When my BAMS arrived I was excited to receive it. I had the Breastfeeding Answer Book and Breastfeeding Made Simple and had appreciated both of them. For a long time I thought Breastfeeding Made Simple was the best book to give to new moms. However, I was disappointed in BAMS. First off, it is one hefty tome. It doesn't fit well on the desk I use when taking helping calls and it isn't all that comfortable in my lap. Since it doesn't have a spiral binding it doesn't even stay open all that easily. I have found I end up referring to other specialized books more than BAMS in part because it is so unwieldy.
My second complaint came when I started looking for specific topics. One issue that has come up recently, not only in our extended family, but in helping situations as well is infant caries in breastfeeding infants and toddlers. I had done some internet research on the subject and was aware there was more information out there than when BAB was written. Unfortunately, Nancy was either unaware of that or simply chose not to deal with that topic at all. Fortunately, the new Womanly Art of Breastfeeding does deal with it, and covers in a page or so most of the research that I spent hours and several emails gleaning. It's a gaping hole in the book for me, since one of the areas where we are trying to increase breastfeeding is in children past a year (the very population where this issue comes up). BAMS also appears to give very little attention to the topic of sleep training which has been a huge issue that can impact heavily on breastfeeding. I'm going by the index on that, and I've found that the index could have been better done. In such a big book a really well done index becomes an absolute necessity because very few people are going to sit down and read the book cover to cover to find the topic they are looking for.
I know other breastfeeding helpers who have found this book helpful. I'm not dismissing it out of hand. I simply find that for me it was a disappointment. When the new Womanly Art of Breastfeeding arrived, on the other hand it was a complete joy. It's now my new favorite to give to new moms. As a quick reference book it's more user friendly than BAMS, for more complete answers I go to one of the other subject specific books on my shelf. While BAMS meets the needs of some, it doesn't meet mine, so I'm looking for another home for it.
I would most heartily not recommend it to new moms out there, it's really intended for people working with new moms and has way more information than any one new mom would ever need. For moms who are simply wanting to breastfeed their new baby and want the best book to help them with that, I'd recommend the latest edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding not Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple. Save your money and buy a nice baby carrier with the money you save by buying the Womanly Art instead of BAMS.