Book Review: Boob HellPosted: March 4, 2015
I’m a little late to the game with this book, but last week I read Boob Hell by Rebekah Curtis. The book is the true story of a Mrs. Curtis’s breastfeeding journey with her firstborn. As the title indicates, feeding her daughter wan’t a joyfully magical time that books like The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding portray a breastfeeding relationship to be (to be fair, I did read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding before Babykins was born and it is a knowledgeable resource. I just had to separate myself from their romantic notions about breastfeeding).
Boob Hell is a quick read. While sometimes the character names are difficult to follow (she refers to her husband as “Dad”, her mom as “Grandma”, and so on) and the conclusion could have been longer, I found myself laughing at many of her humorous descriptions of the difficult aspects of breastfeeding. I also found myself almost in tears in some parts as she aptly described similar situations Babykins and I have dealt with. From the difficultly of dragging your postpartum self to your newborn’s baptism to utilizing equipment that you didn’t know existed before becoming a mother (*cough* breast shells *cough*), her story relates to my own (although I think I’m going through what she labels “Boob Purgatory”–I haven’t had anywhere near the amount of pain she has described, mostly because a lactation consultant gave me a nipple shield on my second day of breastfeeding). Most of all, I found myself relating to her anger about how unprepared new mothers often are for the physical and emotional toil to feed our children.
One of her last comments about breastfeeding shows how widely women’s experiences can vary:
Some people have nursing easy and some people don’t. Some people quit and some people don’t even start. Some people love nursing and some people hate it. Some people get skinny nursing and some can’t. Some babies get huge nursing and some are tiny. Most people without any personal experience of breastfeeding don’t get how it completely takes over your life, and you just have to be nice to them about it. Those are the things everybody should know. (pg. 137)
So who should read this book? Aside from anyone who wants to, women who have experience breastfeeding would probably enjoy it the most–Be that someone who only breastfed for a few weeks or months, are currently breasfeeding, or have breastfeed numerous children. It would not be helpful for an expectant mother because it may terrify her. Rather, give her a book like The Womanly Art of Breasfeeding, help her build some sort of breastfeeding support system, and be ready to sympathize with her once the baby arrives and breastfeeding isn’t going perfectly.