be so long. I didn’t breastfeed any of my 3 children ( at least not for more than a few weeks). There were many factors at play and I feel terrible about it. Yes, I believe it was 100% possible for me to breastfeed but it didn’t. I wish I at least made formula at home. I didn’t know you could do that. About donor milk, it’s a great idea but you don’t know what those mother’s are eating! I’d never give my children someone else’s milk. We eat a 100% organic, non-GMO, non processed diet. I would rather make formula than give my kids mystery breast milk.
Sandrine, thanks for giving us a glimpse of Sally’s new book. So glad it will be in hand February. This is going to be a great resource for so many!! xo kim
Sally’s take on breastfeeding and formula doesn’t bother me anymore, and I admit that knowing how to make formula is useful for many. However, when I first read Nourishing Traditions and was just starting to think about eating meat again after being a vegetarian and after having nursed two children, I was completely turned off by the information she provided on breastfeeding and homemade formula. She had me converted on every other topic of nutrition, until I read the breastfeeding section. So, it took a while for me to completely transition my family to a WAPF diet as I thought her expertise should be questioned if not disqualified based on the breastfeeding / formula information. I’m guessing that I am not the only other breastfeeding mother to have come to this conclusion, unfortunately.
Thank You Sandrine, Sally and all!
I’m looking forward to getting this book and anticipating that it will be foundational reading for mothers to be. My confidence is such that I could easily pre-order several (just for starters) and give copies to my daughter and two nieces.
Re: “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
I like this quote! However, I don’t know that it can be attributed to Bill Cosby:
” Author unknown; often attributed to Cosby, he actually cites this as a sound advice he once read elsewhere, in ‘Dr. Bill Cosby’ in Ebony, Vol. 32, No. 8 (June 1977), p. 136″:
I also like Bill Cosby! I had his very first comedy album that came out around 1967. The link above is full of quotes that typify the kind of humor he is famous for and which still evokes intense laughter in me! What a treasure! Nevertheless, I do agree with the quote, regardless of who originated it!
I absolutely love Sally’s perspective! My mother breastfed her first three children, but lost her ability to produce milk after a severe case of mastitis. She used the WAP formula for 6 children with great results. The local doctor even asked for the recipe to give other mothers when he saw how well her babies thrived on it…and he was not especially natural minded! It astounds me how stubborn some breastfeeding proponents can be on the idea that any woman can breastfeed if she only tries hard enough. When so many women have troubles even conceiving children naturally, why should we be surprised that some can not nourish them “naturally”? The Weston Price formula is definitely the best alternative after breastmilk, and (dare I say it), probably better than some women’s breastmilk today considering the current SAD.
I will definitely be looking into purchasing this book. I have two sons already, and I am now pregnant with twins. I have never really had any problems with breast feeding in the past, but I have been worrying about trying to feed two babies. Will I make enough milk, how will I feed them both at once, etc… I am glad to know there are alternatives out there if need be, and I don’t know how anyone could see that as being “wrong” or controversial! :)
Kristie, if you’ve successfully breastfed your other two children you can almost be positive that there will be no issues with your twins. Women are capable of making milk for two, three, or even four babies. If they have a good latch and are able to remove milk effectively then they will signal your body to make as much as needed.
Does the book have any info on Tongue Tie and breastfeeding? This is a HUGE issue for moms, most of whom don’t even know their babies are lip or tongue tied (plus it causes many other problems besides BFing). I’d really love to see some info on Bfing that actually tells the truth about ties.
I was told by a lactation consultant that my youngest son had a tongue tie. We did choose to have it surgically clipped. There is an MD at Oakland Children’s Hospital who specializes in this procedure. I’m sure he has an abundance of information regarding this issue. I can’t recall his name, but he did a wonderful job with our son and I’m certain if you call the hospital you would be able to track him down. Although the procedure didn’t help with my milk supply, he did tell us that tongue ties can disrupt speech and may cause feeding issues as the child grows as well. Hope that helps a bit. Also, thanks to all of you for your kind words and for sharing your own stories about the anguish of having a low supply of breast milk. It’s very comforting to hear and helps with the healing process.
As the resident cow descended from super low – non-producers, I am very aware of the pains of BF-ing and supply issues. I will defintely add this book to my library, even though I am a mama who pumps to donate.
Thanks for posting this, I was curious. I have been a little off put by Sally’s breastfeeding advice (I believe it’s maybe 10% of mothers at the most who can’t exclusively breastfeed, so saying ‘many’ isn’t my favorite choice of words) but I absolutely love the rest of her information.
If only more of the lactivist community would put as much concern into what we feed ourselves during pregnancy and lacatation and what we feed our children after weaning as they do convincing mothers to feed their children human milk :)
I was very young when I had my now almost 13 year old son via home-birth. My pregnancy was unexpected and I was nutritionally not ready for pregnancy but despite being underweight and anemic after birth I expected the breast feeding to happen naturally. I had severe postpartum depression and still I continued to try to use a painful pump as my small supply dwindled away. On one hand I had die hard breast-feeding advocates making me feel guilty since clearly I was doing something wrong. On the other I had medical professionals and fans of formula saying I was letting my baby starve. He was very upset and hungry and I gave in. It was only within the last year or two that I heard about tongue-tie and have identified my son has one which most likely was behind his problems with latch. His family physician didn’t even know what it was when I asked about it, though it hardly matters now that he is grown. I wish I had known about alternatives such as the WAPF formula then. My son got soy formula since all the milk based ones gave him severe colic and I didn’t know about the dangers of soy then. I’ve read Sally’s chapter on feeding infants in NT and I don’t understand why it is considered controversial. Mothers who have the desire and are able to breastfeed without problems are not looking for a reason to switch to formula instead. For one thing… it is cheaper to not have to buy formula or ingredients at all, even if you count the extra calories moms must eat. I think it is important to recognize that the goal is a nourished healthy baby, and guilt-tripping mothers who are unable to breastfeed is counterproductive. I’ve known plenty of SAD eating mothers who went from exclusively breastfeeding to giving their kids kraft mac n cheese and hot dogs. As much as I envy mothers I know who breastfed effortlessly and wish I had known better about the soy formula, I still have a child more resilient to illness and well formed than some breast-fed children I have met. I am looking forward very much to this new book on nourishing children, because I think it will provide another voice of nutritional reason where it is well needed.
I know a few women who have had supply issues. A very few have insufficient glandular tissue and don’t make enough milk. Most have (and either don’t realize or don’t realize until it’s too late to save the breastfeeding relationship) babies with some sort of physical issue such as tongue tie or misalignment of cranial structure due to in-utero constraints or traumatic birth. It’s best for the baby if these issues can be discovered and resolved through body work and a revision of the ties if present. This makes a huge difference in baby’s ability to latch and remove milk properly keeping up and increasing supply (and of course comfort for mom if the latch was causing nipple trauma). These issues go beyond breastfeeding, however. A tight frenulum or a lip tie can cause cavities in the top teeth, narrow/high palate and the need for orthodontics, digestive issues/reflux because the there isn’t proper peristalsis of the tongue and thus digestive tract, there can be increased ear and sinus infections, and many other problems that can continue throughout the child’s life because the issues are overlooked. I certainly hope that the formula recipe is only a small part of information and recommendations given. Women struggling with breastfeeding should be encouraged to seek out assistance skilled lactation support. It can be hard to find a knowledgeable IBCLC who really knows how to identify posterior tongue ties or a care provider who can adequately revise the tie but the resources are out there and can be found. Holistic IBCLC is one. It would be wonderful if this kind of information is included. I certainly hope it is.
Rachel, I am in complete agreement- that is the sort of information (regarding TT) that I wish was included in the book, as it is basically impossible to find in mainstream media. We just had out 14 m old daughters lip and tongue tie treated with laser (by a dentist), and her digestion is improved, she is more moblie and relaxed, more vocal, sleeps better and so on. My husband also had his tongue tie released at the same time and he says he can actually talk without focusing on how to prononuce his words, he feels more confident at work, his body feels looser, less pain in his shoulders and neck. They are both seeing an Osteopath as well. THIS is the sort of info we need to get out to other mothers! It makes SUCH a difference for BFing and quality of life in general.
Thank you for so much for sharing your experience, Deserae! I’ll ensure Sally sees it!
Sorry… I didn’t mean to write a book….
I loved your post!
I am so happy that there will be more info out there for women who can’t breastfeed or who need to supplement. Also, I am thankful that there will be another resource to help educate families on how to truly nourish a breastfeeding mama and baby. As we continue to support/encourage breastfeeding may we also continue to educate families about the optimal diet for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Thank you, Katie!
While I do believe that many of the breastfeeding obstacles could be overcome with adequate societal support and prioritization of breastfeeding, I also appreciate her non judgmental attitude towards the various reasons mothers don’t end up breastfeeding. And I LOVE the idea of an alternative to store bought formula. LOVE. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book!
Looking forward to another great book from these wonderful authors!
Overall I really like what she says. She is clear that breast feeding is about maximum nutrition but there is none of that nonsense that everyone can do it. I am only surprised that she says it comes “easily” to most?? Seems like I know a LOT of women who would beg to differ, myself included. Struggling to breastfeed is so awful and a lot of moms quit because they can’t handle it anymore. It just seems like everything I read says you should expect breast feeding to come easily and naturally and I just think that sets a lot of women up for shock and disappointment.
Thanks, Lisa – I appreciate you expressing that especially in light of the fact that many women in the Nourishing Our Children community discount this fact. Clearly, there are woman for whom it doesn’t come easily! I envision the chapter in the book will be of value to those!
Just to clarify, I mean there is a learning curve to breastfeeding which a lot of women struggle with. I don’t necessarily mean supply issues, but the pain and soreness. She does mention pain and soreness and latch issues but it sounds like these issues aren’t very common. Or maybe I’ve somehow come across an unusually high number of women that have struggled with learning to breastfeed? I just hope that somewhere in the chapter she gives hope to women in this situation because that’s what they need. Like I needed to know that after weeks of struggle that my son and I would eventually get it right. That it was still possible to successfully breastfeed even if we didn’t get it right away.
Yes – we are “on the same page”!
Oops didn’t see your reply before I posted.
[…] Read the chapter on Feeding Newborns. Read Sally Fallon Morell’s thoughts on breastfeeding. […]
What this book clearly fails to point out is that breastfeeding is not JUST about nutrition, it is about so much more, where formula, no matter how organic it is, is nothing more than just nutrition and even then it will NEVER replace the nutrition breastfeeing offers as the breastfed baby is being fed the milk EXCLUSVE to his needs, not just a blanket formula which is given to all babies. Babies are born with only half their immune system functioning and breastmilk provides the other half so the baby is well protected against many illnesses, not only that the breastfed baby is also being provided with the mother’s antibodies, also the father’s antibodies, also any illnesses the mother and father come into contact with. The protection from breastmilk doesn’t stop when the baby or child weans, for many illnesses the protection continues for life.
What concerns me about this particular chapter and attitude by the author of this book is it may well make mother’s think that it really isn’t that important to either initiate breastfeeding or continue to breastfeed as there is a “perfectly adequate alternative available”. You can make the most organic and nutritional formula you like, just remember it will NEVER EVER come close to breastmilk, even the WAY a bottlefed baby is fed has a detrimental impact on development and health, the way they’re held, the way they’re passed around to be fed, the artificial teat has an impact on jaw and teeth development, the fact it is virtually impossible to demand feed, the list just goes on and on. I am not saying this to make mother’s feel guilty, I just don’t want expectant mother’s or those who are finding breastfeeding a challenge to be fooled into thinking they will meet their baby’s needs by offering an organic formula, they won’t.
Yes I follow the WAPF diet and have seen Sally speak, I have a couple of Sally’s books and am so very very grateful for all the nutrition information she has passed on, but breastfeeding is one area we part paths.
[…] based book on babies out there with pages and pages of references, which is not typical. See this related post on the […]
i agree with michelle. no formula can replicate the dynamic, adaptogenic, symbiotic relationship between mother and baby breastfeeding. first and foremost, support a mother to breastfeed. i do not believe that we live in a society where breastfeeding is supported in general and that women who wholeheartedly choose to breastfeed “don’t need” support. if a mom has all the information and support needed and chooses not to breastfeed or cannot breastfeed, then by all means, choose the healthiest formula you can get. the nourishing traditions recipe for baby formula might be a great alternative to commercial formula, but no formula can be a true alternative to breastmilk. human milk is inherently perfect for human babies. if you want to improve babies’ milk, encourage the mother to have a healthy diet and lifestyle, but never discourage a mother from breastfeeding. particularly undermining for breastfeeding women are the words i have read from the healthy home economist. i urge wapf to let go of sarah. her responses to breastfeeding advocates who have attempted dialogue with her have been combative and defensive rather than evidence-based and cooperative.