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


Continue ReadingBreastfeeding with Confidence – A do-it-yourself guide

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

Continue ReadingBreastfeeding an Adopted Baby and Relactation

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

Attached at the Heart

Attached at the Heart is written by the co-founders of Attachment Parenting International (API),
who began their parenting with LLL and first learned about attachment parenting from the books
of William Sears. Thus the book is an excellent fit with LLL philosophy. It not only discusses
breastfeeding as the optimal feeding method for babies, but also talks about breastfeeding in the
context of developing healthy relationships and becoming attuned to our babies by responding to
feeding cues and being in close physical proximity. Weaning ‘gradually, with love’ is encouraged.
Starting solids is mentioned, along with LLL philosophy – almost word for word – of nutritious food
being in as close to its natural state as possible. The chapter on positive discipline fits with LLL
philosophy around loving guidance.

It covers API’s Eight Principles of Parenting:
1. Prepare yourself for pregnancy, birth and parenting
2. Feed with love and respect
3. Respond with sensitivity
4. Use nurturing touch
5. Ensure safe sleep – physically and emotionally
6. Provide consistent, loving care
7. Practice positive discipline
8. Strive for balance in your personal and family life.

One reviewer mentioned Chapters 7 and 8 in particular. In Chapter 7 the authors list their top 25
tips (pp 225-240) for practising positive discipline. This list is extensive, understandable and
practical. Many families will also appreciate Chapter 8, ‘Strive for Balance in your personal and
family life’. We know that many well meaning friends or family may recommend separation from
our babies as a healthy choice for ‘me time’. This chapter offers much support for our style of
parenting while respecting the needs of our children and again offers many practical ideas. There
is also a section on the myths and facts about attachment parenting and Appendix B is a list of 12
questions for parental self-reflection. This is a wonderful tool for assisting parents to really
understand themselves and their behaviours and is highly recommended to all parents-to-be.

The book is written in an easy-to-read style. It has extensive references and a long list of
recommended reading, including many familiar books from our Group Libraries. It is highly
recommended by both reviewers for inclusion in Group Libraries and could also be of interest to
health professionals. Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker have done a beautiful job of articulating
the philosophy, offering practical suggestions and encouraging us to connect with our own hearts
while trusting our instincts as parents.

Original review, printed in Aroha Volume 13 Number 6

Attached at the Heart – 8 Proven Principles for Raising Connected and Compassionate Children 
Barbara Nicolson and Lysa Parker, USA 2009
Reviewed by Donna Henderson and Connor Kelly
Combined review by Rosemary Gordon, LLLNZ Book Review Convenor

Continue ReadingAttached at the Heart

An Introduction to Biological Nurturing – New Angles on Breastfeeding


The author (a mother of three breastfed babies, LLL Leader and midwife) states this book is “a new
approach to breastfeeding”, and its approach is very different to the usual teaching breastfeeding
management styles that have been in practice for some years now. Contrary to complicated
instructions that some women find confusing (put this hand there, the other here, do this, do
that), Colson advocates suggesting women lie in a semi-reclining position, place their babies on
their abdomens and let the babies do the rest themselves.

This book arose from the author’s PhD thesis, when she identified what she termed “primitive
neonatal reflexes”, which are a wider array of newborn reflexes than those routinely recognised.
These both encourage and facilitate correct attachment (so avoiding the sore nipples that are
common in mother-directed breastfeeding positions that work against gravity).

Colson makes a convincing case, using both maternal and neonatal physiology to demonstrate the
advantages of this approach. Opening up the maternal torso by assuming a semi-reclining position
allows a greater surface area for a display of newborn behaviours that allows self-attachment to
occur and also has an effect on a mother’s behavioural state, which moves from “thinking,
concentrating or worrying to relaxation” (p. 99).

I appreciated her point that right after birth, the aim should not be having a ‘settled’ baby, but
having a baby that has made a successful transition from foetus to newborn. Colson maintains
that babies who cry when placed in a cot are not so often hungry as not in the right place to make
this transition, which is next to mum.

The author asserts that breastfeeding is not a skill like learning to ride a bike or drive a car (as it is
frequently compared to), as these are learned activities that are enhancements, not essentials to a
healthy life. Rather, it is an activity akin to breathing and communication, as these are essentials
for a healthy relationship and lifestyle. By equating breastfeeding to a learned activity, Colson
claims that new mothers are left feeling helpless and vulnerable without expert guidance on how
to do this ‘right’.

Colson summarises the biological nurturing (BN) approach as one which allows an environment
that is conducive to releasing the primary breastfeeding hormones (oxytocin and prolactin) and
trusts mothers’ innate maternal behaviours and instincts that release baby behaviours that lead to

As many women don’t come to Series Meetings until after their babies are born, Colson
underscores a couple of points relevant to those past the newborn stage.
The first is the author’s contention that skin to skin contact is not an essential component of
successful breastfeeding. She correctly identifies this as being problematic for some mothers (well,
all mothers in public!) and asserts that based on her extensive video evidence all the elements of
BN come together successfully even when mothers and babies are lightly clad.

The second is she argues that this is not an all or nothing opportunity. If you have missed out on
biological nurturing in the first few days after birth, you and your baby can reconnect further
down the track by putting the principles into practice at a later time.

Although it is obvious that this book has emerged from a thesis, which may make parts of it heavy
going for some readers, I can see it being a useful reference for Leaders as well as a good read for
many mothers. This is not a huge book to get through; the main text is only 118 smallish pages.
There are numerous photos and drawings that serve to illustrate her points, an extensive
reference list, and a reasonable index.

Original review, printed in Aroha Volume 13 Number 3

An Introduction to Biological Nurturing – New Angles on Breastfeeding

By Susanne Colson
Hale Publishing, 2010
Reviewed by Robin Jones Greif , LLLNZ

Continue ReadingAn Introduction to Biological Nurturing – New Angles on Breastfeeding