Working and Breastfeeding Made Simple

Working and Breastfeeding Made Simple

Nancy Mohrbacher is a star author amongst group library contributors in La Leche League.
This latest book continues her excellent work that started back in 2003 with her coauthorship
of The Breastfeeding Answer Book, which was designed to help mothers
breastfeed their babies.Whether the purpose of her books is to help others assist
breastfeeding women or they are directed towards mothers’ own self-help efforts (as this
new offering is), her style is always simple and direct in a way that is easily understood by
most readers.
The author commences with basic information on just why breastfeeding is so important
and why it’s worth the effort required to keep breastfeeding once you have returned to
work. She continues with a back to work overview dependent on the baby’s age and offers
specific suggestions on how to proceed at each stage. How to deal with employers is
covered and of course no book on this subject would be complete without comprehensive
information on pumps and pumping, milk supply, storage and handling, bottle use and
information to share with baby’s carer. The emotional issues involved in leaving your baby
with others are discussed as well as how the situation may change as your baby grows.
This is an easy to read book, chapters are set out in a clear fashion and it is not full of jargon.
There are few illustrations but the ones present are appropriate. There is an adequate
index, current references, a list of resources ranging from websites, books, smart phone
apps, videos and mother-to-mother support organisations. As is usual with an overseas
published book not all of the resources are useful to an NZ audience, but there is enough
there to provide a start for local mothers.
The table of contents is intelligently organised to allow browsing as needed; this is not a
book that has to be read from cover to cover to gain its full value. Appendices include
sample plans for different work schedules, milk storage guidelines and information for the
This book is highly recommended as suitable for LLLNZ group libraries and will make
valuable contribution for any women who are wanting or needing to return to paid
employment while still breastfeeding their babies. This book should also be read by partners
and support people so that they can understand the importance of their role in helping with
the maintenance of the breastfeeding relationship.

Original review, printed in Aroha Volume 16 Number 6

Working and Breastfeeding Made Simple
Nancy Mohrbacher
Praeclarus Press, USA, 2014
Reviewed by Averil Sheehan and Robin Jones

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Sleeping Like a Baby

Sleeping Like a Baby

This is an easy-to-read, reader-friendly book aimed at both those who need reassurance that their
baby’s sleeping (or non-sleeping) patterns are nothing to worry about, and for those who are
desperate to get some sleep. As is quoted in the book, “People who say they sleep like a baby,
usually don’t have one!”
The author is very clearly not in favour of “controlled crying”, which she describes as not being
evidence-based practice, and agrees with James McKenna that it is “social ideology masquerading
as science.” Nobody has studied exactly how long it is safe to leave a baby to cry, if at all.
Crying should be regarded as a form of communication and not a sign of manipulation. The author
points out that most infant sleep charts were compiled many years ago when breastfeeding rates
were at their lowest, so those observations were based on mostly formula-fed babies, sleeping by
themselves under laboratory study conditions.
The main message of the book seems to be, “Watch your baby and follow his/her lead.”
If you are trying to change your baby’s sleep patterns, the three basic things to consider are:
your child’s safety
is what you are trying to do respectful?
think about the bigger picture and what messages you want to send to your child about
There are chapters on what sleep patterns to expect of babies and toddlers at different ages and
stages, where your baby sleeps and how to set safe sleep rules, and co-sleeping. The chapter on
feeding is mostly about breastfeeding because Pinky of course unashamedly states that
breastfeeding is best.
There are also chapters on how to cope with problems like colic, reflux and teething, which can
disrupt sleep patterns, as well as one on the need to look after yourself before you can look after
others. There are tips for simplifying your life, getting as much rest as possible, taking time for
yourself, finding a support group, and finding help.
There is a list of useful contacts and resources. These are mostly Australian, but a few New
Zealand ones are listed too, including LLLNZ. There are also suggestions for further reading and a
useful index.

Original review, printed in Aroha Volume 9 Number 1

Sleeping Like a Baby
By Pinky McKay
Penguin Books, Australia, 2006
Reviewed by Rosemary Gordon

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Nursing Mother, Working Mother

Nursing Mother, Working Mother

In revising this edition of her classic text, Gale Pryor (daughter of Karen) has been joined by
another equally well-known US author in the area of breastfeeding, Kathleen Huggins.
The result is a thorough and reassuring compendium of most things that a new mother who is
intending to return to work after the birth of her first baby, or subsequent babies, needs to know.
The differences between the US and NZ conditions of employment can be disregarded as the
parents’ feelings, and the adjustments and preparations they have to make, are the same.
The sections on sleep and working parents are warm and reassuring. Most new research is taken
into account, and the usual background information is given about how we went from many
millions of years of everyone sleeping together, to the recent developments that in the Western
World are called ‘civilisation’, and their attendant baby-and-mother-separating apparatus of
individual bedrooms, cots, etc. The positive aspects of night-time interaction between mothers
and babies are stressed, and methods of ensuring everyone gets some sleep are outlined.
I was particularly impressed with the suggestions of how to cooperate and build solidarity with
other mothers in the workplace. These could be of real benefit to many women in this situation,
especially those in larger workplaces.

Original review, printed in Aroha Volume 10 Number 3

Nursing Mother, Working Mother
Revised Edition
By Gale Pryor and Kathleen Huggins
Harvard Common Press, 2009
Reviewed by Jill Allan, LLLNZ

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Musings on Mothering

Musings on Mothering, edited by Teika Bellamy, is a fundraiser for LLLGB. The book is an
anthology of art, poetry and prose about pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. It is 196 pages of
beautifully crafted stories of mothers and babies, of loss and joy, of love and experience. Each
page tugs at your heart and connects you to another mother on the planet who has laughed and
cried and struggled and celebrated amazing moments in life’s reproductive days. Some stories are
heart wrenching, some you will love; some will jar you and challenge you.
The book has many contributors of various ages which create richness and depth. One essay
called ‘The Other Side of Sleeplessness’ by Linda Hassan Scott is worth the price of the whole
book since one of the frequent challenges we hear about time after time relates to sleep (or lack
thereof) and pressure from our culture to engage in sleep training or early weaning. This piece
captured the depth and wisdom of why we are responsive to our babies 24 hours a day.
This collection is well indexed and organised so it is easy to locate material of interest. The Index
in the back includes photos and biographies of the contributors which gives information on the
many gifted contributors.
This would be a wonderful addition to both a personal and Group Library. The anthology would
make a great gift for a retiring Leader or a new mother. Sometimes you gain more information
from a poem, short prose or piece of art than from a technical book. This book will be treasured
and could be utilised in many, many mother support meetings to engage, connect, and evoke
feelings and discussion.

Original review, printed in Aroha Volume 15 Number 3

Musings on Mothering
By Teika Bellamy (Editor)
Mother’s Milk Books, UK, 2012
Reviewed by Connor Kelly and Lorraine Taylor, LLLNZ

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The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding 8th Edition

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding 8th Edition
La Leche League International’s iconic manual has been through many incarnations in its previous
seven editions, but this eighth edition is a complete overhaul to bring it up to date with 21st
Century language, concepts and research.
It is laid out in logical sections to help make this either a book you read cover to cover, or one you
just dip into as needed. Part One takes a mother through her journey from pregnancy through to
birth and the first breastfeed and is called “New Beginnings.” Part Two looks at breastfeeding
from the first few days through to toddlerhood. Part Three deals with sleep, working out of the
home and other separation from the baby, and starting solids, and Part Four looks at issues
outside the ‘norm’ such as premature babies, induced lactation and adoption, multiples along with
a ‘Tech Support” section which is alphabetised for easy reference.
There is a lot of text (about 500 pages) but it is not overwhelming due to the easy-to-read
language. It is supported by black and white photos, and clear line drawings. The text is all
supported by frequent web references, along with a ‘Tear Sheet Toolkit” which is also available
online via > Store > Tear Sheet Toolkit.
Mothers own stories are included – look out for one from our own Barbara Sturmfels at the end of
Chapter 8. This book is heartily recommended for LLLNZ Group Libraries and as a must-have for all
new mothers and mothers to be – a perfect gift!

Original review, printed in Aroha Volume 12 Number 5

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding 8th Edition
By Diane Wiessinger, Diana West and Teresa Pitman
Ballantine Books, USA, July 2010
Reviewed by Donna Henderson, LLLNZ

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