Customer Review

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No problem too big for this book, July 28, 2008
This review is from: The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers: The Most Comprehensive Problem-Solving Guide to Breastfeeding from the Foremost Expert in North America, Revised & Updated Edition (Paperback)
I borrowed this from my local library a couple of weeks before my daughter was born. I chose it because of the plentiful illustrations that I thought would help me establish a good latch.

How wrong I was! Though there are lots of pictures and explainations on how to achieve a good latch, I found I needed the hands-on help of an LC to actually get it. Pictures just weren't enough.

However, the real value of this book was something I had not taken into account when choosing it. Dr. Newman is very pro-breastfeeding, to the point of militancy. Though his tone can be a bit alarming it is successful at hitting home a number of valuable points.

1) Nearly all babies can be breastfed. As long as the mother makes the commitment and reaches out for support, any problem can be solved. Babies learn to breastfeed by breastfeeding, so stick with it!

2) Formula makers have spent millions of dollars convincing mothers that formula is a good second-best alternative to breastfeeding. Dr. Newman says that it's at most a fourth-best alternative and should be treated as such.

3) Bottles are harmful to the establishment of breastfeeding and should be avoided completely until breastfeeding is firmly established, and better yet, avoided altogether.

4) Pediatricians and hospitals are just not well-trained when it comes to breastfeeding thanks to years of formula's dominance. If you are not getting the support you need, seek it out elsewhere. Don't reflexivly kow-tow to their authority if it means undermining your breastfeeding relationship with your little one.

Though I had plentiful supply, I had problems in the first weeks with the latch and might have broken down and used some of the free formula the hospital gave us (yes, Dr. Newman rails against that common practice as well) if I had not read this book and known that I could overcome my problems with help and patience. I know too many women who gave up on breastfeeding because it was not as easy as they were led to believe. Dr. Newman's book helped me with my resolve and to a lesser extent with technique.

Though some women may recoil at his very anti-bottle and formula stance, that should not detract from the important message of the book. Breastfeeding may be natural, but it's still a skill that has to be learned and practiced to get right.
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