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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on January 25, 2011
This book is the Bible of low milk supply! This excellent book is geared towards mothers currently struggling with low milk supply and for mothers who may have struggled with their milk supply with a previous baby and who would like to be proactive and try to figure out what possibly went wrong so that they can try to fix it for a subsequent baby. It is also a valuable reference guide and resource for professionals working with breastfeeding mothers.
The material presented is primarily evidence(research)-based, but that said, is not too technical for the average reader. It focuses on a step-by-step investigative approach to figuring out where your problem(s) with low milk supply are originating, and then offers helpful and practical ideas for going about improving your milk supply in a practical and non-blaming way. It does not promise a full milk supply for everyone, but I think if you try some of the ideas found in this book (those that are applicable to your situation), you will certainly end up with an improved milk supply at the very least. There are no "one-size fits all" remedies here and you do have to start at the beginning and read through the book in it's entirety or you may miss out on lots of important information. There are no magic bullets here either-- if you want to increase your milk supply it will probably take a lot of time and energy figuring out why it's low in the first place, and then you'll have to put in even more time tailoring remedies to suit your unique situation. Some of the solutions presented are more conventional (i.e., using medications like Motilium), and some are more "thinking outside of the box" (using alternatives like chiropractic, naturopathic and homeopathic medicine for example), but if you approach this book with an open mind, everyone is sure to find something they can comfortably work with.
I have to say that I find the other review rather unhelpful and frankly, quite inaccurate, and I have to wonder if they actually read the whole book or just skimmed through it to find what they were looking for (exactly what you shouldn't do with a book like this). I say that because they complain that there is nothing in this book about beer being used as a galactogogue (an agent that stimulates or increases the secretion of milk) when that is not the case at all. The authors do mention grain-based beverages (including but not limited to beer) as being helpful for some women to increase milk supply. From the book: "The effects of alcohol (ethanol) on breastfeeding have been widely debated. Mothers have long been advised to drink a glass of beer or wine to relax and get their milk flowing. Beer especially has been recommended, and a positive effect on milk supply has indeed been documented. However, it's actually the polysaccharide from barley that stimulates milk syntheses; a good nonalcoholic beer has the same effect. Alcohol itself inhibits both the milk ejection reflex and milk production, especially when taken in large amounts. Even a moderate amount, such as a single beer or glass of wine, can disrupt the balance of lactation hormones in breastfeeding women. While the immediate effects of alcohol on milk production and delivery last only as long as the alcohol is in your system, chronic alcohol use has the potential to lower your milk supply overall." (p.74-5)
Chapters in this book:
' Investigating Your Milk Supply
' Understanding Your Milk Factory
' What's Normal and What's Not
' How to Know If There Really Is a Problem
' Making the Most of What You Have
' Supplementing Without Decreasing Your Milk Supply
' Getting Your Milk Supply Off to a Good Start
' Investigating Causes of Low Milk Production
' Is It Something You're Doing?
' Is It Something Your Baby Is Doing?
' Is It Something About Your Breasts?
' Is It Your Hormones?
' Can Your Mind Affect Your Supply?
' Increasing Milk Production
' Physical Techniques to Make More Milk
' Galactogogues: Foods, Herbs, and Medications That Stimulate Milk Production
' Making More Milk When You Return To Work or School
' Making More Milk in Special Situations: Exclusive Pumping, Premies, Multiples, Relactation, and Induced Lactation
' Surviving the Present and Planning for the Future
' Coping with Low Milk Supply
' What About Next Time?
and contains an Appendix: Galactogogue Tables, References and an Index.
If you are interested in putting in the time and effort to figure out why you are having problems with your milk supply, and are willing to put in an equal (and sometimes even longer) amount of time addressing those problem(s), then this book is definitely for you and well worth the investment. I recommend it whole-heartedly!
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on October 13, 2015
You don't have to have a supply problem to enjoy this book. I read it before my first was born, on the advice of a close friend who is an IBCLC. Between the kellymom website and this book, I was able to feed my baby and donate 150 oz. to the milk bank.

The best thing about the book is that if you actually read it, not just skim it, you'll have a fundamental understanding of how lactation works. That lets you make good decisions in a lot of different situations. Absolutely don't skip the apparently technical parts, they are easier to understand than they seem. The book also has a sympathetic, realistic, common sense tone that I really liked.
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on January 16, 2016
A lot of this info can be found in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding but there is some additional strategies, and it delves a lot deeper into the reasons WHY you may have a milk supply problem.
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on March 10, 2016
I did not have time to read it after the baby's born. If you read prior to the birth, many info might not apply to your case. So I think it's more useful for professional than to moms.
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on May 2, 2015
While the intention is good, a lot of the advice for boosting supply is readily available on many breastfeeding websites and mother to mother forums online. Didn't go into enough detail about the various causes of low milk supply - instead referred the reader to their website for more details. Excellent resource for effective herbal and food galactogogues and dosages, as well as which herbs to avoid.
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on November 6, 2015
It was helpful
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on November 20, 2010
I was disappointed to find no reference to my favourite (and fastest) way to boost milk supply which is drinking 2/3 to one full can of non-alcoholic beer per day (usually with supper in the evening when milk supply is lowest). It's an excellent (and safe) source of vitamin B12 which boosts milk supply (unlike vitamin B6 which can actually decrease milk supply if taken in large doses). It's also readily available at your local grocery store. For my first child, I had so much milk that I was able to contribute to my local milk bank. Admittedly, not everyone will like the taste, but it should at least be mentioned as an option. A can of non-alcoholic beer a day has been recommended to women with low milk supply in Europe for decades. NOTE- the label on the cans should indicate that there is LESS than 0.5% alcohol per volume. Don't risk the alcoholized stuff!
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on February 23, 2012
Diana West's support toward low milk supply and Mother's breastfeeding after a breast reduction is extensive. This book is such a great resource to have on hand when you are questioning your supply.
All mothers are encouraged by Diana's findings of expressed breastmilk quantities after a full feed, then pumping followed by hand expression.
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