Product: Breastfeeding Made Simple Book Review
Authors: Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett
Price: $13.29 (paperback); $10.53 (kindle)
Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com
My Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Breastfeeding Made Simple, Product Overview
The second edition of Breastfeeding Made Simple is a mom-friendly, comprehensive guide to breastfeeding that allows mothers to go back to basics. By understanding the 7 natural laws of breastfeeding, it will help you know more and work your way out of breastfeeding pitfalls. This way, you can be more successful and enjoy breastfeeding the way it should be.
It is backed with the latest research and it addresses how to overcome common breastfeeding challenges, as well as special situations (like breast reductions and babies with special needs).
The book also discusses that while breastfeeding is so natural between a mother and baby, it has drifted from being the cultural norm when infant formula gained more popularity.
The authors, Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tacket, are both renowned in their field of expertise and are board-certified lactation consultants. They wrote this book to help mothers meet their breastfeeding goals and to remove any confusion that comes with breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is not always easy, but it should not be difficult
They cannot stress enough that breasts do not work the same way as bottles – feed your baby every 3-4 hours; feed your baby for 10-20 minutes. Since there are too many rules and guidelines that came about over the years, breastfeeding has ceased being more carefree and easy. And as such, it has seemed more complicated than ever. Are you guilty of making any of these conclusions:
- I don’t have enough milk
- Human milk is not as good as formula
- Breastfeeding imposes too many demands on me
Babies will stop when they’ve had enough, so you really can’t be overfeeding them with breast milk. Some mothers are confused since they even hear different opinions from medical practitioners.
The seven natural laws for nursing mothers are pretty straight-forward, simplifies breastfeeding, and eliminates non-sense.
Law 1: Babies and mothers are hard wired to breastfeed.
Babies are amazing little creatures who are born with reflexes to self-attach. They can tell their mother’s voice, scent, and face allowing them to find their way to the breasts. Sucking and skin-to-skin contact do wonders in helping them calm down and feel good. In case you’re wondering, mothers also have maternal instinct and you will be able to respond to your baby (watch out for feeding cues).
Law 2: Mother’s body is baby’s natural habitat.
Mothers and babies belong together. Skin-to-skin, stroking, and massage goes a long, long way.
Law 3: Better feel and flow happen in the comfort zone.
Breastfeeding should not hurt. If you practice the right latch, you will avoid pain and breastfeeding problems along the way like nipple trauma. I had problems with this at the start which led to sore, cracked, and bleeding nipples. The correct attachment happens in the comfort zone.
Don’t forget to find a comfortable and relaxing breastfeeding position that works for you.
Law 4: More breastfeeding at first means more milk later.
Breastfeed often in the first week and start with small, frequent feedings. Don’t worry, breastfeeding often won’t cause nipple pain.
Law 5: Every breastfeeding couple has its own rhythm.
Normal feeding patterns vary throughout the day. You should also expect cluster feeding – newborns tend to have certain times of the day where they feed frequently for a few hours (often at night). You may then notice a longer stretch of sleep after cluster feeds.
Law 6: More milk out equals more milk made.
Breastfeeding or expressing milk tells your body to make more milk. This is short of saying, supply equals demand.
Law 7: Children wean naturally.
Children eventually outgrow their need to breastfeed. It is deemed safer and more comfortable for you and your baby to wean gradually.
Here’s a quick video where Nancy talks about what to expect in the first 40 days of breastfeeding:
What you can expect from the book
The first part of Breastfeeding Made Simple talks about the seven natural laws of breastfeeding and how it works. And the second part explains how mothers can apply these laws to common breastfeeding challenges and what to do in special situations. There’s even a chapter dedicated to how our culture strays far from breastfeeding as the biological norm and what interferes with the natural laws. Due to lack of awareness on breastfeeding, pressure from society, and even fads on parenting advice, breastfeeding has become more and more challenging.
As expected, the book talked about natural breastfeeding at length and tackled some parenting behaviours. Obviously, people will have different opinions about this. Just to put it out there, they appear to be huge proponents of attachment parenting. This is where you trust your instincts rather than follow strict rules when to breastfeed or when you respond to a cry.
When you follow your intuition, this will involve demand breastfeeding for an extended period, carrying or wearing your baby, co-sleeping with your baby and using gentle ways to help them sleep (does not involve leaving your baby to cry alone to teach them to ‘self-settle’), as well as minimising separation during the first few years. All of which are meant to help you develop a strong and trusting relationship with your child.
With demand feeding, they think bottle feeding (even with breast milk) and pumping milk are less than ideal as compared to your breasts.
Clearly, not everyone will be into this especially if you need to return to work soon and if you believe in teaching your child the concept of independence early on. Personally, demand feeding, as well as baby wearing and co-sleeping work for us. It’s not an issue since it’s something we love to do for our child.
Other than that, even parents who have different parenting philosophies agree that this book is a wonderful breastfeeding resource especially for new mothers. It offers excellent expert advise that will empower you and give you so much confidence in breastfeeding, that will make you think twice or thrice before giving up so quickly. It is overstuffed with tips and pointers you may not even have heard about.
Its conclusive, Breastfeeding Made Simple is such an informative guide that you must absolutely read
It was so hard to put down Breastfeeding Made Simple since I couldn’t stop reading. Like me, you will most probably have a lot of AHA moments because it truly is a wealth of information and you will learn so much! I highly recommend that you read this during pregnancy and after giving birth.
If you don’t have a copy of Breastfeeding Made Simple, there’s a lot you’re missing out on. No wonder it is recommended by other lactation consultants, it is such a fantastic reference on breastfeeding especially for new mothers. You will gain more confidence and be empowered to breastfeed as you learn more information based on facts and research. It even debunks some of the crazy things you’ve heard from other folks. I cannot emphasize how informative and useful it is!
I hope you enjoyed this review and if you have any questions about Breastfeeding Made Simple or want to leave your own personal review, leave a comment below.
We are all brought up to believe breastfeeding is simple, natural, and we can all do it. I’m afraid this is not absolutely true. I was unable to breastfeed my first baby and was pushed to keep trying by our local baby health care nurse. Consequently, my baby was always unsettled and we didn’t get much sleep. Back then, you had to make a mixture with several ingredients and I had no idea how to do it, so had to keep trying to feed my baby. Now, I would simply buy a tin of Nan and stick him on a bottle and that is exactly what I would recommend to any mum having the same difficulties I did. Do you think that would be a bad decision?
Thanks for sharing this, Margaret. While breastfeeding comes with its fair share of challenges, I think there are ways to go around it. Wanted to share an inspiring story of a mom’s breastfeeding journey, as well as some tips. Each one of us would know what’s best for our kids, so I don’t think it was a bad decision. Breastfeeding is a personal choice. In saying that, as challenging as it may be, I will always encourage mothers to keep trying and help in providing more and more awareness about breastfeeding.
Thanks, this is so informative! We just had our first born who’s now 2 months old and breastfeeding was quite challenging. I totally agree with what you said here and there are so many opinions out there that it confused us a lot. In the end, we decided to use a mix of breast milk and formula. It’s because the birth was a difficult one and my wife suffered from post-partum depression for quite a while which affected her ability to breastfeed. However, she has recovered now and so we feel that we are starting new again. Will definitely get this book to read since we want to have another baby.
Breastfeeding does have its fair share of challenges as you may have experienced, Eddy. Hope your wife has fully recovered by now. Since you’re starting again, maybe you can give exclusive breastfeeding another try. Here are breastfeeding tips and tricks for the first six months that may help. All the best!