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The Complete Book of Breastfeeding

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  220 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
With over one and a half million trade and mass-market paperback copies in print, The Complete Book of Breastfeeding is one of the recognized classics in its field. Now it has been completely revised and updated, and dovetails perfectly with the recent major policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six m ...more
Paperback, Third Edition, 413 pages
Published January 2nd 1999 by Workman Publishing Company (first published January 1st 1972)
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Community Reviews

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Angela Alcorn
There's a lot of outdated information in this book, I'm sure. For instance, I don't know that current medical professionals would recommend drinking cocktails or beer just before breastfeeding!

There's also a lot of information that's really only relevant to the early 70s and attitudes at the time. Although, these attitudes do go through cycles, so maybe its time will come again. There's certainly a lot of information provided specifically to allow a woman to defend her decision to breastfeed. T
Very informative, but take with a grain of salt. Some of the chapters are so militant about breastfeeding that it is excessive. For example:
* Don't take the free formula from the hospital because you might use it in a moment of weakness (uh, no, I can give it to the daycare because we have to have a can of formula for backup)
* If you're not producing enough milk, you don't have enough support from the people around you.
* If you're stressed out about not producing enough milk, it's your support g
Dec 02, 2014 Kerry rated it it was ok
This book was published in the 90's and it felt a little outdated. There were sections about toughening your nipples, which I have been told time and time again that this is not necessary (I think it is something that used to be recommended). I ended up skimming some of the chapters and I felt that I got a lot more useful information from the book, Mothering Multiples.
Breon Randon
This book is pretty much what it represents itself to be- everything you can think about in regards to breastfeeding. Want to know how to fly while feeding? Check. What kind of clothes to wear? Check. Advice
On solid food introduction- right here. I was a bit disappointed in the lack of pumping info for exclusive pumpers, since it's a legitimate form of breast feeding. There was some info, but could do more to comfort women who ep. Especially in regards to clogs. Also thought there would be more
Bad Penny
Jun 22, 2014 Bad Penny rated it liked it
I read the older version (1987) and I know which info is still current and what is incorrect, but I should probably read the latest. I certainly hope some of the language has changed and there isn't so much crap like "fulfilling your birthright" as a woman by having babies, or wanting to "give of yourself to your husband." Ugh.
Jan 05, 2014 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of the 2 or 3 breastfeeding books I looked at, this one was my favorite. It covered the most topics and was most down-to-Earth. It also goes into good details and logistics, something that I appreciated. And while it was very definitely "breast is best" it didn't feel like it beat that over the head to the extent others I read did. Instead, it focused on how the generations that favored formula meant we lost a bit of the community support for breastfeeding, both in terms of society and in terms ...more
Mar 19, 2015 Savannah rated it liked it
Contains some helpful information and resources. I wouldn't follow all of the advice in the book, but did pick up a few things that I think will be helpful to know.
Elyse Russell
Apr 21, 2015 Elyse Russell rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I read the 4th edition of this book, which is more up-to-date. I found it very informative and easy to absorb.
Mar 19, 2015 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sure I will refer back to this once I'm actually breastfeeding, but I feel more prepared after reading it.
Rhiannon Schade
Feb 25, 2015 Rhiannon Schade rated it it was amazing
Extremely comprehensive guide.
Feb 08, 2016 Mel rated it really liked it
Read the 4th edition, which seems to be much improved from previous reviews. I found it quite comprehensive, though did skip some chapters I wasn't interested in.
Jun 12, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing
I got this book for a friend of mine who was considering breastfeeding and I just had to read it because I had trouble when I breastfed my children. I sure don't plan on having any more children, but I do wish I would have had this book to refer to when I was nursing my babies! It covers just about everything an expectant or nursing mother needs to know about breastfeeding and answers many more questions some may not even consider asking. Great book! I highly recommend it!
Mar 10, 2009 Zoe rated it really liked it
Recommended to Zoe by: Melissa Burns
I didn't read this book cover to cover, but read large chunks and used it as a reference the first several weeks post-partum every time something confusing or frustrating would come up regarding breastfeeding (which was often!). It answered almost all of my questions in a clear and balanced way. I only wish it had more info on mixing bottle feeding with breastfeeding, and breastfeeding issues for non-newborns (this is in there, but not covered in depth).
Imperfectlyrua Castle-Hackett
This is a great resource, lots of good information with little dogma attached, for those who find the Womanly Art to be a little over the top. I do have one caveat, however. The nutrition information is out of date which makes me think this book needs another revision.

(The Womanly Art is also a fantastic resource with a better nutrition section, but the writing can come across as a little over enthusiastic at times.)
Apr 10, 2012 Steph rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all moms
This book helped me finally be able to nurse. It gave good advice without making me give up or feel bad. I belive all moms who wish to nurse should read it. I was not able to nurse my first 3 children for long. But my 4th I made it to 11 moths before baby selfweaned. This book made it possible.
May 20, 2008 Kim rated it it was amazing
My mother-in-law gave me this book in the hospital. One of the things in my life that I am proudest of is that I breastfed my daughter. I gave her life, and I sustained her. It was not easy, but it was worth it. Our bond is stronger because of that, and my daughter is healthier.
I attended a nursing class and read this after that. I found it reinforced some of the ideas the nurse had spoken about. I skimmed over large chunks though. Still a good read for those wanting to understand positions and latching techniques.
Sep 18, 2009 Jessi rated it liked it
I didn't actually read this book cover to cover. I read most of it, though. I didn't actually learn anything that I hadn't already gleaned from the breastfeeding community on livejournal, but I did find it a very good breastfeeding resource.
Informative read without being overly judgmental or too touchy-feely. I feel a lot more confident about breastfeeding after having read this. I'm sure it will be a frequent reference once the baby is born.
Jan 12, 2011 Alisha rated it it was amazing
Well I haven't been very active in reading fiction books because I've been reading pregnancy/breastfeeding/parenting books for about a year now. Thankfully, I'm getting back into reading for pleasure again.
Apr 17, 2009 Courtney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best breastfeeding book EVER!!! The most complete, informative, and helpful book for every question that I had. The only book you need when it comes to breastfeeding.
Heather J
Oct 23, 2007 Heather J rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Moms to be
All you need to know about breastfeeding in one book! I prefer this book to "The Nursing Mother's Companion." There is better information and overall organization with this book.
Jan 22, 2010 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting, baby
The best breastfeeding book ever. Good for new mom's and seasoned mom's alike. Covers all kinds of problems that can occur.
Apr 04, 2008 Jordan rated it really liked it
Yes....yet another breastfeeding book. This one is definitely geared towards the mom.
Jul 30, 2011 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative for women who are thinking of breastfeeding!
Mar 03, 2008 Christie rated it it was amazing
An excellent resource.
Madhulika D
Madhulika D rated it really liked it
Jun 13, 2016
Jackie marked it as to-read
Jun 13, 2016
Angel rated it it was amazing
Jun 08, 2016
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