April 20, 2009 03:30 PM

As a breastfeeding counselor, one of the things I most often hear from women is that they can’t produce enough milk to satisfy their baby. But the truth is only a very small percentage of women actually don’t have the physical ability to establish a full milk supply for their child.  Despite the facts, pregnant and newly breastfeeding women are continuously bombarded with stories of fellow mothers whose milk was not rich enough or abundant enough to meet her baby’s needs and, if you look a the drop in breastfeeding rates in this country at the six week mark, many of these women unfortunately come to tell such stories themselves.

Why are we, as a society, so quick to believe (and spread) these cultural inaccuracies? What is it about modern women that has led us to believe that our bodies are no longer capable of doing the one thing it was designed to do so that the human species could evolve? This, and other questions (like how to tell if you really can’t lactate), are answered in The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk by Diana West, IBCLC and Lisa Marasco, M.A., IBCLC.

Whenever I review a book targeted at new moms I look at two things: Is it easy to read and is it a quick read? The answer to both of those is a resounding yes. The truth is, this book was so engaging that I actually read it cover to cover in a span of three days. For the mother who is struggling to produce, maintain or increase a milk supply, this book is invaluable.

The authors, both International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC), build on their personal experiences breastfeeding their children (West was able to successfully breastfeed two of her three children after breast reduction surgery; Marasco successfully breastfed her first three children and then had a mysterious drop in supply while breastfeeding her fourth) as well as the experiences they share while helping nursing mothers in their line of work.

The book includes a wealth of information, including how to tell if your baby is really getting enough milk, supplementing without decreasing your supply, figuring out what is causing your low supply and learning how to make more milk when you have to return to work, exclusively pump, have a preemie, multiples or are inducing lactation for an adopted or surrogate-born baby. The book also (very wisely) dedicates an entire chapter to working through the emotional damage that a low supply can inflict on a new mother.

Moms who have never struggled with their supply will still enjoy this book but any mom who has ever wondered whether or not her baby is getting enough milk will find it invaluable.


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