Thursday, September 10, 2009

Book Review: Permission to Mother

They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but I don't see how I couldn't love a book with this cover. The title immediately got my attention when I first heard of it a year ago. I decided I would buy it for myself at Christmas time and then donate the book to our local LLL library when I finished it. I read the first half last winter and then it got lost in the house for 4 months. I have no idea how that happened.

I picked it up again and didn't know where I left off, so I just started somewhere in the middle. This book is great about that. It's a collection of essays from the Dr. Punger's life and experience as a doctor specializing in breastfeeding. She starts with her early days in medical school considering L&D or NICU and covers a range of topics: breastfeeding, birth, doulas, even diapering and homeschooling- it's almost like a mothering memoir. She shows how she gave herself "permission to mother" in the way she felt was best and gives the reader that same permission. It's a growing process for all of us.

At the end of the book, there are a lot of little essays about breastfeeding problems: failure to thrive, breastfeeding an adopted baby, jaundice, working and pumping, breastfeeding NICU babies. There's just so much. I also love the little pages of conversations between her sons. They are just hilarious. I really like that you can pretty much open the book to any page and start reading a story. It would be great to have on hand in those early newborn days where you are just nursing nursing nursing and you need something to keep your mind busy.

To be honest, I don't know if I have any suggestions for this book. I think there's something in it for every mother. Well, I suppose she could put more breastfeeding pictures in it. I always point out breastfeeding pictures to Margaret, "Look! She's eating breast just like you do!"

And now I have to decide if I want to donate this book to our LLL. I really want to keep it for myself. Maybe I'll buy the LLL a copy for themselves.

Dr. Punger has a blog by the same name Permission to Mother. I love reading her blog and she is very personable. She responds to comments and will answer your questions. You can get the book on Amazon. Highly recommend it. I think I'm going to sit down and read it again.


  1. Thank you for your very nice review of Permission To Mother. It is much appreciated....

    by the authors's Mom.

  2. Awesome! I may just have to add this book to my ever-growing library of parenting/pregnancy/birth/breastfeeding books!

  3. It is an awesome book. :) I think you can justify getting another copy for LLL b/c you need to have your own copy to loan to friends too.

  4. I just stumbled onto her blog! It is great! It also linked me to another blog which I've just been loving, called Green Smoothie Girl. Very interesting, nutrition wise! And she's LDS! (the green smoothie girl, not the first one; i'm confusing everyone, sorry!)


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