Breast or Bust!
Cartoons for Nursing Moms
In 2021, my wife and I decided to write a book that would hopefully take some of the stress out of breastfeeding a newborn. Our kids are adults now, but it only takes a second to remember how difficult it was to survive the first few weeks of parenthood – and one of us had already been a pediatrician for 11 years!
Both baby Bennetts approached nursing like it was part of the Middle East conflict. Our daughter Molly, who entered the world attached to a pair of stainless steel forceps, shrieked every time she was put to the breast. This went on for twelve days and nights until she decided to raise the white flag and nurse without causing a scene.
Our son arrived three years later. And though Ryan’s birth was more civil, he bit his mom’s nipples like a pit bull at a dogfight. This went on for seven days until, with great reluctance, we realized that Jan’s sanity was more important than getting the young man to nurse. Ryan continued to chomp on bottle nipples for the next three months.
Throughout my career, I have kept my eyes and ears open and have learned a lot about breastfeeding. In addition to spending time with postpartum nurses, I had the good fortune of working with Gay Ohlrich who was the nurse-manager at Chevy Chase Pediatrics until she retired in 2015. Gay was an amazing nurse who had a knack for helping parents become confident caregivers. She was also a certified lactation consultant. Gay not only saw all of the breastfeeding moms at my office, but the two of us talked regularly about what worked and didn’t work in various breastfeeding situations.
Jan is an artist and early childhood teacher and knows a thing or two about helping families with young children. The ideas for the cartoons came from our personal experiences as parents, stories from friends and family and situations I face every day at work.
Some people might think that breastfeeding humor makes fun of parents. Nothing could be further from the truth. I often joke with first-time parents that early motherhood is more like a Stephen King novel than a Disney movie. I do this so moms (and dads) don’t blame themselves when they’re knee-deep in the challenges of parenting a newborn. Fortunately, at least two authorities on parenting and breastfeeding agree with us. Breast or Bust! hasn’t been published yet, but we wanted to share some of our efforts on my website.
Praise for Breast or Bust
“Humor is a tool that not only makes you laugh, but also has the ability to bring people together. The authors of this delightful book had me laughing out loud, but did so in a way that shows their support for nursing moms everywhere.”
—Kim West, MSW, nationally known infant sleep expert and author of The Sleep Lady’s Gentle Newborn Sleep Guide
“Finally, the breastfeeding book I needed so badly! As a lactation consultant working with families locally in NYC and virtually around the globe, I believe Breast or Bust will bring joy and laughter to this typically stressful parenting milestone. The cartoons in this book have the perfect mix of tongue-in-cheek humor surrounding lactation and it hits all those hard-to-reach funny (breast) bones. The book will be displayed on my office table for all my clients to enjoy so they can see a different side of life as a breastfeeding parent.”
—Natalie Diaz, Certified Lactation Consultant and Founder of Twiniversity.com
Click on a cartoon below to enlarge.