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Dr. Jen's Guide to Breastfeeding: Meet Your Breastfeeding Goals by Understanding Your Body and Your Baby.

Dr. Jen's Guide to Breastfeeding: Meet Your Breastfeeding Goals by Understanding Your Body and Your Baby

by Dr. Jennifer Thomas

Hale Publishing, L.P.

2012; 166 pages; $13.46

Dr. Jen's guide covers a multitude of topics that empower mothers by giving them education to make informed decisions on breastfeeding, sleep patterns, parental rights, and many more issues. She does this in a three part process, part i: breastfeeding success in 7 steps, part 2: common questions and problems with solutions, and part 3: advocating for breastfeeding mothers. This set up allows for the reader to enjoy the book from front to back but also organized where a busy or exhausted mom, parent, or professional could turn to a specific topic and get the immediate answer they need in that moment. This could help a mother worried about her baby getting enough milk, a mother returning to work needing pumping advice, or a professional researching Vitamin D supplementation. All topics are listed by both a table of contents, but also an index allowing for quick research into specific topics needing quick answers. The back includes tables and benchmarks for mom and baby for the first week of life and resources if those standards are not being met, leaving very little guesswork for mom and the professionals caring for them.

Dr. Jen does a fantastic job of taking the complexities of the mechanics of breastfeeding and providing them in laymen's terms to help the reader that may not be familiar with medical jargon understand the processes while maintaining the integrity of those who are. She not only empowers the mother but also the healthcare professional to understand their role in the process of birth to breastfeeding, to sleep patterns, warning signs that things may be going awry, and when to back up and not have an opinion that could be detrimental to a mother's success. She cautions both mother and healthcare professionals of the number games many find themselves in. The number of feedings, the number of minutes at the breast, the number of billirubin in the blood, the amount of sugar in the blood, the amount of weight baby has lost or gained. Dr. Jen goes into depth of these major scare factors that she calls, "The Three B's: Bilirubin, Blood Sugar, and Birthweight," for the healthcare professional and mom, giving guides of what to watch for and which to ignore. Dr. Jen encourages active participation in education from all parties involved in handling moms from those first delicate hours after delivery to the introduction of solids many months later and beyond in the journey of child-rearing. She challenges cultural practices and opinions including topics such as; self soothing, introduction of rice cereal, and the objectification of breasts.

The approach is light and fun enough for the non professional to read and also enticing and complex enough for professionals to learn as well! I recommend this book for moms wanting to understand the complex beauty that their bodies are capable of when breastfeeding, or for the healthcare professional wishing to extend their education or learn how to help advocate for this community.

reviewed by Amy V Oaks, RN BSN CLC

Amy is a RN with a passion for helping and advocating for breastfeeding mothers. She breastfed her two children with varying experiences and success and worked with underprivileged women and children through WIC as a breastfeeding peer counselor.
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Author:Oaks, Amy V.
Publication:International Journal of Childbirth Education
Article Type:Book review
Date:Apr 1, 2016
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