This book can accommodate the hyper-information-gathering Mother that wants to read every book cover to cover and the Mother that wants a quick reference guide to turn to as various issues arise while nursing her child. Divided into sections such as: Preparation during pregnancy, The First Week, The First Two Months, The Second through the Sixth month, Nursing older babies, and Medication use while breastfeeding. I especially love the 'Survival Tips for ..." sections. I always find this format helpful...bulleted lists...very detailed and comprehensive information getting right to the point for the problem that is bringing you to tears at that very moment! Its almost like having your own lactation consultant to walk you through each challenge.
Other extras include a handy chart to calculate the common and expected 10 % weight loss of babies following their birth. I knew that babies lost weight after their birth but calculating it when you aren't getting much sleep is difficult.
This book would make an excellent gift to a Mother that may be sitting on the fence about breastfeeding. It is never preachy or condescending It also does not contain information about non-related issues (child spacing, discipline, etc) found in other breastfeeding handbooks that may turn someone off before they even get started. Evidence based breast feeding information does get updated from time to time so if you have an older version of the book it may be wise to get the latest edition.
Major chapters/section include: Getting Started, Common Concerns, Nutrition and Fitness, Medications, Troubleshooting Problems, Products for Nursing, Working and Breastfeeding, Nighttime Parenting, Moms and Babies with special needs, Toddler Nursing and Natural weaning.
If you need convincing about how superior human breast milk is to cow's milk formula, you can check out Dr. Sears' handy comparison chart. This is powerful information about why human milk is best for human babies! Since your doctor often has a choice of medications to treat you, the detailed information about medication use during breastfeeding will help you and your doctor choose the drug with the smallest impact on your baby. The troubleshooting section is an excellent reference manual that you can pull down off the shelf over and over again throughout your breastfeeding experience.
There are also excellent details on how to choose a breast pump, information on safe handling and storage of breast milk and a great checklist if you will continue to breastfeed after you return to work. The sections on toddler nursing and weaning are brief but include all the benefits to Mother and baby of nursing into the second and third years of life. Did you know that the worldwide average length of breastfeeding is over four years! (Yes you can now pick your jaw up off the floor). Why not make your child smarter and healthier. Choose to breastfeed!