I was keen to read this new book by Spanish paediatrician Carlos González as I have enjoyed his earlier work My Child Won’t Eat!: How to enjoy mealtimes without worry and Kiss Me!: How to Raise Your Children with Love. This one did not disappoint and made for a very entertaining read. The author has a very chatty style of writing and enjoys throwing in some sarcasm and entertaining analogies as a way to dispel popular myths. Sometimes he will just go for the straight talking approach:
“So get the idea out of your head that by eating more and better food and drinking a lot of liquid you will secrete more milk”1
“There is a curious myth that fillings are toxic and it is dangerous to have a tooth filled while breastfeeding. This is complete nonsense”.
It is a very useful book for a pregnant or breastfeeding mum to read. The author covers all the main questions a new mother might have including the basics of milk production, routine problems, going back to work, whether you can take medications, alcohol, smoke, dye your hair, or exercise while breastfeeding.
As far as accuracy of information goes, there are just a very few points that I would query below (because there are constantly changes in breastfeeding research and recommendations).
- For the latest information on breastfeeding and HIV I would direct the reader to Section 3 of the WABA HIV Kit, available online which also discusses the place of antiretroviral (ART) drugs being able to bring the mothers viral load down to undetectable levels and the implication this has for breastfeeding. The current WHO recommendations are to mix-feed from 6 – 12 months while mother receives ART, and when breastfeeding is stopped it should be done over 4 weeks.
- I was surprised at the suggestion to ‘thicken milk on a spoon with cereal’ for a baby refusing a bottle although it wasn’t too clear at what age the baby might be as this was in the back to work section. Some mothers return to work quite early and they will want to know that exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months is the recommendation.
- It is generally accepted to gently swirl breastmilk to mix up the fat layer rather than ‘give a good shake’, so some may question this. However “not shaking” may be a myth in itself; this article 2 questions this and makes interesting reading.
- Not all sources agree that codeine page 251 is suitable for a breastfeeding mother (see Breastfeeding Network’s statement on codeine July 2013).
Apart from these few points I would still recommend this book because it is such an easy and entertaining read and I would still put it in my top four after The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers and Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding