Mama Knows Breast

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Write a Review of the Book “Mama Knows Breast” or Help Design T-Shirts

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Hey fellow bloggers, if you want to write a review of “Mama Knows Breast” when it comes out, I can try to get you a copy. Just send me your mailing address.
And for the talented graphic artists among you…I’m making Mama Knows Breast t-shirts, bibs and baby onesies. But I’m looking for a little help. I need to create a logo in jpeg format. So if there’s anybody out there who is skilled in this area (I am not), send me your ideas. If I pick your submission, you’ll get some free copies of the book plus my undying gratitude!

Dads and Breast Feeding– My Husband, My Co-Author

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Welcome to the June Breastfeeding Carnival, a tribute to the Dads in our lives. At the end of this post you’ll find entries from our usual cast of blogging characters, as well as some guests.
As I’ve been talking about ad nauseam here, I’ve been working on a book about breastfeeding that’s coming out this September. In our house, this is our “third” baby. For nearly as long as we’ve had kids (going on 2.5 years now), I’ve been working on this book. And now, it’s time to give credit where credit is due– to my silent co-author, my husband. “Da-da,” as the boys call him, has encouraged me every step of the way.
To begin with, he’s a lactivist in his own right. He “covered” me while I breastfed on airplanes and in fancy restaurants. He brought me water while I was nursing, changed diapers in the middle of the night so I could go back to sleep, and even re-positioned an inconsolable newborn on my chest. So when I announced, one day, 5 months post-partum, that I wanted to write a book about breastfeeding, he said, “Go hire a babysitter and get to work.”
Along the way, he contributed his own ideas; read draft after draft; reviewed contracts; helped develop my blog; and celebrated the book sale with champagne and flowers. Now, ever the MBA, he’s devising ways to sell as many books as possible.
So thank you, “Da-da,” for serving as an in house lactation consultant, and cheerleading me through this book process. This would not have been possible without you. Happy Father’s Day. Maybe you should be the one doing any book signings!
And now for the other carnival contributors:
Jennifer, at The Lactivist, writes about how dads have to accept taking “second place” when it comes to breastfeeding. Her post is “Fathers and Breastfeeding: The Importance of Seconds.”
Leisa, at Down with the Kids, (writing from Australia) contributes “Mothers’ Milk: A Dad’s Perspective.”
Angela, at Breastfeeding 1-2-3, contributes “A Father’s Take on Breastfeeding: Perception Versus Reality”
Kelli, at Nursing Your Kids, writes about the “Partnership” involved in breastfeeding.
Jessica, at hepatitis-epi, contributes her story about “Fathers and Breastfeeding.”
Amy, at Musings of a Crunchy Domestic Goddess, contributes “My Hubby, the Lactivist.”
Sinead, writing from Northern Ireland, writes “My Hubby, my Best Breastfeeding Buddy.”
And a Dad, at Fine Whine, writes “Feeding on the Outrage, or Where are All The Boobs?”

Pre-Order Mama Knows Breast on Amazon!

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I was amazed to find this today!! My book won’t be available in stores until September, but you can place an order already on Amazon.

Parenting Books I’m Reading Now

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Here’s what’s piled on my desk, nightstand and bookshelf at the moment:
City Baby: The Ultimate Guide for New York City Parents from Pregnancy to Preschool,” By Kelly Ashton and Pamela Weinberg. Since we moved back to NY a couple of years ago this has been my bible. I used it to find a music class for the kids, a yoga class for me, and some sane advice about preschools. If you don’t live in NY, you may want to check out one of these other versions of the book: City Baby Brooklyn, City Baby Los Angeles and City Baby Chicago. City Baby Boston and City Baby D.C. are coming soon. (Full disclosure: I met Pamela recently and she gave me some insightful advice on the whole book business thing).
“the milk memos: how real moms learned to mix business with babies– and how you can, too,” by Cate Colburn-Smith and Andrea Serrette. This book was written by some moms who work at IBM. It started as a series of entries in a collective notebook the moms kept in the office lactation room. The book has excerpts from that diary as well as practical advice for breastfeeding moms who go back to work.
Finally, “How To Feel Manly in a Minivan: The Desperate Dad’s Survival Guide,” by Craig Boreth. Boreth’s first book, “How To Iron Your Own Damn Shirt,” explained what men need to know about being the perfect husband. Now he’s tackling parenthood, with a guide that explains how to become a dad with your masculinity, sanity and lower back intact. Sounds like a good Father’s Day gift to me. (Another full disclosure here, Craig is a friend of a friend and he’s been giving me lots of tips about book marketing).
Now, if I could just get the kids to stop throwing the books from my nightstand to the floor!

The Cover of My Book

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At long, last, here is a sneak preview of the cover of my book! The fabulous folks at my publisher, Quirk Books, just sent it to me. One more round of edits this weekend, then marketing galore, and a September publication!

Looking for PR Ideas For My Book

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I just Fed Ex’ed another set of revisions to my publisher. Two down, one more to go. Now I have a long author questionnaire that I need to fill out for the marketing department. Part of this involves writing a list of websites, blogs, and media outlets that might want to write about the book.
Since there are literally thousands and thousands of sites that we moms visit, this task feels a little daunting. I know what I know…but I don’t know what I don’t know.
So if anyone has suggestions, send them my way. Let me know what sites you like; what magazines you read; what TV shows you watch. I’ll add them to my list. I need all the help I can get!
In advance, thank you for your support.

An Update on My Book Mama Knows Breast

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It finally feels real. My editor Melissa showed me a draft of the cover illustration and it’s pretty cool! They’ve hired an illustrator whose work is really hip, colorful and fun. She’s expert at drawing cherubic babies, as well as moms who look like they could handle any dirty diaper thrown at them with aplomb.
And now, I’ve just Fed Ex’ed my corrections to the first layout to my editor. For the past 4 days I’ve been utterly consumed by going over the book line by line. (I had to buy a pencil to do this). I have to say, I’m amazed that every time I read it, I find something to re-write.
Some of you have asked how I got to this point. So here’s a bit of Mama Knows Breast history. It all started in March of 2005 during a family vacation in Miami. I off-handedly commented that since I was breastfeeding, this would perhaps be the only time in my life when I would actually look like all the other bikini-clad buxom babes strutting around. A family member, who has had a long career in book design, responded: “You should write a breastfeeding book!” Hmmm…not a bad idea I thought.
When we got home I spent hours searching the aisles at Barnes & Noble and surfing the internet to see if anyone had written a “hip” guide to breastfeeding. I found plenty of books about breastfeeding. Books that are great if you’re looking for detailed, problem-specific advice. But I didn’t find a book that matched what I had in mind; a book that would give people practical information in a fun, light-hearted manner; the book that I wish someone had given me when I was pregnant and utterly clueless about breastfeeding.
So I wrote a book proposal. I learned how to do this years ago in journalism school from a class taught by renowned author named Sam Freedman. This 50+ page document had a sample chapter and an overview essay that detailed the book’s contents and potential audience.
The proposal was basically a pitch document that I used to find an agent. I sent it to 10+ agents and kept getting rejected. Then a cousin told me about her friend Abby who was writing a book called The Crafty Mamas: Book of 50 Fast, Fabulous and Foolproof Projects for Baby Gear. I met Abby and she introduced me to her agent Katherine at Curtis Brown. Katherine “got it” right away. I signed on the dotted line and she started shopping the proposal around (after she had me re-write it a few times).
Of course publisher after publisher rejected the book. Until finally, the folks at Quirk Books “got it.” I turned in my first draft last August and we’ve been editing it for the past few months. Finally, the end is in sight. There will be two more sets of layouts to review. Sometime this spring we’ll wrap things up and the book will be published in September.
At this particular moment, I have one thought…it’s a good thing the gestation period for human babies is shorter. If it was as long as that of this book, we may well be extinct.

Breast Feeding Product Reviews

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Angela at Breastfeeding 123 gets my vote today for hardest working, most diligent blogger. My eyes practically jumped out of my head when I saw her latest post.
Angela has compiled a fantastic collection of breastfeeding product reviews. Basically, she found reviews from all the breastfeeding bloggers out there, and provides links to the sites. If you click here, you’ll find reviews of breastfeeding products, books and clothing. If you can think of it, she’s got it. Here’s a list of the reviews:
Breastfeeding bras
Breast pumps
Breastfeeding accessories
Breastfeeding art and calendars
Breastfeeding bloggers’ stores
Breastfeeding and parenting books
Children’s breastfeeding books
Children’s breastfeeding toys
Sewing your own breastfeeding products
Nursing bracelets
Nursing covers
Nursing necklaces
Nursing pads
Nursing pillows
Nursing shirts
Breastfeeding videos
Kids’ products
Bravo Angela. What an invaluable resource you’ve created!

Babyproofing Your Marriage– Book Review

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The “Five-Minute Fix” was all anyone could talk about. I was at a restaurant eating dinner with a coed group. We had just left the book party for “Babyproofing Your Marriage,” and everyone wanted to talk about the authors’ key to fixing your marriage in five minutes. (Full disclosure: one of the diners is married to one of the authors).
So what is the Five-Minute Fix for any marriage? In their opinion– weekly fellatio. (The word they use actually starts with the letter “B.”)
Yes, that’s right, in addition to a lot of other useful advice, the three authors recommend this particular sex act. As they figure it, it “costs” you some exertion, a mere five minutes, and some feelings of compromising yourself. The “benefits”– your husband will think you’re a sex goddess and he’ll change the next diaper without being asked.
I’m writing about this book now, as part of my monthly blog with my breastfeeding blogger friends. Our theme for February is “Baby Love.” And I think the authors of “Babyproofing” are onto something with the general premise of their book. Parents with a little bit of perspective will tell you that one of the best ways to love your children is to create a sense of harmony at home. In most cases, that comes down to making sure your marriage is strong.
The authors write::
“Parenthood and family take everything we have to give and then some. But we all know, we reap what we sow. What we invest in our kids and our spouses come back to us in ways we can’t even imagine.” (p. 230)
“Babyproofing” takes a realistic look at how kids impact a marriage. Couples that were just recently wooing each other over late night dinners suddenly find themselves fighting over the minutiae of everyday life.
On any given weekend in thousands of homes across America, wives stand in front of their husbands listing all of the selfless acts they have performed in the last week: “I paid all the bills, bought a birthday present for your mother, read Goodnight Moon 5 times, took 4 six-year-olds to Chuck-E-Cheese … and that was just Tuesday…”
The husbands return fire: “Excuse me, but did I not make the kids breakfast every morning last week, including the morning it made me late for my presentation, when I really should have gone in early? And I picked up the dry-cleaning without being asked, and I did bath duty three times last week. What more do you want?”
A volley of personal accomplishments and sacrifices ensues. Not exactly what we thought life would be like when we eyed each other across a room all those years ago, is it? We both end up angry and defensive, each convinced that we have it tougher. Some people are habitual scorekeepers, some people just do it occasionally. But we all do it.
( Click here to read more of this excerpt).
Fortunately, the authors do have some practical solutions. My favorite is the “Training Weekend.” Mom takes off for the weekend leaving Dad behind, unassisted to deal with everything. It’s supposed to make him more appreciative and more confident. Sounds clever to me. So honey, as soon as I wean The Bear I’m going to give this one a try. Not because you need the kick in the pants, but because I NEED A BREAK. We’ll make it a training-Training Weekend. I’ll get the sitter to come help you.
Sometimes “Babyproofing” is painful to read. Sometimes it’s reassuring. Sometimes you will literally laugh aloud. My husband and I had a good chuckle over this one:
“Can you imagine a day that doesn’t begin with someone screaming and hurling a sippy cup across the kitchen in a wave of toddler fury?” (page. 266).
I only have a couple of issues with the book. First, I didn’t see much mention of breastfeeding (unless I’m so tired I missed it). I would have liked to see how the authors fit breastfeeding into their analysis. Second, the book is a little long. If we’re all so tired and stressed out, then who has time to read a nearly 300 page long book?
Nevertheless, even if you don’t have time to read the whole thing, you can still get something out of reading selected chapters. If you want to read about battling grandparents, check out Chapter 5, “In-Laws and Outlaws.” If you want to hear how having more kids (yes, more) can actually restore some balance to the marriage, read Chapter 6, “Ramping Up and Giving In: More Kids More Chaos.”
Finally, if you just want to focus on “The ‘Sex Life’ of New Parents: Coitus Non-Existus,” turn to Chapter Four. But ladies, rest assured, the responsibility for fixing things is not just on your shoulders with the Five Minute Fix. In the authors’ opinion, your spouse needs to keep romance alive and do more “domestic crap.” “The bottom line is: pitch in if you want her to put out.” (page 153)
You know what, I think the guys have their work cut out for them. That stuff– romance and housework– take a lot more than five minutes!

Help Me Finish My Book

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For months my book has been “gestating” and now it’s time to deliver this baby. We are in labor over here. Yesterday I met my editor. She came from her office at Quirk Books in Philadelphia and invited me to a book party for The Handbook of Style. It was at chic salon in SOHO– thankfully I got my hair colored a couple of days ago.
But I digress. The point of the visit was to go over my manuscript. And now, I have two weeks to turn in the next draft. So, as I type, I’m staring at a copy riddled with the editor’s questions– in all capital letters, highlighted in yellow. As I’m going through the edits, I’m going to post questions here from time to time. So let’s get started…I’m looking for answers to the following questions:
What did it feel like when your milk “came in” the first few days after birth? What does it feel like now, when you feed your baby?
If you’ve used formula, how much would you estimate you’ve spent in one year?
What are the best things (the “pros”) about breast feeding?
What are the worst things (the “cons”) about breast feeding?
Has breastfeeding impacted your relationship with your spouse? How about your sex life?
If you had a c section, which breastfeeding position worked best for you after birth?
So, as The Bortski (now 28 months) has said on occasion, “HELP, PLEASE HELP.” I’d love to hear your comments. And watch here for more requests to come.