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Shapiro, Lisa Wood 1961-

Shapiro, Lisa Wood 1961-

PERSONAL: Born 1961; married; children: two.

ADDRESSES: HomeNew York, NY. Agent—Peter Steinberg, Regal Literary, Inc., 52 Warfield St., Montclair, NJ, 07043. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer, television producer, and filmmaker. Cofounder, Hitchhiker Films. Producer of TV documentary Fight like a Girl, 1999. Producer and director of TV series On the Team, 2001.

AWARDS, HONORS: New York Emmy Award for filmmaking.

WRITINGS:

How My Breasts Saved the World: Misadventures of a Nursing Mother, Lyon's Press (Guilford, CT), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: Author and television programming producer and director Lisa Wood Shapiro earned a New York Emmy award as producer on WNET's City Arts program. She is also the producer of the boxing documentary Fight like a Girl, for A&E, and the producer and director of the thirteen-episode documentary on a Brooklyn youth baseball team, On the Team, for the children's network Noggin. Shapiro gamely assumes the role of writer in How My Breasts Saved the World: Misadventures of a Nursing Mother. "Funny, entertaining, and brutally honest, the book details [Shapiro's] torturous trek from overly confident and completely unprepared new mom to bona fide nursing pro," remarked Larissa Philips in an interview with Shapiro on Parenthood.com.

At the outset of her stint as parent, Shapiro had a romanticized view of breastfeeding, formed largely from images in popular culture and movies. She also admits thinking that breastfeeding would be a completely natural and instinctual process, that progress would move smoothly from hungry infant to happy, well-fed baby, with little stress on either mother or child. The truth, she learned with dismay, is that nursing is not as easy as it looks in the movies, and that a little help from a professional goes a long way. "I thought I was so prepared," she related in an interview on her home page. "I bought the right crib, a cute bumper, I knew where to get the stylish maternity clothes. I took the hip labor classes, and then I had the baby. I was fairly lucky with my labor, and I thought, 'Now the hard part is over.' What I didn't realize was that the hard part hadn't even begun."

With the help of a lactation consultant, Shapiro learned the proper techniques to help her baby latch on for feeding. After learning proper nursing procedures, she felt the need to spread the word to new mothers facing the same need for gentle, focused education. Along the way, she also learned other lessons unique to nursing mothers: nursing can be a painful experience; cabbage leaves in the nursing bra help relieve engorgement; nursing mothers seem to perpetually leak fluids from their bodies; and that nursing is ultimately an experience that bonds mother to child like no other.

"First and foremost, I see my book as good old entertainment," Shapiro remarked the interview on her home page. "I want people to be able to laugh at themselves and me and the whole situation of new motherhood and breastfeeding—something that often doesn't come as 'naturally' as most women expect." Ultimately, "The first year of motherhood is so tough and often lonely that you need an arsenal of humor," she said in the interview.

"Shapiro's refreshingly comic voice pierces through the foggiest post-partum blues to commiserate, share advice, and point out the humor in those anxious days after a baby is born," commented Carolyn Bailey in the book's foreword. While Library Journal reviewer Mirela Roncevic remarked that, "As is, it is good but simply not good enough," Other reviewers found Shapiro's writing to have value due to its commonality and its universal appeal to a steadily renewing population of new mothers who want to nurse. How My Breasts Saved the World "is the book you wish you'd had in those first few weeks, deep in that bewildering process of learning to nurse your baby," Philips commented.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Shapiro, Lisa Wood, How My Breasts Saved the World: Misadventures of a Nursing Mother, Foreword by Carolyn Bailey, Lyon's Press (Guilford, CT), 2004.

PERIODICALS

Library Journal, April 15, 2004, Mirela Roncevic, review of How My Breasts Saved the World, p. 110.

Publishers Weekly, April 12, 2004, review of How My Breasts Saved the World, p. 51.

ONLINE

Lisa Wood Shapiro Home Page, http://www.lisawoodshapiro.com (December 17, 2004).

Parenthood.com, http://www.parenthood.com/ (December 17, 2004), Larissa Phillips, "Mommy Memoir: An Interview with the Author of How My Breasts Saved the World.

Public Broadcasting Service Web sitehttp://www.pbs.org/ (January 5, 2005), "Lisa Wood Shapiro."

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