Your Baby, The Mammal, with Diane Wiessinger (Part 1)

We often think that newborns are cute but helpless little lumps, when in fact they have an arsenal of instincts to ensure they can find their food source without much external help. What are those instincts that make breastfeeding and bonding seamless? Diane Wiessinger tells us more.

(Check out Part 2 here!)

Listen directly through our website player, or however you usually listen to podcasts.


What we talked about:

  • What the woman in the grass hut can teach you
  • Why breastfeeding starts with birth
  • Taking a pause to claim your baby, hang out with your baby, and other no-rush procedures
  • What do you get when you take a newborn goat (or puppy, or bear cub) and flip him on his back?
  • How your vertical mammal anchors her feet
  • How long does it take for baby to latch on? What does that first hour look like?
  • Inhale your baby’s scent, literally
  • Off with the hats!
  • There’s no sense in stressing out about your stress levels
  • Why you make the most milk when the breast feels empty
  • When in doubt: nurse a lot
  • How to know if baby is getting enough
  • The truth about hindmilk and foremilk


Related resources, books, and other great info*:

Related Birthful episodes:



Diane Wiessinger 2014

Courtesy of Diane Wiessinger

About Diane Wiessinger

Diane Wiessinger [I sing, you sing, we singer] has been a La Leche League Leader since 1985 and an IBCLC since 1990. Although she studied animal behavior for her Master’s degree, she still timed her first baby’s feeds with a stopwatch. It took her a quarter century for her to understand that our infants are just standard mammalian newborns in human packaging. She nearly walked out on her first La Leche League meeting, thinking, “There is more to me than this.” But one thing led to another, and she found herself becoming first a La Leche League Leader and later an IBCLC in private practice. She now speaks on the connection between our mammalian heritage and our birth and breastfeeding experiences, as well as on our breastfeeding language and how mothers and babies make breastfeeding work. Her writings include co-authorship of the eighth edition of La Leche League International’s The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, 8th edition, and Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family. t turns out, after all these years, that there isn’t much more to her than breastfeeding. However, her conference speaking has allowed her to ride a camel, watch kangaroos on a golf course, eat a dish called “drunken chicken”, and use a squat toilet successfully. Diane has two grown sons, two lovely daughters-in-law, and four bright and breastfed grandchildren.

Learn more at


Title music:Vibe Aceby Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

Sponsorship music:Air Hockey Saloon” by Chris Zabriskie, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

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