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New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding (American Academy of Pediatrics) Paperback – July 30, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The Breastfeeding Book Your Doctor Recommends

Why is breastfeeding best for my baby? Will I like it? What if it hurts? What happens when my maternity leave is over? Will I be able to use a breast pump? How can I make this work?

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the organization that represents the nation?s finest pediatricians, answers these questions and many more in this invaluable resource to help you and your baby get the healthiest possible start. The benefits of breastfeeding will last a lifetime, for both you and your baby.

Here is everything new mothers need to know about breastfeeding. From preparing for the first feeding to adjusting to home, family, and work life as a nursing mother, this comprehensive resource covers:

? Preparing for breastfeeding before your baby is born

? Breastfeeding benefits for mothers and babies, including the most recent neurological, psychological, and immunological research showing why breastfeeding enhances your infant?s immune system and protects against many common illnesses

? Establishing a nursing routine and what to do when you return to work

? The father?s role and creating a postpartum support network

? Handling special situations, from C-sections to premature births

? Breastfeeding beyond infancy

? Weaning your baby

? Solutions to common breastfeeding challenges

? And much more

Mothers everywhere will find this book an indispensable guide to one of life?s most important decisions.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

Choosing to Breastfeed

“Nursing my daughter was a decision I made even before she was conceived. I was not breastfed as a child but had seen with other parents the bond that breastfeeding brings to the mother–child relationship. I also understood the nutritional and immunologic benefits that mother’s milk provides the infant and wanted the very best for my child.”
--Stacy, 31, mother of Adam

With three weeks remaining until her baby’s due date, Vicki could hardly wait for the day to arrive. She and her husband had completed their natural-childbirth course and toured the hospital where their baby would be born. They had baby clothes ready and had even bought their first supply of diapers. Yet as Vicki focused on tying up loose ends at work prior to her maternity leave, she couldn’t help feeling nervous about some aspects of new motherhood. Will I be able to breastfeed? she wondered. My cousin tried, but she quit after a week. And what about when I start working again? she asked herself as she packed a box of papers to take home. The baby will have to use a bottle then. Should I start him on formula so he doesn’t have to switch later on?

Suddenly weary, Vicki sat down and rested a hand on her stomach. Feeling a slow, rolling movement beneath her hand, she looked down with a wan smile. “I want the best for you,” she said to her baby. “I just wish I had someone to teach me about this. What’s really important for your health, and how can I make sure you get it?”

Does Breastfeeding Make Sense for Me?

If you, too, are about to give birth, you may share Vicki’s concerns or have other urgent questions about how, when, and even whether you should breastfeed your child. The act of nursing--one of nature’s most rewarding and beneficial processes--can sometimes seem intimidating when you face a host of other commitments and hear a great deal of conflicting advice. In the following chapters, you will find clear answers to many of these questions, solutions to your problems, and information about the array of breastfeeding support services--hospital nurses, pediatricians, obstetricians, family physicians, lactation specialists, and breastfeeding support groups--that are in place to help mothers breastfeed their children successfully.

Such efforts have been made because an enormous amount of research demonstrates how beneficial breastfeeding is for babies. We now know that nursing your child not only strengthens the quality of your relationship with her but improves her health, enhances her brain development, and provides her with precisely the type of nourishment she needs at each critical stage of her development. The benefits of human breastmilk so greatly exceed that of any alternative method of infant feeding, in fact, that health organizations around the globe have united to promote this natural source of nutritional and emotional sustenance for babies. The World Health Organization (WHO), for example, encourages women to breastfeed exclusively for six months and to continue to breastfeed for at least two years to take advantage of human milk’s ability to provide the best nutrition and protect against infection. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding (no water, formula, other liquids, or solids) for about the first six months of life, followed by breastfeeding with the introduction of solid foods for the next six months, and continued breastfeeding thereafter as long as mutually desired by mother and baby.

As you prepare for motherhood, you will want answers to all of your questions about breastfeeding. You will want to consider how it is possible to combine breastfeeding with work outside the home, how you can fully involve your partner* in parenting a breastfed infant, and how to adjust if breastfeeding doesn’t begin smoothly. You will need to understand how breastfeeding works so you can feel assured that certain behaviors are normal or recognize any difficulties. Finally, you will want to find knowledgeable breastfeeding support services in your area.

As pediatricians, we want to share all we know to help you. With this guide, we will provide information, encouragement, and support as you learn this vital new skill. We will show you how many millions of women--working outside the home or not, married or not, first-time or experienced mothers--have provided the best for their babies through breastfeeding, and how you can too.

Did My Mother Breastfeed?

When you were an infant you may not have been breastfed, though your mother may have been and your grandmother was even more likely to have been breastfed. Breastfeeding, like many other techniques for nurturing children, has passed in and out of fashion according to parenting trends, society’s needs, and the accumulation of reliable research.

Of course, few alternatives were available to mothers a century ago. In the early 1900s, the majority of American women breastfed their infants, and over half of the babies were still being breastfed beyond the first year of life. Mothers who could not or chose not to breastfeed used a wet nurse, fed animal milk to their babies, or made do with crude mixtures of flour, rice, and water called “pap.” The newborns’ chances of survival decreased significantly as a result. During the decades that followed, however, glass bottles and rubber nipples became more widely available and pasteurization and vitamin supplementation more commonplace. As a result, alternatives to breastfeeding became more practical and prevalent, though almost nothing was known about how these artificial infant feedings affected children’s long-term health and development. During World War II, as more women worked outside the home, formula feeding increased even more and continued to increase through the 1950s and 1960s. By 1966, only eighteen percent of babies were being breastfed at the time they left the hospital, and this percentage dropped sharply soon after the babies arrived home. In the early 1970s in the United States, breastfeeding rates hit a record low.

At about this time, however, medical research began to reveal new truths about the advantages of mother’s milk for infant health and development. Scientists noted that babies who breastfed were more resistant to diseases in the environment. They caught fewer colds, suffered from fewer ear infections, and experienced fewer allergies. Even their mothers appeared to recover from childbirth more quickly and easily. Such findings, along with the mid-seventies movement toward a more natural childbirth and parenting experience, caused breastfeeding rates to begin climbing again. In 1982, nearly sixty-two percent of newborns were nourished by their mother’s milk after birth. By 2000, this number had increased to more than sixty-eight percent. Unfortunately, work conflicts and lack of support caused many mothers to give up nursing quite early, and this continues to be the case. Of the American newborns breastfed in 2000, only about thirty-one percent were still nursing by their sixth month, and less than eighteen percent by their first birthday. Yet studies keep revealing the fascinating ways in which the content of breastmilk changes to suit the baby at every stage of development, continuing to provide precisely the developmental, psychological, and health benefits a baby needs through the first year and beyond.

Today, mothers are not forced to choose between only two alternatives--breastfeeding their babies or giving them formula. They may opt to breastfeed their babies directly; provide them with bottles of breastmilk that they have expressed and stored for later use; obtain donated, processed breastmilk from a milk bank when their own milk production is insufficient or their milk cannot be used; or use commercially produced formula available in supermarkets and pharmacies as either a supplement to their own breastmilk or a replacement for breastfeeding. Which option you choose at any particular time will depend on your circumstances and you and your baby’s needs. However, before you make your decision, you owe it to your baby to learn how breastfeeding benefits you both. Consider the support services (lactation specialists, breastfeeding support groups, and on-line information), efficient aids to breastfeeding (breast pumps, breastmilk-storage containers), and increased social acceptance (more breastfeeding in public, maternity leave, private rooms provided at work for nursing mothers) now available to help you succeed. It is our hope that as you read about breastfeeding’s benefits for your baby and consider how nursing can be a part of your life, you will decide to give breastfeeding a try. After all, babies are not babies for very long. They deserve the healthiest start they can get.

Why Is Breastfeeding So Good for My Baby?

Formula for babies has become such a pervasive part of our culture that many people assume it must be as good for babies as human milk. After all, formula is designed to contain many of the nutrients provided in breastmilk--and babies who are fed formula clearly grow and develop adequately. Yet the fact remains that human milk and infant formula differ in a number of fundamental ways. Breastmilk is such a rich, nourishing mixture that scientists have yet to identify all of its elements; no formula manufacturer has managed or will ever be able to fully replicate it.
uimmunologic benefits

Human milk provides virtually all the protein, sugar, and fat your baby needs to be healthy, and it also contains many substances that benefit your baby’s immune system, including antibodies, immune factors, enzymes, and white blood cells. These substances protect your baby against a wide variety of diseases and infections not only while he is breastfeeding but in some cases long after he has weaned. Formula cannot offer this protection.

If you develop a cold while br...

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (July 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553381075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553381078
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,954,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By J. Mitchell on October 22, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is THE breastfeeding book to buy. As a NICU nurse, I am familiar with breastfeeding, but as a new mom, I needed some help. This book addresses the real issues that come up with breastfeeding without passing judgement or inducing guilt if your experience isn't "perfect". (Nobody's is) Also, it addresses the issues of storing milk to let you continue breastfeeding when you go back to work better than any other book I've looked at.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sparky on April 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
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.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jenn B VINE VOICE on March 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Great book. I recieved this book at the breastfeeding class I took before I delivered. I used this book all the time when I was nursing, it helped answer a lot of middle of the night questions. I read it before I had my baby, but then I used the table of contents and index after I had the baby to answer a lot of questions I was having. I highly recommend this book to anyone going to have a baby and plans to nurse.
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful By "plummiee1" on April 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
For new mothers considering breastfeeding, this is a wonderful book for the new moms-to be like myself. Not only does it give the basics of how to breastfeed but why your body does the amazing things it does!! It has made me feel (already) better prepared for September (my due date) and beyond. I definitely suggest this book to everyone considering to breastfeed. It will be a fantastic resource to go back and read though again and again. ALOHA!!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By book connisseur on December 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
I read this book when I was about 7 mos pregnant w/ my son, and then looked it over as my due date approached. Because of this I was very well prepared. You will definitely want to keep it to review as you run into nursing issues though. Aside from a supportive family and patience this is the best resource you can have for successful breast feeding experience.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By New Yorker on March 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should be titled "Rah Rah Breastfeeding!". There was too much effort spent convincing you to breastfeed, rather than presenting useful information for nursing mothers. It's also filled with annoyingly sappy stories about mothers who choose to nurse.

Just in case you think I'm anti-breastfeeding, not so! I'm still nursing my little one at 15 months, but I can't say this book was any help at all. The La Leche League website was far more informative and FREE. Don't waste your money.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written simply, it's easy to get through the book in a day or two. There are little stories here and there that can be skipped over as they do not add any real information or entertainment. The information is good,they do give good resources for where to go or who to contact if you are struggling to feed or just need support, as well as all the specs on how and why to breastfeed. I also like the charts in the back that tell you what to normally expect from growth to bowel movements daily. Be aware that it can get preachy (possibly rightfully so) that breastfeeding is ALWAYS better than formula, the longer you breastfeed the better (has facts to back it up) and pushes feeding on demand (AKA milk factory open 24/7) It scolds society for shunning women who breastfeed into the toddler years or in public, reminding us that the baby's health is more important than public approval.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mountain Mama on June 15, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having already decided to breastfeed, I read this book (on loan from a friend) hoping for some practical information to help me feel prepared.
This book has very little useful information, and far too many feel-good, corny stories about imaginary mothers who've decided to breastfeed.
If you've already decided to breastfeed, you won't learn anything from this "guide" beyond what you've already learned in your pregnancy books. I'm now borrowing "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" from another friend in hopes of getting less propaganda and more practical advice!
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