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Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  996 Ratings  ·  139 Reviews
Breastfeeding is natural, but it's not always easy. It is the biological norm, but it is not the cultural norm. By learning the seven basic principles in this book, mothers can dramatically increase their likelihood of success and make breastfeeding the enjoyable experience it should be. The seven laws taught in Breast Feeding Made Simple are easy for mothers to understand ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published October 15th 2005 by New Harbinger Publications (first published September 15th 2005)
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Aug 11, 2016 Mercury1122 rated it it was ok
Shelves: parenting
Positive comments: I feel informed about the mechanics of breastfeeding and equipped with some solid troubleshooting strategies after reading the book.
Negative comments: I specifically searched breastfeeding books by reviews that used the words "nonjudgmental" and chose this book as a result. Definitely not the case. The first couple of chapters are full of entirely unnecessary statistics related to how not breastfeeding will lead to a horrible life for your child and then follows up with a chap
My five stars are based entirely on my first reading of this. I have yet to apply anything I've learned or try out any trouble-shooting. But I like the way it is organized and I liked that it keeps reiterating that most problems can be solved in most cases, which I find encouraging...the acknowledgement that this probably won't always be easy or fun, but is important, and here are solutions so don't be too quick to give up.

I'll likely have other sources of help along the way, but I do feel empo
Oct 06, 2007 Jenna rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mothers, expectant mothers
This is a MUST HAVE for your breastfeeding library. It is positive in tone and filled with pertinent information. This book promotes the necessity of a good latch and how that latch can have an effect on the length of breastfeeding and other problematic issues. While this book accentuates the positives (for child) of breastfeeding, it doesn't make you feel like dirt for choosing to wean early. It gives clear information on the health risks of sudden and abrupt weaning but it discusses ALL of the ...more
Jun 11, 2014 Susan rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction-adult
I had a few issues with this book to say the least.

First of all, there appears to be a disconnect with the intended audience. I picked up this book as a reader who has already chosen this option and needed guidance on how to make this work. The title, Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers implies that it's for women who have already made this decision. And yet...the book keeps bogging itself down in research and statistics about why women should choose breastfeeding.
Jan 06, 2015 Kari rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, nonfiction
While this is a really helpful book with the basics of breastfeeding (getting started, maintaining and troubleshooting), I wish the authors had just stuck to that. It seems like a book where they would be addressing women who've decided to breastfeed or at least make a solid attempt at it. Yet I found them constantly trying to convince the reader this is the best method of supplying nutrition to babies.

Also, they slam the reader in the first few dozen pages about the importance of breastfeeding
Nov 01, 2009 jacky rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who needs to know more than the basics
I saw this on many people's parenting shelves so I got it through interlibrary loan through Lewiston.

Previously, I had read the first part of the Breastfeeding Companion as well as sections on breastfeeding in many the other books, magazines, and pamphlets. All those other sources repeated a lot of the same information. This book, however, gave me new information. It really did help me to understand how the mechanics of breastfeeding actually work - things like you naturally make less milk in t
Jan 10, 2009 Kelly rated it really liked it
This has got to be the best compendium of information just about breastfeeding. I've referred to this several times already during my daughter's first nine days. I found the details about the first week of breastfeeding, specifically how frequently to feed and how long feeds can take, to be of particular interest so far. I expect that the info on increasing milk supply and expressing will come in handy in the subsequent weeks.
Aug 31, 2012 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellently researched and unbiased. This book's information came from study after study about nursing and was presented in a way that encouraged readers to take the information and use it to make the best decisions they could to meet their personal breastfeeding goals. It's one of the few books of this type (birthing/nursing/parenting) that had no undertones of superiority or guilt. I would recommend it to any mother.
Rosely De
Jun 11, 2012 Rosely De rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked reading this book, it truly helped me prepare for all the challenges I could and would potentialky run into during breastfeeding. I am super glad I decided early on in my pregnancy to read this book rather than read up on my current state ( just being pregnant, week 35, lol!) it helped me separate fact from fiction as you hear a lot of opinions about breastfeeding, especially from those people that never made a concsious effort...
Oct 13, 2016 Tessa rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
If your brain works like mine, I'd recommend reading this book while pregnant and not while in the thick of figuring out how to breastfeed. That way you have lots of good information to draw on, but you don't start overthinking every aspect of nursing and your brain can get on to overthinking something else related to your newborn.

This book has a definite bias against medical science/interventions, but aside from that it had some good information and strategies to improve breastfeeding.
Bridget Jeffries
Nov 27, 2014 Bridget Jeffries rated it really liked it
This book came recommended by my doula and I have to say, I liked it quite a lot. As I browsed breastfeeding book reviews on Amazon, I got worried because I saw several that seemed to take a rather judgmental perspective on breastfeeding mothers who work. I consider the breadwinner-SAHP model to be so myopic and divorced from the reality of such a large swath of human experience throughout history, it’s amazing to me that people can still promote it with a straight face–let alone try and guilt w ...more
Aug 01, 2011 jacky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baby-parenting, 2011
I read segments of the first edition when Natalie was several weeks old, then I scooped up my own copy (with the original intent of giving it away) when Boarder's was going out of business. With William's birth about a month away, I decided it was time for a breastfeeding refresher.

I love this book. I feel it is a must read for anyone having a baby, though I know that's unrealistic. At minimum, its a must read for anyone planning to breastfeed for any length of time. Here's why:
* It breaks brea
May 09, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, parenting
This book came recommended by my doula, and I found it very helpful. I wish that I had read it *before* the baby came so that I'd be more prepared, but I read it when my baby was about 5 weeks old and still found it quite useful. The book has a very positive and encouraging tone. I specifically chose this book because I anticipated that it would take a non-judgmental approach to working moms, and I found this to be the case.

Some reviewers have commented that the first couple chapters of the book
Jan 17, 2015 Shoshanah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost sat down to write this review while in labor waiting to leave for the hospital. But then decided my last few moments at home without a baby could be better spend. (I guess I'm not that dedicated of a blogger.) In a way it's probably better this way, now that I'm able to give my point of view from the other side, where I've actually been able to apply its advice.

Like many parenting books I've read so far, this feels quite repetitive. But again, I'm sure it's that way intentionally to get
Katherine Parker
Sep 19, 2008 Katherine Parker rated it it was amazing
Shelves: breeder-books
This is the BEST BEST breastfeeding book. I would give it 10 stars if I could. It truly does make it simple. If you are thinking about breastfeeding, or if you are doing it currently, this is a must-read.

Throw out your clock, throw out your feeding chart and those silly pins to put on your bra so you can remember which side you nursed on last. The authors emphasize that if you pay attention to your body and your baby, they will tell you everything you need to know to be a successful nursing coup
Mary Anne Brady
Apr 18, 2016 Mary Anne Brady rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had a lot of great information and the concepts were well explained (sometimes to the point of being repetitive). The most informative part for me was the explanation of "breast storage capacity" and what a huge factor that is in how often your own baby will nurse and how long he or she will sleep during the night between feedings. There truly is not a "right" pattern and many moms get so discouraged if their babies aren't sleeping in as long of stretches as others' babies, but many ha ...more
Dec 27, 2010 Tina rated it it was amazing
When I was pregnant with my 2nd baby I purchased this book. I wish I had bought this book with my 1st baby. Even though I nursed my 1st baby for 6 months, this book taught me so much! What was most useful was information on how to make sure your milk supply is adequate in the first 2 weeks after the baby is born. Basically you have to nurse/pump 8-12 times a day. This is what I did and it worked. It was hard work but you just have to keep at it for 2 weeks. Also it has a useful discussion of how ...more
Mar 01, 2015 Natalie rated it liked it
I read this before my first child but reread as a refresher. This book was really helpful to me in understanding what kind of expectations to have about breastfeeding and how to maintain my milk supply the first year of life. What I don't love about this book in reading it the second time is that there's very little acknowledgement / support for some women who can't breastfeed, no matter how much they want to. I've had some really good friends struggle through this after exhausting the resources ...more
Jul 01, 2009 Nadya rated it liked it
Shelves: baby-books, reference
This was my first and for a long time the only breastfeeding reference I used. It got me off to a good start with some good advice on basics. However, it also did a few bad favours for me (looking back at 5 months of experience).

I am referring to the chapter about Small and Large Storage Capacity. I now find that it is way too digital. While the authors discourage trying to estimate how much milk a mother has (e.g. by pumping), they talk hours and ounces in too much detail. In the end I found t
Nov 17, 2009 Bianca rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: mama's
well, it's everything you could ever want to know about breast feeding without someone actually doing it for let's hope it all works out. Now, just need the baby to practice on ;O)

Read this book in May of 2009, I am revising this review as of November 2009:

I can truly say now that I have the "baby to practice with" that this book is nothing more than brainwashing. There are no alternate options, no pep talks for those of us that are not successful with breast feeding. This book just as
Oct 19, 2009 Tara rated it it was amazing
I went with the great reviews on Amazon before purchasing this book (a few weeks prior to my first daughter's birth).

I'm so glad that I (mostly) read this book before embarking on the adventure/challenge that is breastfeeding. I knew that I wanted to give my daughter what was best for her, and the advice/general teaching in this book helped me to do so. We had a few difficult weeks in the beginning, though I'm very grateful that I had the knowledge and support to make it through that rough time
Feb 10, 2013 Carissa rated it liked it
I bought this book in preparation of having my first child and never got around to reading it. After a disastrous breastfeeding experience, I decided to read this before the arrival of my second child. I already knew much of the information presented. I found the book to be repetitive at times and at other times, lacking in practical application. For example, while the author spent an entire chapter on the importance of skin-to-skin contact, there was little advice on how to implement this impor ...more
Lisa Hacker
May 05, 2012 Lisa Hacker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read for mothers or mothers-to-be who want to breastfeed and looking for an arsenal of information to boost your confidence. it's less a step-by-step guide and more an exploration of the science and philosophy behind breastfeeding. The authors have an obvious agenda (get as many new mothers to exclusively breastfeed, at least for the first 6 months, as humanly possible), but the tone is not pushy or judge-y, they do account for many real-life factors (including returning to work) that ...more
Christy Ford
Aug 06, 2016 Christy Ford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
This book is a HUGELY comprehensive overview of what 'normal' is for breastfeeding. Even for someone who grew up around breastfeeding, there were still some significant surprises. She also did a great job explaining why things work the way they do rather than just passing out fiats, which is a big issue with me.

The author clearly has a bias, but I feel she does a good job not being judgmental about it, continually offering compromise solutions, and reiterating that doing some is better than doin
Jun 25, 2008 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
I had owned this book for a while and only used it as a reference. I was looking up a specific subject and realized how much I enjoyed the book, so I started reading it cover to cover. I think that since it's a newer book, it may not be as popular as other breastfeeding guides on the market. But not only does this book offer practical advice, I really relish the tone much more than the other breastfeeding guide that I own. The authors delve into the history of breastfeeding (the rise of formula, ...more
Sep 08, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
I finished reading this book right before giving birth, and I'm so glad I picked it up. I had no idea that breastfeeding would be so challenging, and this book provided practical, easy-to-understand guidelines and advice for how to breastfeed successfully. My husband and I have also referred to it numerous times since our son arrived. I appreciate that the information is presented in a clear and non-judgmental way, and that the author tries to show how breastfeeding does not have to be as compli ...more
Jan 07, 2015 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was helpful in demonstrating the advantages in breast feeding, as well as giving solid, helpful information about the mechanics of it all. I did feel that it was quite repetitive in certain parts, and probably could have been condensed down to a much shorter book. While I didn't agree with all of their philosophies (for instance, they advocate demand feeding - and co-sleeping, which I felt was pretty irresponsible as they didn't list all of the risks and deaths associated with co-sleep ...more
May 15, 2016 Megan rated it really liked it
A solid how-to manual for breastfeeding moms, this book is all about taking things back to basics. Most breastfeeding-related challenges stem from a few very basic sources, and this book arms moms with the tools they need to correct course as needed and/or point the ship in the right direction from the get go. After reading this book, I feel empowered to breastfeed, and even get back on track if and when I make a few mistakes along the way.

Note: This book is very clearly for mothers/mothers-to-
Nov 15, 2013 Hilary rated it really liked it
Good read - learned a lot. Even though there is repetition between breast feeding books, some of the information was presented slightly differently in this book so I was able to take away a bit of a different view point, or just extra tidbit that I didn't pick up in other presentations. Well written, easy to read. At the back of the book they also have a section on various mother or baby based challenges (eg. depression, chronic illness, special needs kids) and their influence on breastfeeding a ...more
Jessica McFarland
A good, informational text, but very anti-medical establishment. Extremely down on formula, giving you the impression that it will definitely give your child allergies or cancer. Not particularly helpful for those who aren't prepared or able to be full time SAHMs, but I'm not in that category. It's nice to read that many of the things that people say just normally happen with breastfeeding (pain and bleeding nipples, for example), are actually not normal and caused by improper latch among other ...more
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What's this Rated? 1 8 Dec 07, 2008 09:39PM  
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Dr. Kendall-Tackett is a health psychologist and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She is a Research Associate, and Affiliate Research Associate Professor of Psychology, specializing in women’s health at the Family Research Lab, University of New Hampshire. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in Health Psychology and Trauma Psychology, editor of the Family & ...more
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