Monday, March 21, 2011

Mommy Feeds Baby

I am creating this post in order to receive feedback from individuals who have read Mommy Feeds Baby.  I sent out a link to this blog along with the pre-orders so others can hear what readers think of the new children's breastfeeding book. Please feel free to share opinions, comments and suggestions through this blog.

For those of you who know me, you already are familiar with the journey I have been on to promote breastfeeding, to my newer friends, let me take a minute and share why I wrote a children's book.

I went to college to become a teacher.  I loved writing and children, so the most appropriate goal seemed to be to earn a teaching degree with an emphasis on English.  I taught and administrated for seventeen years and loved every minute of it.  Since I was the head of the English Department, I also got to oversee the Yearbook Class and Journalism Club.  I learned about photography and layout design by attending conferences and training I took my students to.  I was learning skills and techniques right along side of them and didn't know how valuable this information would be years later when I wanted to author a book.

After giving birth to my first child, I continued to work part time.  I was able to work mornings and breastfeed during my prep period and after work.  My second child was born in October, and I began teaching the second semester.  I absolutely hated leaving them with someone else during the day.  My third child was due in May and although I would have the summer off to spend with my kids, I began looking for something else for the fall. Teaching, administrating, coaching, attending Open Houses, field trips and fundraising caused me to be away from home too much.

When my third child was born, I encountered every problem I could in regards to breastfeeding.  Of course, she came the weekend of the La Leche League Conference and LLL was the only breastfeeding resource I had heard of.  I called my doctor, the pediatrician, the lactation consultant--no one was available on the weekend.  My condition turned into full-blown bi-lateral mastitis...then I added in thrush, combine that with a dysfunctional suck and my scenario was complete.   Eventually, I received help from WIC.  Someone recommended the WIC clinic to me and in my ignorance of the program, I replied, "Why go to WIC?  I don't need milk or cheese."  Fortunately, WIC was willing to help me regardless of my ignorance.  I went on to breastfeed for two years and the problems that led me to WIC allowed me to forge a relationsip with the program.  I was offered and accepted a job at WIC helping other moms.  My trials have become my greatest asset in helping others solve their breastfeeding problems.

I continued learning about lactation and after working as a breastfeeding counselor and health educator for seven years, I decided I would follow the steps to become an IBCLC.  I read all I could on the subject, researched the exam and the disciplines I needed to master, worked on my counseling skills, developed prenatal curriculums and studied.  I sat for and passed the exam several years ago and since then have been asked by others how the exam was, what I studied, if I thought they could do it, etc.  That's what prompted the Grow Our Own Program to be conceived.  Laurie Haessly, my supervisor who mentored and encouraged me, found a grant opportunity and asked if I would like to help write a grant to take others down the path of becoming an IBCLC.  Of course I was ecstatic!  We worked on the grant, received the money, and the rest is history.

One of the GOO annual class projects has been to help plan and execute a breastfeeding celebration.  Last year we took on World Breastfeeding Week celebrations at WIC.  When it came time to use the money that had been budgeted for breastfeeding promotion students went to Google to look for items.  I suggested a book.  Since WIC serves pregnant moms and children 0-5, I thought literature would be fitting.  I know how much I enjoyed reading to my children and from my college education and child development classes, I knew the importance of early introduction to books.  The breastfeeding shelves were rather bare.  There were some books of mammals feeding, a few books with a picture or two of well-concealed breasts, some cartoon drawings of moms--but not what I was hoping to find.  I wanted pictures of real moms feeding their babies.  I wanted a book that presented breastfeeding like it really was--unique.  I wanted a book that incorporated moms of different ethnicities, feeding babies of different ages, in different positions and with family members present.  I couldn't find the book I wanted, so I made it.  That is how Mommy Feeds Baby was birthed.

I have been at annual WIC celebrations since 2001 and have often photographed moms breastfeeding their children in order to present them with a keepsake photograph.  I often displayed the pictures to encourage other moms and highlight the beauty of the bond created through the experience.  With this tradition in mind, I decided to make a blank page in the back of Mommy Feeds Baby so a keepsake photograph could be attached, and so moms would remember to take a photo and document this special time.  I only have a breastfeeding picture of myself with one of my children although I breastfed all three--it never occurred to me to photograph the older two.  Now with Facebook, maybe I would have thought of it, but that was fifteen years ago and there were not a lot of breastfeeding pictures circulating.

Well, this is the condensed version (I know it doesn't seem too condensed) of my involvement with breastfeeding and the evolution of the book, but my ultimate goal is to promote breastfeeding as normal and expected.  I hope someday people are surprised or taken back a bit when they see a baby being bottle fed or at least assume that there must be breastmilk in the bottle.  I want children to chant the phrase "Mommy feeds Baby" when asked how an infant eats, I want to change the world!

Hope you have enjoyed reading Mommy Feeds Baby as much as I have enjoyed creating it.
The book is currently available at Jadabug's Baby Boutique or

Thank you, Christy Jo

As a side note:
I wish you knew the moms photographed in the book....  Each picture tells a story.  Some of the moms in the book have overcome great obstacles, some are single moms, some are working moms, some are young, some older, some are professionals, some are feeding their first child, some their fifth --they are you and me and they are breastfeeding!


  1. Christy Jo Hendricks wants to change the world and she is getting closer with this new, one-of-a-kind book! My son loves it almost as much as I do! The bright beautiful pictures and wonderful repetition of 'Mommy feeds Baby' is perfect for him. I love that he is going to grow up knowing and seeing that babies are fed by Mommies. Thank you Christy!

  2. As a grandmother I believe this is a wonderful book to share with others and to be able to read to my grandchildren. I am so impressed by your passion and dedication to this Christy. You are a beautiful and kind lady and I am so thankful for the blessing that you have been to my daughter Colie and her family. God bless you for showing that women are doing exactly what God intended them to do for the health of their babies. Thanks for sharing this with me.

  3. As I read Mommy Feeds Baby to my daughter for the first time, she was instantly captivated! She loves looking at the pictures and when I ask her, "Who feeds baby?" She knows that mommies do. This is a wonderful book for children. My daughter will grow up knowing that breastfeeding is normal and I love the thought of that! Mommy Feeds Baby is our new favorite book!

  4. My 6 year old daughter can not put Mommy Feeds Baby down! She explains to her friends, family and especially her little brother (23 months and still breastfeeding) "this is what a mommy does so we can all be healthy".
    Recently, she asked to see pictures of her being breastfeed. When I showed them to her, she exclaimed "this is why I am so special! I can not wait to make sure my kids know they are special too."

  5. "Mommy Feeds Baby" is a book every mother should have for her children. Teaching our children about the importance and normalization of breastfeeding begins TODAY. Both of my daughter's are in love with the book. The bright pictures, tasteful photography and words make them grin in delight! My oldest (22 months) knows exactly what those babies are doing. She will read the book to her little sister and every page she says "Nummies, Nummies". I am so thankful to have a book teach my girls that MOMMY feeds baby - No bottles, no formula - Just MOMMY.

  6. This book is one of a kind. And I hope it moves beyond that, and one day becomes the first of it's kind! Christy is a pioneer and I am honored to to know her. My chilren are in love with this book and since my youngest has recently weaned, it is very special for us to share the lovely pictures within!!

  7. I just received my copy today in the mail... thank you so much! I agree with you that there is indeed a shortage of any literature that normalizes breastfeeding. I honestly cannot think of any children's books or movies that come to mind that even show humans nursing.
    I look forward to sharing this with my doula clients as well as their children!

  8. I also would be greatful of be able to help spread the ever importance of breastfeeding in my Baby Sensory Development classes, to all our moms with babies.

    Please contact me at and also visit our website at