Sally Wendkos Olds, Laura M. Marks, M.D., and Marvin S. Eiger, M.D.
Workman Publishing, Bantam Books, 4th edition 2010

After breastfeeding my own three daughters, I wrote the first edition of this book in 1972. Since then it has sold about 2 million copies and gone on to become a classic in three editions. The new completely updated and revised Fourth Edition was published in 2010, in consultation with Westport, Connecticut pediatrician Laura M. Marks, an authority on breastfeeding who also nursed her own three children. New York pediatrician Marvin S. Eiger, M.D. served as consultant on the first three editions. I love it when moms come up to me and tell me that they’re following a family tradition by using the new edition of the same book that their own mothers used when nursing them.

Nursing is easy; there is nothing complicated about it. However, breastfeeding is a learned skill. While some mothers and babies intuitively know what to do, most need some help. I learned so much while researching this book that I wish I had known while I was nursing my own children, and I’m happy to pass this knowledge on so other families will get good answers to their questions. (Two families who did get answers are those of my own daughters, who between them have nursed five babies.)

Dr. Marks and I help new mothers put into practice the newest policy of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends nothing but breast milk for the first six months of a baby’s life, with continued nursing for at least the first year. We spotlight the latest research on the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby.

Mostly, the book offers practical help that families need. It answers common questions; talks about pregnancy and birth and the ideal beginning for breastfeeding; gives the latest information about the mother’s diet, exercise, weight, and use of drugs; tells how to prevent and treat common nursing-related problems; considers the needs of the mother who works outside the home; and offers up-to-the-minute advice about pumping, storing, and feeding expressed breast milk. It helps moms deal with HMOs and health insurance plans and offers guidelines to help a pregnant woman choose her birth setting and her health care providers. An extensive discussion about sleeping arrangements offers suggestions for safe sleep; new attention is paid to babywearing, the special needs of late-preterm babies, and babies with other special needs; suggestions for overweight nursing moms; and much more. Several appendixes give contact information about helpful organizations and websites, offer legal guidelines, and clearly show the differences between breast milk and formula.

An entire chapter is devoted to sexuality during lactation and its ramifications for the mother and her partner, with special attention on the adult relationship and on contraception for the nursing mother. Another complete chapter speaks to the father, emphasizing the important role that he plays in supporting the mother and showing how he can be deeply involved in his child’s care and life.

THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING is more complete than ever, as it touches upon virtually every aspect of modern-day breastfeeding to help the nursing family make the most of the experience.

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The Complete Book of Breastfeeding