Book Review – The Breast Book by Emma Pickett

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I don't often preorder books, but this was one I wanted to read the moment it came out. The Breast Book is a puberty guide that focuses on breasts. I knew that Emma Pickett was the perfect person to write such a book, an IBCLC (lactation consultant) and an ex-headteacher - she could draw together her experience and knowledge perfectly.

I don't know what your experiences of puberty lesson were like at school, but mine were generally pretty embarrassing. They focussed a lot on periods - how to cope with them, what they were etc... We also learned about how women got curvier and it was briefly mentioned that our breasts would grow and it might itch. That was pretty much it - yet, growing breasts is a pretty big deal. I wish I'd known more.

I was a biology teacher for ten years - I have taught many, many lessons about periods. I've taught a lot about sex, pregnancy and even labour. I was lucky enough to teach a course that featured half a lesson about breastfeeding (come back A-level Human Biology!). Nevertheless, I had taught nothing and in fact knew nothing about mammogenesis (breast development). I love that, in a book aimed at adolescents, I still learned a thing or two. That information about breast development was fascinating.

The Breast Book covers puberty, bras and breastfeeding. It includes stories from grown women about their breasts developing and about breastfeeding their own children.  It even includes a thoughtfully written trans story. The illustrations by Fontaine Anderson are really pretty and I loved that the book included some of the beautiful images from the #feedme campaign by RAN Studios (look out for their #feedon campaign - it's gorgeous).

I loved this book and I'm glad there is a resource for my girls when they want to know what is going on with their breasts. Female puberty is not just about periods after all. In fact, when I recently met Emma Pickett, she signed my book to my girls (and Mae is pretty thrilled - she wants to start reading right away).

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