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The Nursing Mother's Companion Paperback – Jun 6 2000


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Paperback, Jun 6 2000
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press; Fourth Revised Edition edition (June 6 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558321527
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558321526
  • Product Dimensions: 16.6 x 2.4 x 23.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,123,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Most books about breastfeeding are heavy on nursing's mystical rewards and light on actual technique. Huggins, a maternal nurse and professional lactation consultant, corrects the imbalance with a lucid, trouble-shooting guide, in which she points out that while nursing is unquestionably the healthiest, most natural way to feed babies, it is not always blissful for the mother. The author tackles various common and uncommon complaints about breastfeeding from inadequate milk supply, breast pain, engorgement and fussy babies to infections, allergies and breast-milk jaundice that could affect the child. In a chapter on nursing mothers who work outside of the home, Huggins offers an instructive review of breast pumps. Her reassuring, practical suggestions make this book an excellent informational companion.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Intended as a practical manual, this book combines specific advice with frequent, clear, and informative illustrations. Huggins, a lactation professional and nurse, treats in detail the preparations to be made during pregnancy and the first two months of nursing. She also briefly discusses the later stages of breastfeeding and weaning. While this edition is little changed from the original ( LJ 3/1/86), her short chapter on working women includes an updated list of breast pumps and ordering information. The book's clunky format features a repetitious "Survival Guide" section for each chapter. The bibliography appears to be dated and unchanged. The exhaustive appendix on the safety of drugs during nursing is poorly indexed with blind cross-references and difficult to use. Nonetheless, the comprehensive list of drugs alone makes this book a candidate for most public libraries.
- Elizabeth Fielder Olson, Archer & Greiner, Haddonfield, N.J.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

By M. Grimm on May 3 2004
Format: Paperback
This book was a comfort and reassuring during the first six weeks or so of nursing. I like the way it is presented and the encouragement found within the pages of the book. It really helped to calm my frazzled nerves. It also gave me more information on certain things. However, I didn't end up having any of the problems she talks about so I don't know how useful her solutions really are. My only real problem with this book and all nursing books, is that they don't tell you that for most people nursing HURTS at first. There was nothing wrong with my latch or anything, it just made me sore and hurt off and on for the first six weeks. Everyone I ever asked about nursing among my friends who are mothers and my own mother, have told me it hurts. In some cases it was because of problems with the breastfeeding itself, and others it was just soreness until they got used to it and toughened up. I wish that this book had told me that it could hurt without my doing something wrong and that it would go away eventually. It would have saved me some panic and tears that I must be doing it all wrong. Still, the book was helpful and comforting and the section on medicines while breastfeeding is really handy. A good book that I would recommend, as long as it wasn't going to be your only source of comfort and support.
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By A Customer on Feb. 29 2004
Format: Paperback
There are three general approaches to breastfeeding books: advocacy, empathy, and answers. This book uses the two former approaches, with an emphasis on empathy--the author understands our frustration and confusion. But word for word her main goal is to convince us that breastfeeding is best, as if we weren't already aware of that fact.
Sometimes a gentle reassurance is very helpful, and that's where this book proves its worth. But when we need actual help or answers, her writing is opaque or even withholding, as if suffering is a mother's rightful burden.
That's where the book may interfere with parents' choice of a style that isn't attachment parenting. Huggins recommends letting the baby drop only one night feeding until it's a year old. She advocates co-sleeping and suggests that sleeping on its own will deprive a baby of the benefits of breastmilk. She promotes distrust in the medical profession based on biases that fell out of favor many years ago.
If you need actual help with a problem or question, the book is of limited use, yet it has lengthy discussions about food sensitivities that simply are not medically possible. It's still a good book to have, but it's wise to discuss her assertions with your pediatrician and a trained lactation consultant for advice you can truly trust.
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Format: Paperback
I found nothing remarkable about this book. It is a decent introduction but not enough in itself to really educate mothers about overcoming common challenges. Perhaps the greatest challenge for mothers to overcome is the lack of trained, dedicated lactation consultants in most U.S. hospitals so I find more attention needs to be given to the problems that arise and how to make it through them. I highly recommend Dr. Newman's The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers : The Most Comprehensive Problem-Solution Guide to Breastfeeding from the Foremost Expert in North America. Do not be assured by the comfortable stories about how easy and natural breatsfeeding is. Most women fail for a reason so find out what can help you transition into the patterns you need to feed your baby the best thing in the world available.You don't really have the time to search for possible remedies once your baby is born because you have to feed it and you may be making things very difficult for you and your baby to transision into a happy and fulfilling nursing pair.
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Format: Paperback
The Nursing Mother's Companion is so informative, concise, well-laid out, and comprehensive that I don't know how I would have survived learning to breastfeed without it.
It answered ALL of my questions as I was trying to master nursing my baby. It has chapters that go in-depth on all subjects relating to breastfeeding as well as wonderful "Survival Guide" sections that help you quickly pinpoint problems, tell you why you're having them, and then give you solutions that actually work and work well. When you're in pain (physical or emotional) from learning such a new skill, you want answers as quickly as possible.
This book covers preparation during pregnancy, learning to breastfeed, and it continues to teach and help throughout your entire nursing experience. It has sections on special circumstances like nursing premature babies, adopted babies, and babies with conditions or diseases that make nursing difficult. It also has advise for mothers with special circumstances.
One more aspect about this book that was wonderful was it's non-preachy tone. The author asserts that breast is best (which you probably know if you're reading the book), explains why, then moves on to the practical matters of breastfeeding. No annoying and repetitive condemnation of anyone choosing to formula feed.
This is a wonderful book! I recommend it to everyone who is breastfeeding and give it as shower gifts to soon-to-be nursing moms.
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Format: Paperback
I have had several breastfeeding books over the course of the last 10 years, but this is the only one I use. My third child is now 9 months old and continuing to nurse while making a great transition to table food (this book has excellent advice on how to make this happen!). I had a previous edition with my older 2 children--it was a lifesaver with my second. I thought I had nursing down to an art after nursing my daughter 22 months, but my older son did not "get it". I felt encouraged to hang in there with lots of ideas from the book and worked with a lactation consultant, who taught my son how to suck. He also nursed till 22 months.
I lost my old copy between children, and picked up this new version when I found out I was pregnant again, because I didn't want to be without it. The new edition is even more fantastic--I wish I had had it five years ago with my older son. I would have known we were in trouble a lot sooner and needed help.
My younger son was a great nurser from the start, partially due to advice from this book(the parts on building a good milk supply are essential to success), and I will continue to use this book until it's time to wean him.
Recently I purchased this book as a baby shower present for a first-time mom. She was really pleased and interested in the "Survival Guide" sections. I have recommended it to countless friends and strangers alike. If you aren't sure you want to breastfeed, read this book. Kathleen Huggins is not preachy; she just gives the most up-to-date info on the benefits to both baby and mom, not just in terms of physical health, but also in connecting with your baby.
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