Book Review: Breastfeeding Solutions; Quick Tips for the Most Common Nursing Challenges
Breastfeeding Solutions; Quick Tips for the Most Common Nursing Challenges by Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA is a recently published book, (April 2013) designed for breastfeeding mothers. This book is small and lightweight, measuring just 5 x 7 inches, with 202 pages, including appendices, which makes it practically pocket sized and easy to throw in a diaper bag or read while nursing a little one. There is also an e-book version available as well.
The book is divided in to 7 chapters, and includes a short and concise resource list at the back, along with some brief citations referred to in the book. The chapters have simple titles such as “Nipple Pain” or “Night Feedings” making it easy to find the information a mother might be looking for. Each chapter is divided into the typical challenges that mothers might be dealing with under that particular topic. With a clear, easy to read large font for each section, the pages are well designed and simple, making it a breeze for a tired and sleep-deprived mother or partner to find exactly what information s/he needs. Occasional, basic, black and white line drawings reinforce the information provided in the text. The language used throughout the book consists of common terms and is easy to read and understand. I really liked how Nancy reassures the reader with her writing style, that the while the mother or baby may be experiencing some struggles, that things can be fixed and will get better. In many places throughout, the author lets us know that if things do not improve that the mother should seek out help from an appropriately skilled expert, with her first recommendation being an international board-certified lactation consultant (IBCLC).
Right from the start, Nancy encourages and explains laid back breastfeeding positions for the mother-baby dyad, sharing why these positions makes so much sense for the mother and baby who are just starting to breastfeed. She even references and provides a link for a short video on this from Suzanne Colson. In several places in the text, Nancy encourages readers to refer to a linked video to reinforce the information provided in the book.
Nancy emphasizes throughout the book that mothers can follow their instincts and will know what to do, but problems can arise and that help is available. She uses some of the same vocabulary that I use when teaching breastfeeding classes, such as “breast sandwich” to help mothers understand getting a deep latch. When discussing weight gain in breastfed babies, Nancy references the WHO exclusively breastfed growth charts as the appropriate guide for how baby is doing. This is good to know information when a mother will be discussing weight gain with the baby’s provider.
Important information is repeated throughout the book, so a mother who has opened the book to find specific information will not miss key points such as “drained breasts make milk faster, full breasts make milk slower” even if she never turns to the “Milk Supply Issues” chapter.
One of my favorite sections was Nancy’s accurate explanation of breastfeeding norms for the newborn. Reassurance that cluster feedings, having night and day time mixed up, frequency and length of feedings in the first six weeks really go along way to reassure the new mother that her baby is normal and doing what normal newborns do. She also shares information about the volume of milk a baby can expect to need as she grows. Every pregnant woman or new mom should read this section, so they don’t wonder if things are normal in their sleep-deprived state.
The old foremilk-hindmilk discussion is squashed as Nancy explains how fat molecules are released from the milk ducts as the feed progresses, but reassures mothers that this is not something to be concerned about. When a mother feeds on demand and offers both breasts over the course of a day, the baby will be provided with adequate breastmilk that contains everything needed.
There is a great section on going back to work and maintaining supply, along with how to make a pumping session most effective. There are even tips on choosing the right pump for your pumping needs. I loved the information and drawings included for making sure that your pump has the proper sized phalanges (or nipple tunnels as they are called in the book) for each woman’s nipples, as I frequently see women who have poor fitting phalanges, making pumping so much more uncomfortable.
Nancy shares several different strategies for solving the common problems, so women have many things to try and includes a section for each topic called “If these strategies don’t work” with even *more* information and other things to consider. There are also little sidebars with “Myth and Reality” nuggets scattered throughout the book. Women are provided with current evidence based information for best breastfeeding practices.
The book closes with a lovely chapter on weaning, sharing ideas on how to decide when the time is right and how to make it easy on both mother and child. The entire book is non-judgmental, acknowledges that there can be challenges and offers encouragement and information in a non-biased manner and easy to read style that will provide support and answers to the most common concerns facing breastfeeding mothers today. This book would be a great accompaniment to a breastfeeding class, and lactation consultants, childbirth educators, doulas, midwives and doctors that work with breastfeeding families will want a few copies to put in their lending libraries for new moms to borrow.
About Nancy Mohrbacher
Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA, is author of the books for breastfeeding specialists, Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple (BAMS) and its BAMS Pocket Guide Edition. She is co-author (with Julie Stock) of all three editions of The Breastfeeding Answer Book, a research-based counseling guide for lactation professionals, which has sold more than 130,000 copies worldwide. She is also co-author (with Kathleen Kendall-Tackett) of the popular book for parents, Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers. Nancy has written for many publications and speaks at breastfeeding conferences around the world. Contact Nancy by email: firstname.lastname@example.org