The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk

The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk

This book grew out of Diana West’s previous book, Defining Your Own Success: Breastfeeding After
Breast Reduction Surgery. The sections in that book on strategies for increasing your milk supply
were widely used by mothers and breastfeeding counsellors to help all mothers with low milk
supply and not just those who had undergone breast reduction surgery.
Making More Milk is aimed primarily at mothers who have a low milk supply for whatever reason.
It gives them the tools to be their own detective and to work through possible causes for their low
supply, as well as suggesting strategies to tackle the problem. This book will also be useful for
Leaders and health professionals who are working with mothers who have a low milk supply in
spite of seemingly doing all the right things, like frequent feeding.
The largest section in the book is the one which investigates the possible causes of low milk supply
, and this asks, is it something your baby is doing, is it something you are doing, is it something
about your breasts, is it your hormones, or is it in your mind?
Of course there are also sections on improving breastfeeding management, on supplementing,
and on increasing your milk through the use of various aids such as galactogogues –
pharmaceutical, herbal and homeopathic, and lactogenic foods. Making more milk if you return to
work or study, or in special situations such as prem babies, multiple births, relactation and induced
lactation are also covered.
There are extensive references and a good index but relatively few photographs or diagrams.
There are frequent mentions of useful websites for further information, (including that of the
authors, so the book is even more useful if the reader has ready access
to the internet.

Original review, printed in Aroha Volume 11 Number 1

The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk
By Diana West and Lisa Marasco
McGraw-Hill, New York, USA, 2008
Reviewed by Rosemary Gordon, LLLNZ

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Hold Your Prem

Hold Your Prem is a really valuable book that should be compulsory reading for all paediatricians
and NICU/SCBU staff who are often overly focused on what the machines are telling them the
baby is doing, rather than the baby himself. It is indeed “a practical workbook” which is very well
organised both in terms of chapter order and within the individual chapters themselves.
This book will also be of immeasurable value to the mothers (and fathers) who find they are
involved in a premature birth experience. Pregnant women who come to our meetings may well
have prem babies and could borrow the book if and when they need it. Others may like to read
about prem babies just in case they ever need the information. Others may have had a prem baby
and want to arm themselves with more information in case it happens again.

Original review, printed in Aroha Volume 14 Number 2
A fuller review of Hold Your Prem can be found in Breastfeeding Communiqué 2011

Hold Your Prem
Jill Bergman, with Dr Nils Bergman
New Voices, Cape Town, 2010
Reviewed by Isobel Fanshawe, Robin Jones Greif and Averil Sheehan,

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Hirkani’s Daughters

Hirkani’s Daughters
Women Who Scale Modern Mountains to Combine Breastfeeding and Working

The unusual title derives from an Indian tale from the 1600s of a milkmaid, Hirkani, who one day
delivered milk to the royal fort, high on a mountain. At dusk the gates to the fort were closed for
security reasons, and Hirkani was trapped in the fort, with her baby waiting in the village below.
Determined to return to him, she climbed down a vertical 1000 ft cliff to get back to her village.
The king was so impressed that he honoured her, and even today, the village is still called Hirkani
I found myself involved and amazed from start to finish of this book. Many of the stories tell of
women so determined to breastfeed that they went to great lengths and made many sacrifices to
succeed – sometimes with support and other times with none. Also fascinating was the
information about support available in different countries for breastfeeding mothers in paid work.
Many countries have much better legislation and conditions than does New Zealand, where a big
gap exists in that there is no provision for breastfeeding breaks, let alone paid breaks. By contrast
for example, in Slovenia, where 67% of women are in the paid work force, and where the birth
rate is extremely low, there are 365 days of paid parental leave and the mother can use an hour a
day for feeding or expressing, plus there are many other child-friendly benefits.
There is also a section on Breastfeeding-Friendly Employers. Would that all employers were like
the ones mentioned here! For example, I can’t imagine anyone ever wanting to leave the SAS
Corporation in North Carolina, where employees have access to lactation experts, a lactation room
with breast pumps, childbirth and breastfeeding classes, a company-wide recognition of World
Breastfeeding Week, an on-site Montessori daycare centre, and where mothers are paged when
their babies need feeding and can use the breastfeeding lounge any time of day!
There is a New Zealand connection with Hirkani’s Daughters – Dr Judith Galtry has written a
Foreword and Sarah Farquhar, an early childhood educator from Wellington, tells her story. Some
of you may remember their session from the 2004 LLLNZ Conference, which Sarah mentions
favourably in her story.
If you want a book that is full of the ‘how tos’ of combining breastfeeding and working, then this is
not the book for you. Try Nursing Mother, Working Mother by Gale Pryor instead. Although
Hirkani’s Daughters does have a brief section at the end called ‘What Working Mothers Need to
Know’ which contains handy hints, and although there are good ideas contained in each story, the
focus of this book is really on the amazing and inspiring stories of real women from all around the
world who have “scaled modern mountains to combine breastfeeding and working.”

Original review, printed in Aroha Volume 14 Number 1

Hirkani’s Daughters
Women Who Scale Modern Mountains to Combine Breastfeeding and Working
Edited by Jennifer Hicks
La Leche League International, Schaumburg, USA, 2006
Reviewed by Rosemary Gordon, LLLNZ

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Breastfeeding with Confidence – A do-it-yourself guide

Breastfeeding with Confidence – A do-it-yourself guide

This book is described by the publisher as a new edition of Sue Cox’s previous book, Breastfeeding:
I Can Do That, but it is much more than a revision – more of an extensive re-ordering, some rewriting
and the addition of more material, including mother’s breastfeeding stories. It now runs to
almost 200 pages, and has an index.
There is a good section on preparing for the realities of life with a new baby, but the bulk of the
book is really concerned with getting started with breastfeeding in the early few days and weeks.
It covers breastfeeding after a Caesarean, kangaroo care, engorgement, too much milk, sore
nipples and breasts, positioning, medications and more. Only the final 20 pages or so look at
issues after three months – returning to work, a subsequent pregnancy, and a brief look at
As with Breastfeeding: I Can Do That there are no photos, although there are a number of quite
cute line drawings, which I found easy to follow. There are no specific references to LLL or ABA –
just to generic ‘breastfeeding support groups’ and ‘your breastfeeding counsellor’, and the only
mention of LLL is under Contacts, where LLLI is listed. This may well be because this book is aimed
more at an international market rather than the Australasian one.
This book is approved for Group Libraries, as it fills the niche left by Breastfeeding: I Can Do That.
It will appeal especially to health professionals such as lactation consultants, as it will be a good
book to lend to clients during pregnancy and immediately after birth.

Original review, printed in Aroha Volume 8 Number 4

Breastfeeding with Confidence – A do-it-yourself guide
By Sue Cox
Finch Publishing, Sydney, 2004
Reviewed by Rosemary Gordon, LLLNZ


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Breastfeeding an Adopted Baby and Relactation

This would be a good initial book for women to read if they are thinking about breastfeeding an
adopted baby, if only to help them decide whether or not induced lactation is for them. The
author doesn’t pretend that adoptive breastfeeding is easy, nor that there is any guarantee of
success. She counsels that it is better to want to do it for the skin-to-skin contact, better hand-eye
coordination and good facial and jaw development than for the best nutrition, prevention of
allergies, the simplicity of breastfeeding, or as the only way to bond with an adopted baby. While
there are reported instances of women in developing countries building up a full supply of breast
milk for their adopted babies, this is rarer in developed countries – or maybe in countries where
breastfeeding is still not the cultural norm.
The book covers topics such as how lactation works, preparing for adoptive breastfeeding, the
effectiveness or otherwise of various galactagogues, supplementing, special situations (such as
breastfeeding adopted multiples, tandem nursing and breastfeeding a foster baby), and where to
get support for adoptive breastfeeding.
As this is an English edition of a German book, published by LLLI, many of the resources are US
ones, in particular the list of milk banks (there are currently no milk banks in New Zealand),
although the other resources do include web pages which are accessible to all.

Original review, printed in Aroha Volume 9 Number 3

Breastfeeding an Adopted Baby and Relactation
By Elizabeth Hormann
La Leche League International, USA, 2006
Reviewed by Rosemary Gordon, LLLNZ

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