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"Great Expectations: The Essential Guide to Breastfeeding"

Posted Oct 24 2009 10:05pm


Do we need one more book on breastfeeding? We know "breast is best" (for baby, mommy, and the community), "use it or lose it" (meaning use the breast to feed or lose the ability to make milk), and "it takes two to tango" (breastfeeding is a dance between the behavior and activities of the mom and the behaviors and actions of the baby).

We all know these important truths, but Dr. Marianne Neifert has raised the bar again by offering a new, comprehensive book on the magic, mystery, and might of breastfeeding. As a pediatrician and practitioner of breastfeeding medicine, she has surely seen it all. ( See Amazon to order book.)

Dr. Neifert reveiws why breastfeeding matters and lists five hospital policies that enhance a woman's success with breastfeeding:

1. Baby is breastfed during the first hour after birth.
2. Baby is fed only breastmilk in the hospital.
3. Baby stays in the room with the mother.
4. Baby does not use a pacifier in the hospital.
5. The hospital gives the mother a phone number to call for help once she is discharged home.

Dr. Neifert goes on to describe how to solve common breastfeeding problems, what help to seek, and how to manage breastfeeding once mother and baby are out in the "real world" again.

Though strong evidence to support breastfeeding has been with us for decades now, those of us who advocate for it know that we and the women we serve still frequently find ourselves swimming upstream. We need professinals in the field to keep telling the truth about breastfeeding in a style and in a venue that a typical mother can access. We must continue to empower new moms to request (or is it "demand"?) from the medical world the facts--and the help--they want, need and deserve. In this age of healthcare "reform," the burden to promote breastfeeding is shared by successful new moms and the tireless breastfeeding activists who move forward one breast (or two!) at a time!

Read other articles on understanding and care of babies.
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© HUG Your Baby 2009
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