Book review: Permission to Mother

12 July 2010 at 12:27 pm Leave a comment

Somehow I never happened upon Denise Punger’s Permission to Mother: Going Beyond the Standard-of-Care to Nurture Our Children (Outskirts Press, 2007) when I was pregnant–I’m not sure where I heard of it now, even, but I took it out of the Boston Public Library and had the most enjoyable time reading through it. The author is a doctor and board-certified lactation consultant who practices in the rare field of breastfeeding medicine; much of the book is comprised of her memoirs of her own medical training and her own, early, medicalized birth experiences before realizing there had to be another way. She talks about homebirth, doulas, tandem nursing, breastfeeding amidst obstacles, extended (natural-term) breastfeeding, and the role of partners/fathers in birth and breastfeeding. Here’s one great quote to get you interested in the book:

“I often speak to women who opt not to have a homebirth because someone doesn’t support that decision–their husbands, mothers, in-laws, you name it. If you are going to wait for everyone’s support, you’ll wait forever. If having a homebirth is important to you, you have to be the one to make the choice. Don’t ask your partner, ‘Do you think I should interview a midwife?’ Instead, say, ‘My appointment with the midwife is on Monday.’ Then go on Monday.”



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