Baby-Led Breastfeeding

The co-authors of the very popular Baby-Led Weaning have now turned their attention to BabyLed
Breastfeeding. Could this be the start of a series of Baby-Led books, one wonders?
On the whole, this book is advocating a more simplistic approach to breastfeeding – no
complicated positioning, no marketing of must-have products, good information on milk
production, some realistic concerns and what you may expect to happen at different stages.
Rather than telling mothers what they should be doing with their babies, the authors take the
point of view that by following their baby’s leads about what they need to do to successfully
breastfeed, things will pretty much work out on their own.
The information about breastfeeding after six months and baby-led introduction of solids
increases the usefulness of this book over many others. Many breastfeeding guides give good
advice about starting breastfeeding, but very few (other than The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding)
have much to say on feeding older babies/young children or such great guidance on how to go
about baby-led weaning.
One reviewer felt that the discussion on nipple shields seems to be dismissive, as the authors state
that nipple shields rarely help and while some may be able to breastfeed with them, they are
“best avoided” This doesn’t seem very helpful if someone is struggling and needing some
glimmer of hope that they may work.
There are key points at the end of the chapters, along with bullet points at intervals, making it
easier for grasping the basics and the important information. These parts may be all the busy
mother has time to read. There are inserts from “real mothers” and there are some wonderful
photos, many illustrating how to achieve a good latch and a variety of breastfeeding holds and
positions, including twins and tandem feeding.
Because this is a UK publication, the reference list is not very useful for New Zealand mothers, but
La Leche League is referred to in the text as a useful source of help. Somewhat surprisingly, the
only New Zealand resource mentioned is the Ministry of Health’s website breastfeeding link. There
is also a grid chart at the end of the book, which could act as a quick guide as to what to expect at
different ages, what to do and when to seek help.
Overall this is a basic guide to making breastfeeding an enjoyable experience and an achievable
goal for mothers and their babies. It would be a valuable addition to our Group Libraries.

Original review, printed in Aroha Volume 15 Number 6

Baby-Led Breastfeeding
By Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett
Vermilion, London, 2012
Reviewed by Robin Jones Greif and Averil Sheehan, LLLNZ


Continue ReadingBaby-Led Breastfeeding