Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding: updated edition

Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding: updated edition
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ISBN:  978-1-78066-230-5
Publisher:  Pinter & Martin

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  (7 Reviews)

Author:  Jack Newman | Teresa Pitman
Binding: paperback
Format: 232 x 174 mm
Pages: 403
Illustrations: bw photos throughout
Pinter & Martin edition available: world (excl. Canada)
US RRP: $21.95
Translation rights: Harper Collins Canada

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Breastfeeding is the natural and healthy way to nourish your baby, yet it’s not always easy. New mothers need practical information about getting off to a good start and solving breastfeeding challenges. Health professionals need this information too, because it is rarely taught in medical school. Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding covers the most common problems and questions that mothers encounter:

  • How do I help my baby to get a good latch?
  • How can I know if my baby is getting enough milk?
  • How can I help him get more?
  • Can I avoid sore nipples?
  • Will my medication affect my baby
  • How do I fit breastfeeding into my life when I’m so busy?

The answers are here. Dr. Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman are two of the foremost lactation experts in Canada and have helped tens of thousands of new mothers find solutions that work. In this comprehensive guide, they share the most current information about breastfeeding and provide new, effective strategies and solutions to make breastfeeding work for you.

Average Rating (7 Reviews):  
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Rating:  
A Valuable Resource for Supporting Breastfeeding Families
Thursday, 18 December 2014  | 

This book is divided into clear chapters by breastfeeding subject, but unlike many other books I have read on the subject, the book has a definite medical focus, and the more social aspects of breastfeeding, such as sleep and duration of breastfeeding, feature in more brief chapters at the end of the book. As a breastfeeding mother, I think I came to this book with a natural skepticism about what a male doctor has to say on the matter. Wherever mothers come together the tales of bad advice and incorrect information from health professionals make your hair curl! Dr Newman runs a prestigious infant feeding clinic in Canada, and his co-author is a La Leche League leader who has written or co-written several other books on breastfeeding, including a personal favourite The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

This book offers great practical advice for breastfeeding mothers and their supporters in the form of clear step-by-step guides to techniques and photographs, but also by giving links along the way to further information and especially videos from Dr Newman's website. This means that the book provides a larger amount of resources for dealing with problems than many other books. Where lack of experience is the problem, this is often the difference between breastfeeding and not breastfeeding for a mother and child. For example, this book offers several pages on recognising and dealing with post-birth oedema in the breasts, a problem I experienced and none of my midwives recognised. I had a nasty bout of mastitis before I stumbled across Dr Newman's resources. This book is committed to the La Leche philosophy of "breastfeeding solutions to breastfeeding problems," and recognises that not only is artificial milk deleterious to the breastfeeding relationship, but also bottles, because of the harmful effect of nipple confusion to the breastfeeding relationship. This is an unpopular point to make. but the authors combine it with a range of practical suggestions for alternatives. One slightly controversial suggestion they make is that in the case of low supply, it might be better to introduce solids alongside breastfeeding from an early age, such as 4 months, rather than introduce a bottle of artificial milk. This is an interesting proposition, and weighs the risks of early weaning lower than the risks associated with artificial milks and the use of a bottle. It follows Newman's commitment that the breastfeeding relationship should be preserved at great lengths, and his understanding that the relationship is about more than nutrition, immunity, or future health: it is an essential feature of the relationship between mother and child.

One of the rather brilliant results of the medicalised nature of this book is that it deals with the instances where mothers are sometimes unnecessarily urged by medical professionals to give up breastfeeding. In the chapters on medication, maternal illness, and children with special requirements, Dr Newman gives a rough guide to these instances, and when if ever breastfeeding should be discontinued for the benefit of the child. So many mothers are advised to stop or suspend breastfeeding in order to take a medication for themselves that would not actually harm their child through breastfeeding, and the breastfeeding relationship is lost through the ignorance of the person supposedly giving care.

One theme that recurs throughout this book is the conviction that low supply is common, and the true cause of many breastfeeding problems that are commonly misdiagnosed as reflux and other conditions. The authors attribute any fussing or pulling off from the breast to reduced flow. This book suggests that breast compression to speed up flow, and immediate use of domperidone (a drug that can boost milk supply), are the best options. To my mind this neglects the important relationship between the baby and the breast, and the supply-and-demand nature of breastfeeding. Although Dr Newman's solution is no doubt effective, I believe that if we can trust the mother's body and the baby to work it out between themselves, they usually can. The problem lies in the fact that our society does not allow them the space and time to do so. New mothers feel that they should be up and doing housekeeping, back at school or work, and should not spend the day topless with a naked baby, letting the breastfeeding relationship regulate itself.

Despite these small reservations I think every Health Visitor and General Practitioner should read this book. They are on the front line of supporting breastfeeding families and their education on the subject is patchy at best. This book makes a fantastic reference guide to solving the most common, and some less common, problems encountered. The photographs and linked videos are an incredible resource for supporters of breastfeeding families. It is a real shame that the photographs in this book have to be in black and white, because I squinted at a few and still couldn't work out what I was supposed to be seeing, so I hope that a hard backed, colour photo copy is available for medical reference.

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Rating:  
Fantastically challenging
Monday, 17 November 2014  | 

I really enjoyed and engaged with all of this book. It's got a good deal of technical content, but also some wonderful flights of opinion (or rants) where Jack Newman takes a pop at less well informed breastfeeding helpers.
As a breastfeeding supporter, it helped me to challenge some of the things I've accepted as normal, or as "the best" way, and it's going to be a great resource when I want details to share with mothers, for instance on using an at-breast supplementer, or working through a systematic list of things to try for the colicky or fussy baby.
Maybe it's not so great for a new breastfeeding mother, as the tone is very assertive in places, and it might discourage her from feeling confidence in her own baby, but for more experienced mothers seeking deeper analysis or to expand their knowledge, and for anyone involved in supporting breastfeeding mothers, I'd say it's a must-read.

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Rating:  
A Must-Read for Mums, Mums to be & Health Professionals
Friday, 14 November 2014  | 

This book is a fantastic resource for breastfeeding mothers, health professionals (doctors, midwives, health visitors etc), breastfeeding peer supporters and anyone interested in breastfeeding or supporting breastfeeding mothers. It's quite a meaty read and looks a bit daunting to a new mother with a baby and little time, but at the very start of the book potential users are identified and sections which will be of particular relevance to them are highlighted which means you only have to read the parts which are relevant to you.

When read cover to cover as I did, the book can seem a bit repetitive. This isn't due to a lack of imagination on the authors' part, but because in reality there are far more myths about breastfeeding than actual problems with breastfeeding and often the same solution works for many different myths. I am confident that with the aid of this book, most mothers will be able to successfully navigate their way around any booby-traps and have a happy and successful breastfeeding journey.

This book doesn't make the assumption that breastfeeding is easy, but it does make the (quite right) assumption that breastfeeding is the normal, natural way to feed your baby. In doing this, it explains in detail the risks related to formula feeding and the aggressive marketing of formula manufacturers. It is clear that this ISN'T an attack on mothers who choose to formula feed, but an attack on the aggressive marketing and lack of correct information that mothers are given which prevents a lot of mothers from making an informed choice when it comes to feeding their child. As such, I would encourage any parent, regardless of feeding choice, to read this book. If you still choose to use formula then at least you are making an informed decision and not a wildly uninformed one.

Interestingly, the lack of knowledge that a large majority of breastfeeding professionals have is also discussed at length in this book. It is clear that while the health authorities all acknowledge "breast is best", very few seem to think it is important to train health professionals in breastfeeding related care. This means that often your doctors, nurses, midwives and health visitors ARE NOT giving good advice. This book will help you to challenge advice which does not support your breastfeeding relationship and this is important. Many people will blindly take the advice of a health professional, but do they really consider whether their health professional has adequate knowledge in the subject at hand? You wouldn't see a brain surgeon for heart trouble, even though they are all qualified doctors, so should you really trust your GP to know enough about breastfeeding? Perhaps if this book became standard reading amongst all medical professionals you would be able to trust your GP to give the right advice.

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Rating:  
Problems and Solutions
Tuesday, 28 October 2014  | 

This book is really every womans' guide to breastfeeding. It is more in-depth than some I have read and focuses a lot around the vast experience of Dr Jack Newman, which is great, but it is not a referenced or evidence based book so it will give you his perspective and those of the people he works alongside. The book is in-depth and the pictures are really good. I would consider this a bible for the breastfeeding woman, it also has the added male point of view so is to the point. The paragraphs are in short chunks which I found made reading easier as it could be broken down without being too lengthly. There is a lot about the normality of breastfeeding and reassurances about breastfeeding behaviours, patterns and expectations are nicely discussed. The quick reference guide to Questions and Answers was a nice ending. I would recommend this book to a new breastfeeder and a breastfeeder with experience.

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Rating:  
a good read however....
Monday, 20 October 2014  | 

I did enjoy reading this book it is packed full of great information and things that i would never have really thought of before! However parts of the book i found to be a little OTT (the link to child abuse etc) and also a little condisending. (Wearing sunglasses so you cant see the colour of your babies poo) Im currently still breastfeeding my 16 month old. And was really offered no help in hospital etc. I found this book to talk about practices that dont happen here in the UK but would be good if they did!! I did enjoy reading it but found myself thinking..... really!!! (On some parts)

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Rating:  
Indespensable handbook for mothers and healthcare professionals
Tuesday, 14 October 2014  | 

Dr Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding is an indispensable handbook for mothers and healthcare professionals. In fact it should be compulsory reading for anyone who works with babies. I've breastfed 5 babies for over 7 years (and counting), and thought I knew everything there was to know about breastfeeding. I was wrong!

Packed with scientific fact and study references yet still an easy and entertaining read, it really is accessible to all. There are beautiful, inspiring photographs throughout. It can be read from beginning to end or used as a trouble-shooting reference book - just jump to the chapters that concern you.

The over-riding message is that breastfeeding is and should be achievable for almost all, but sadly it is often sabotaged by media, uneducated health care professionals, uncaring governments, greedy formula companies, and even supposedly well-meaning family and friends. As well as practical advice, this book arms the reader with solid facts about benefits of breastfeeding to answer any criticism that may come their way from family, friends or strangers.

Even if, like me, you're nearing the end of your breastfeeding journey (and overcome many obstacles on the way), you will love this book simply for reminding you of those precious early days and giving you a sense of pride at all you have achieved.

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Rating:  
Loved it
Tuesday, 23 September 2014  | 

Dr Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding is quite entertaining to read, with lots of plain talking; dispelling myths as ‘nonsense’ and with more than a few digs at the poor advice given by those who ‘should know better’. It is full of breastfeeding tips including some very useful information about several health issues and their medications with regard to breastfeeding. It’s a winning recipe thanks to the authors’ practical and personal breastfeeding experience. This, coupled with the confidence that perhaps only a very experienced paediatrician might dare to put into print, means that this book will help challenge many health professionals’ practice—let’s hope they read it!

The message underpinning every chapter is that breastfeeding is a relationship over and above a feeding method, and that breastfeeding should not be undermined at any cost or at anytime. "Breastfeeding should never be expendable. Only under extraordinary circumstances should breastfeeding be interrupted. It is too important to the physical and mental health of the child and the mother for them to give it up the way one might give up ice cream."

Jack Newman certainly makes his feelings clear when he doesn't approve of something. It could be tempting to question some of his ideas and maybe feel a little defensive—if it was coming from anyone else. But his rationale against using a syringe or bottles for supplements, 'gritting his teeth' at the mention of nipple shields, or his suggestion for giving high calorie solids earlier than the norm for a low gaining baby are all offered with the best intention and soundest logic; to preserve breastfeeding.

Some of the information in this book will be hard to find elsewhere. Particularly if you have run into complex problems with breastfeeding or have a specific medical query. And while I don’t think any book can be a substitute for a one to one visit in person with a good International Board Certified Lactation Consultant; as self-help books go, this has to be one of the best places to start. It covers everything from reasons to breastfeed to poor weight gain, from ideas to explain why a baby is fussy or ‘has colic’ to reasons to preserve breastfeeding for both babies and pre-schoolers in custody battles. Not forgetting all the special Jack Newman techniques that have made him into everyone’s favourite breastfeeding guru.

Dr Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding is a great addition to your book shelf, whether you are a first time mum, an experienced breastfeeding counsellor or a health professional searching for something specific.

http://breastfeeding.support/dr-jack-newmans-guide-breastfeeding/

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