Most helpful critical review
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A very basic guide for beginners
on April 10, 2011
As a new mom-to-be, I stumbled across this book at a secondhand store and, from briefly flipping through it, thought it might be helpful, so I grabbed it up. Indeed, it features drawings of latch techniques and positions that I found useful, along with summarized descriptions of many basic breastfeeding topics. However, this book falls seriously short in so many ways, and I realize that more than ever now that I'm actually breastfeeding (my baby is now 3 months old).
First of all, this book is absolutely littered with these ridiculous fictional accounts of women with geriatric-sounding names that address this, that, or the other. It's cumbersome and completely unnecessary to have to skim through fictional "conversations between friends" just to try to weed out factual information on breastfeeding. The readers of this book are adults, not grade-schoolers, and it's hard to take this book seriously as a rational resource due to this unfortunate offense.
Second, I agree that this book harps on and on and on a little too hard about the benefits of breastfeeding (and there are many) while totally glossing over the fact that, to some extent or another, problems arise very frequently and are oftentimes perceived as severe or stressful in new mothers. They touch very lightly on the basics like mastitis and engorgement, but for this to be a truly comprehensive resource, there needs to be MUCH more information on breastfeeding roadblocks. If women read this book and go into it thinking it's going to be a piece of cake, most of them will be in for an unexpected surprise, which might put them at risk for early weaning. My daughter is 3 months and I had mastitis four times which led to a very severe abscess that had to be surgically drained. (I still breastfeed on one side only.) My experience, while not overwhelmingly common, is certainly not unheard of in breastfeeding women, yet the word "abscess" is not even mentioned in the entire book. I feel that they are not taking a realistic approach with their readers by the neglectful omission of many painful issues women may experience while breastfeeding.
Overall, unless you're like me and find it for dirt cheap someplace, I cannot recommend this book. I found La Leche League's website, the Kellymom website, and in-person lactation consultations to be more beneficial in getting the hang of it all. I recommend that pregnant women try to get as much information as they possibly can before the birth of their child to be prepared, but perhaps not from this particular resource. But whatever you do, hang in there and seek out help from a pediatrician or lactation consultant if you need it!