Sunday, February 1, 2009

Review: The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural, beautiful and fulfilling things you can do as a mother, but as wonderful as it is, breastfeeding isn't easy for everyone. In fact, studies have shown that despite almost 75% of moms breastfeeding their newborns when they leave the hospital, the number drops dramatically to about 31% at 3 months postpartum and a paltry 11% at 6 months. The No. 1 reason women seem to give when asked why they stopped nursing is, "I wasn't making enough milk."
It used to be conventional wisdom that the overwhelming majority of women will make enough milk for their babies. Research had shown that very few women truly didn't make much milk, with estimates ranging from the conservative 2% to the generally more accepted 5% of the population. So why all of the perceived problems with milk supply? Could they possibly be real?
Well, it turns out, yes! A new book, The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk, discusses all of the various issues that can cause low milk supply and offers advice on how to tackle each.

The authors, who are both board certified lactation consultants, have come up with an equation that details all of the components necessary for good milk supply.

Sufficient glandular tissue
+ Intact nerve pathways and ducts
+Adequate hormones and hormone receptors
+ Adequately frequent and efficient milk removal and stimulation

If any part of the equation is missing, your milk supply can suffer! This book describes in great detail how your body makes milk and how can you determine if your baby is getting enough milk. It will help you determine whether or not you truly have a problem with low milk supply or if your baby is not adequately removing milk or if you're simply misconstruing common infant behaviors. The book clearly explains the normal behavior of breastfed babies, including cluster feeding and evening fussiness and some commonly misinterpreted maternal indicators (for example, if you don't pump much, it doesn't necessarily mean you don't have much milk).

Once you have identified the causes of your low supply, the book offers tons of concrete and effective methods for maximizing supply. It will also outline how you can supplement without damaging your breastfeeding relationship with your baby. For example, if you're supplementing with formula, you probably nurse and then offer baby a bottle to "top him off." The authors suggest doing just the opposite: offer baby a supplemental bottle, but finish the feeding at the breast so your baby associates breastfeeding with feeling full and satisfied, not the bottle.

I would highly recommend this book to pregnant and new moms, as well as moms who believe they have low milk supply. There is a lot of information covered here about how milk is made and the many ways moms unwittingly damage their supply that you don't find in other breastfeeding books. The authors also understand that supplementing may be necessary and don't make moms feel guilty about it. In fact, they insist that your baby be fed until satisfied because a hungry, frustrated baby is that much harder to get back to the breast.

Interested in reading more? The book is available on Amazon for $12.50.

WIN IT! Win a copy of The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk. Simply leave a comment on this post telling me why you would like to own this book. Entries must be received by Sunday, February 8th at midnight (eastern time). One winner will be selected at random using US mailing addresses only. I will notify the winner on February 9th both at Blacktating and by email. The winner will have until February 12, 2009, to get back to me with a postal mailing address for shipping or another winner will be selected.

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