The Nursing Mother's Companion: Revised Edition

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Product Description

The best-selling The Nursing Mother's Companion, now in its fully-updated fifth edition, will help you get off to a good start and guide you through the early months, covering all the basics of breastfeeding and including easy-reference "survival guides" for quick problem-solving. Since its original publication in 1986, more than 1 million nursing moms have relied on this classic guide.

Breastfeeding has major benefits for both you and your baby-- it provides the best nutrition (according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization), it saves money (on sick-baby doctor visits and formula and bottles), and it creates a unique bond between you and your child. Breastfeeding is not always easy, but with proper guidance and encouragement, you can overcome almost any challenge you may encounter and continue to breastfeed for as long as you choose.

Customer Reviews:

  • Informative
    I am expecting my first baby in July and purchased this book because I plan to breast feed & am doing as much research as possible on everything long before baby comes home. So far, I have only read the introduction & first chapter, which is applicable to someone months away from giving birth.
    I agree with other reviewers that the author is definitely biased towards breast-feeding, but, duh! Why would the "Nursing Mother's Companion" encourage bottle feeding formula, especially when it has been proven time & time again that nursing is best for baby AND mother?
    I would recommend this book to any of my friends considering nursing....more info
  • Knowledge is power!
    Thinking about breastfeeding, or determined to breastfeed? Buy this book to learn the benefits and ins and outs of this natural feeding method! Great knowledge and an easy read!...more info
  • The most helpful book I own
    I bought several books about breastfeeding prior to my daughter's birth. I read them all, and paid little attention to this book, since it didn't offer "simple solutions" and "foolproof plans." After my baby was born, I found that learning to breastfeed was neither simple nor foolproof. For me and my baby, it was frustrating and sometimes difficult.

    This book accepted having a difficult start as a reality, and addressed all of the roadblocks that we encountered with our first weeks of breastfeeding. Every night, I would turn to this book, reading the survival guide section over and over again. Even though I was determined to continue breastfeeding, I sincerely appreciated that at the end of many chapters, the author encourages readers to give breastfeeding their best shot, and acknowledges that if it just doesn't work, you are still a good mother.

    Now, after 10 weeks, I can say that my daughter and I are in what the author calls the "reward period," where we both know what we are doing, and our time together breastfeeding is a special and happy time. I attribute my success in breastfeeding entirely to a good lactation consultant and this book (with no thanks to the other books I read.)
    ...more info
  • Actual useful advice!
    This book was by far the most useful nursing book I read (the others were the Sears book, the LLL book, and BF made simple). When I had a specific problem, this book actually gave a list of different things to do to try to resolve the problem - exactly what I wanted! -and there's always an accompanying discussion if you want know more. I would say this book is also the most clinical of the books, and I consider that a good thing. I (and I think most people who bother to buy a nursing book) know BF is a good choice before buying these books. I don't need a hard sell. This book simply lays out the facts in an easy to understand way. Highly recommended....more info
  • This book is great
    I got from my neighbor a small booklet that was based on this book. I was so impressed that I decided to buy the book and it really helped me. The language is clear and concise, and pretty much I learned a lot about breastfeeding from this book. ...more info
  • Good book to have in your pregnancy library.
    Hi! 8 years ago, my dad surprised me with this book and 3 others for my first pregnancy. I was trying to figure out if it was worth it or not to breastfeed. I was going to college, and my husband travels for a living. Needless to say, I went with breastfeeding. This book has come in handy, as we have run the gamot of problems. Each child had their own problem regarding breastfeeding, and instead of getting easier, each child was more of a challenge. We would look up feeding positions, spit-up, thrush, medications to use, mastitis, buying a breast pump...the whole lot. This has been a great reference book throughout my other 3 pregnancies. I have thrown out all but 4 books, and this is one of the 4. :D Also, I buy this, a pregnancy journal and the first Baby Blues collection for each of my pregnant friends for their first baby. :D Hope this helps a little!...more info
  • The Best How-To and Help book on Breast feeding
    The Nursing Mother's Companion Guide saved our nursing relationship.

    I can't recommend this book more. I buy a copy for every baby shower and encourage moms-to-be to read the book BEFORE they have the baby. There are so many trouble-shooting hints, problem-solving tips, with a comprehensive overview on what to expect when you're nursing. It's imperative that unless you have significant support (a mother or sisters who nursed exclusively and understand how it works) that you pick up a copy of this book.

    If you're ready to give up, if you've been given bad advice, if you're not sure how to even start, this book is for you. Read it as quickly as you can and keep it on your bedside table for fast reference....more info
  • Exceptional Guide for Nursing Mothers
    A thorough, knowledgeable, and compassionate approach to breastfeeding support. Helps new mothers prepare for the emotional and physical experience of breastfeeding a baby. Technical explanations and suggestions are clear and effective: e.g., positions for holding a nursing baby, baby's latch on the breast, nipple soreness, plugged ducts, introducing solids with older baby. My lactation consultant recommended, The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers by Jack Newman. Newman's book was great for technical information, but for everyday guidance, I liked The Nursing Mother's Companion better.

    It is an incredibly satisfying, amazing, and joyful thing to nurse your baby and see her or him grow and thrive on your breastmilk. However, it requires a strong committment and can be difficult at times, especially for the first 10 weeks. A guidebook like this one will help enormously. So will a supportive partner, social contacts with other nursing mothers, the La Leche League support groups, and a professional lactation consultant. You can do it! Enjoy your beautiful, breastfed baby!...more info
  • useful
    Contains helpful information. I bought it to learn how to heal my sore nipples and other information like that. I found it helpful but could be better...more info
  • Very useful!
    I bought this and read it near the end of my pregnancy. It's not as preachy as some other nursing books and the information is very good. I read the sections about nursing in the early days several times (and had my husband read it) found that the diagrams and information I'd learned here really were very helpful in getting her properly latched on and nursing. Thumbs up! This is very much a "manual" about breastfeeding, very practical, and not too long or daunting.

    I also took a breastfeeding class at my hospital before my daughter arrived -- I'd highly recommend a class and this book, they were a winning combination for me. We are still nursing at 11 months....more info
  • Highly Recommended
    I found this book an invaluable resource, especially the first few weeks after my baby was born....more info
  • A New Mother's Necessity
    This book is key to all questions regarding breastfeeding and so much more. You can't beat the guidelines it gives you. I would've given up breastfeeding by now without this book....more info
  • Very Informative
    I am an RN expecting my second child and was unsuccessful with breastfeeding our first child. I have learned so much from this book & I am still pregnant. So, I haven't gotten to utilize the books techniques & suggestions/guidelines yet, but feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding our expectant infant for his first year. I highly recommend this book during pregnancy and I plan to have it readily available for quick reference (problems/issues are all listed in an index in the back)when we stumble into problems/questions. There are several resources listed in appedices as well....more info
  • fabulous book that really helps
    this book truly helped me through breastfeeding.
    it is great and easy to read.
    the chapters are broken down by months and explanations are thorough.
    this book and [...] saved me!!
    now my hospital gives this book when you have a baby there, in their new parent packages....more info
  • Read it BEFORE you go to the hospital
    Lots of great info I could have used in the beginning. Still good to have now, I thought it was more a reference book when I bought it and didn't read it until later. I could have really used a lot of the information going in and in that first week. It's easy to read, and offers a lot of tips on childcare aside from just breastfeeding....more info
  • Very helpful
    It is a really good, easy to read book. It is divided into section according to the babie's age. I pretty much found everything I had question on in there. It is a very pro nursing book. I had a hard time with nursing at the beginning, the book described all the difficulties and encouraged me to carry on. Once we went over the first 2 months, nursing was the best thing ever! That is exactlly what the book says. Don't give up, it will pay off soon....more info
  • Nursing Mother Must!
    For me, this is the "bible" of nursing. I use it almost daily and wished more parenting/ baby books were so staight forward and easy to use....more info
  • The BEST Nursing Book Ever!
    I am still nursing my 15 month old, and was so close to quiting before reading this book. It answered all of my questions that I have had from birth through present. I went back to work when my baby was four months old, and was so worried I wouldn't be able to keep the breastfeeding going. This book even has sections on working, pumping, and traveling. I can't say enough about it. I give it to all my friends who are having their first baby. If you plan to breastfeed, this book will help. Read it before you have your baby, so you know what to expect!

    Breastfeeding is not always easy. It takes dedication, committment, and accurate information. This book was more beneficial to me than my meetings with Lactation Consultants. This is the only nursing book you will need! ...more info
  • The BEST Nursing Book Out There!!
    I received this book as a gift and it has been beside my bed for 6 months (ever since my daughter was born). It is great as a reference to look up answers to quick questions or concerns. I would also recommend reading this book from start to finish before baby arrives... I wish I had. I cannot say enough good things about Kathleen Huggins and her book!!...more info
  • Best nursing guide I found
    This is the full length version of that little booklet stuffed inside the Enfamil diaper bags hospitals give out. I liked the little booklet so much I was curious what was in the full length version, and was not disappointed! It's supportive of breastfeeding without being preachy. Has nursing troubleshooting sections for all stages of your infants life, up to toddlers. Also has a large section on prescription and over the counter drugs and their effect on nursing (does it appear in the milk, lower milk supply, etc) Highly recommended for anyone considering breastfeeding....more info
  • Very Helpful
    This book is great! If you plan to breastfeed get this book before your baby is born and read up. Different holds are described with pictures. Proper latch is described clearly. Advice for dealing with improper latch and other early breastfeeding difficulties really helped me make it through those first hard weeks. Any question I have had about breastfeeding has been answered in this book!...more info
  • Must have!
    Buy while you are pregnant if you can, but add this to your reference library. This is a must have for every woman who plans on breastfeeding. I've had mine through 2 kids and must say its good for all stages of breastfeeding....more info
  • Fantastic book
    Of all the nursing books out there, I am so glad that I picked (and I bought it because of the reviews!) this one. There is some really good advice for first time mothers and it was easy to read. I could read it quickly when I needed late night or early morning help. I am now going to buy this book for every baby shower that I go to!! ...more info
  • Love this book, a must for all new nursing moms!
    If you're going to use any book as a reference for breast feeding, this one should be it. It is really great and very informative. I even liked this book better than the one published by the Le Leche League and better than the info in the What to Expect When You're Expecting.

    This book is user friendly, spoken in plain language, not overwhelming or intimidating for the reader. Helps to make breastfeeding so much easier and less stressful....more info
  • A very helpful breastfeeding book
    For my first child I took a breastfeeding class and this was the required reading. It was my "bible" for the first few weeks after the birth! It was quite helpful to go into detail about what I needed to know to be successful at breastfeeding (and it ain't always easy!).

    If you're aiming to breastfeed exclusively this is a great book to have on hand....more info
  • Fabulous
    This is by far the best purchase I ever made. I started reading it 2 months before my daughter was born to prepare myself. And I'm still using it today. I refer to it when my friends or I have breastfeeding problems. If you're thinking of breastfeeding, this is the book to get. ...more info
  • excellent reference for breastfeeding
    This is the best book reference I found about breastfeeding. It offers concrete advice for when things are going well and step-by-step suggestions for when things are going badly. Despite what some of the other breastfeeding books might say, breastfeeding can be incredibly difficult. This book is down to earth, offers a lot of different perspectives, gives advice on how to deal with low milk supply, going back to work, traveling, and the major transitions as your baby grows.

    I highly recommend this book....more info
  • Only BF book I have...
    Based on others reviews read I bought this book.

    It covers all necessary questions a newly BFing mother would have without being too preachy....more info
  • The Breastfeeding Bible!
    This is seriously the best book I've read on breastfeeding (and I'm a Lactation Consultant). Great for both new moms and experienced breastfeeders! Addresses many hurdles that breastfeeding can present. I couldn't have gotten through breastfeeding my daughter without it!...more info
  • Extremely Handy
    I purchased this book after reading a number of positive reviews and I was not disappointed. I read the entire thing cover to cover in a couple of days while I was nursing my son. I have gone back many times to look up things I have questions about. It is easy to find the information I need. Also, I was pleasantly surprised when the hospital gave out a small, pamphlet version of this book. ...more info
  • Glad I Got It Early!
    I purchased this book, because I heard that about 80% of women actually struggle at least a bit with breastfeeding. I wanted to make sure that I was ready for any complications and issues that might arise and was informed as to how to correct them ahead of time. There is a lot of fantastic information in this book. I would definitely recommend reading the book BEFORE you have the baby and have to suddenly breastfeed within an hour or so--especially if there are any issues. That way you'll be more prepared as to various things to try to solve any problems rather than becoming overly stressed and giving up too soon....more info
  • My Favorite Nursing Book
    This book is fabulous for moms-to-be and nursing mothers. I nursed my first child for almost 17 months...and just finished nursing my second child. It is a wonderful resourse that I continued to turn to for advice, even with my second child. I highly recommend it! It is the only nursing book you will need! ...more info
  • Be aware, don't spoil your kid
    While this book provides useful tips and encouragements for nursing moms, I found the author quite single minded on what is the right way to feed the baby and not always clear on what's her personal opinion vs. what's well adopted or proven. My advice is that this is a book worth reading, but don't use it as the only guidance for feeding your child.

    If you don't want a child who stays in your bed for a long long time or who grows up to believe crying is the way to get attention and whatever she wants whenever she wants it, and if you'd like to bring a happy kid into your life rather than turning yours upside down, go read other books and get second opinions elsewhere.
    ...more info
  • No Advice on Weaning
    I bought this book before my son was born because I'd read that it is very important to have a good nursing manual. We thankfully received lots of support from the hospital and pediatrician, so the first time I really needed the advice in here was when I decided to wean him at seven months. Guess what? No information! This was basically another breastfeeding commercial and implied that if I weaned my child before 2 years, I was a horrible parent.

    Look, bottom line is it would be nice if this book could simply serve the function of giving you much needed information about breastfeeding. Part of the journey is ending the breastfeeding relationship, and I think it's a huge oversight that weaning isn't discussed in detail. We get advice from enough sources as it is. Everyone has an opinion; I don't think it's right for a reference material to have one too....more info
  • Buy right now and don't give up on nursing!
    I've only read the mini version of this book that I received ironically in a goodie bag from the hospital along with all those formula samples. I had decided early on to breastfeed my daughter in spite of what society and family said. I had minimal support for those first 2 weeks after she was born and this book was a life saver!!!! No one had bothered to tell me to try lying down to nurse. My daughter had a little bit of a high palate (also read about that in the book) and I was experiencing sore nipples and felt like I should give up. Lying down nursing is also awesome for the middle of the night feedings. I also referred back to the book many times with my son when he was born in 2008. Great book and great read!!!...more info
  • indispensable
    this book was recommeneded to me by my doula, and it's been absolutely invaluable. an excellent reference....more info
  • Great book!
    The lactation consultant at my hospital's breastfeeding class recommended this book. EXCELLENT INFORMATION for a nervous new mom. Now I'll just have to see if it all works in 4 weeks when my baby comes!...more info
  • fantastic book for nursing mothers
    I actually bought this book because I received a nursing package somewhere that had a small booklet with an excerpt from this book. I thought that small booklet was amazing compared to most of the nursing info I'd received and thought it worthwhile to get the full book...and I'm so glad I did. This book got so much use. I've since passed it on to a pregnant friend for her to borrow. I think anyone serious about nursing should get this book before giving birth....more info
  • The MOST COMPREHENSIVE Breastfeeding Resource!
    This is the only book you need to breastfeed your baby. Eleven months later I still open this book often to find information on ALL topics. Particularly helpful is the quite comprehensive drug appendix....more info
  • Excellent reference
    This is the best breastfeeding book in my collection. It has answered all of my questions. The index is good and helps you to quickly find answers - essential for new Moms!...more info
  • A Must for Any Nursing Mother
    I bought this bought after reading reviews here on Amazon. I have found this book to be my nursing bible and refer to it very often, even now that I've been nursing for 5 months. There is no lactation consultant in my area and my friends either don't have children or aren't breastfeeding, so this book as been my main resource for breastfeeding information. I have been able to avoid problems with latch on, plugged ducts and baby indegestion (to name a few) due to the information in this book. After a brief section on the benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby, it focuses heavily on feeding techniques, potential problems, and feeding stages. There is a great appendix that discusses medications (what's safe, what's not).

    I have purchased two more books for friends and plan to give this as a shower gift from here on out. This is money well spent!...more info
  • This book read my mind
    I would highly recommend this title to other readers. The information is easy to follow and very useful. Any problems or questions I had were covered in this book and I find myself returning to chapters over and over again. After my daughter's birth, and as I began to experience breastfeeding, all of the information fell into place. It was like the author could read my mind!...more info
  • Great Reference Book
    This is an amazing refencnce guide for nursing mothers. It is thorough and easy to use. I've used it a ton and have lent it to others....more info
  • The Definitive Nursing/Baby Guide!
    This is THE book to have when your baby's crying and you don't know what to do! Many a night I cracked this open to determine the cause of my son's crying and found good solid answers about babies, nursing and the whole process. It provided a good education for me and contributed to my being a good mom, successful at nursing and a healthy woman. I give this book to all new nursing moms and have been told that it was one of the most beneficial gifts they've gotten....more info
  • No book can teach you how to breastfeed
    I bought this book before I had my baby and read it cover to cover, and while it is fine for general informational purposes, it is no good at all for a new mom trying to actually learn how to breastfeed, nor indeed could any book be. After I had my baby and we were beginning to breastfeed and struggling to get it all right, I consulted this book constantly, but it was absolutely no help and in fact counterproductive as it really increased my frustration level because although it could tell me that the latch wasn't right, there is no way that it could effectively tell me how to fix it. After 2 weeks, lots of pain, cracks and tears shed, I finally got in touch with a lactation consultant. I say put the money you would spend on any breastfeeding books towards a session (or more) with a lactation consultant. If you are having any issues, you really need to get someone to come over and help you in person. If you can't get a consultant, at least go to Jack Newman's website and watch the videos. That was much more helpful than this book, and it's free....more info
  • Irresponsible Book for New Moms
    Huggins is a hippocrite and writes a book that is completely irresponsible. This book does little to provide guidance to a new nursing mom. Rather it makes you feel guilty, helpless and like a failure. I was a successful nursing mom for 14 months despite this book. For the birth of my second child, I did myself a favor and used it for a coaster for my water cup while I nursed my baby.

    Do yourself a favor and get the AAP or the Good Housekeeping books instead....more info
  • A must for every breastfeeding Mom
    This book was recommended to me at the hospital where I took my prenatal breastfeeding class. I have to say, I have used it repeatedly and it has been an absolute necessity. Kathleen does a great job walking her readers through the various stages of breastfeeding. Also, she gives great advice on "trouble shooting" (i.e. plugged ducts, etc.) that is very helpful and effective. The only reason I give the book 4 stars instead of 5 is that I think it should include a section on weaning once you get your little one started on solids. I know that she sells a seperate book on weaning but after reading the reader reviews, I am not interested (sorry, I just won't breastfeed until my son is three or four years old!). Also, she specifically emphasizes that the American Association of Pediatricians does not recommend introducing solids until your baby is six months old. Well, I thought that for sure this had to be wrong because my pediatrician told me that some babies NEED to start on solids at about four months. Since I own the AAP's book, I decided to reference Kathleen's claim and found that the AAP says FOUR to six months. I think she should change this in her book to reflect the REAL recommendation of the AAP since many Moms may not have read this and may take her suggestion when it is not right or even safe for their baby (I find this omission in her book a little irresponsible). I did hold out for six months, but that is only because my son did not show any signs of needing to start solids before then. Other than those two little things, this book is really great!...more info
  • A Must Have for anyone who intends to nurse - even for a few weeks
    I can honestly say I would not have made it through the first six weeks of nursing my twins or nursing my son without this book. It is a welcome friend during that time when a brand new mommy is most insecure about everything, especially nursing. For example, when it's 3 am and you have questions trying to determine if you and/or your baby have thrush, it's worth it's weight in gold. I now try to purchase it for all of my friends who are expecting....more info
  • More complete than my breastfeeding class
    If you have limited funds and need to choose between a book or a class, I would highly recommend this book. The class I took was only 2.5 hours long and so it only had discussion for the most common of experiences... a poor latch. This book seems very complete and focuses on problem-solving. The relative lack of judgmental dialog (a good thing) however means that it is a very boring read. I finally made it through the book though and have gotten a lot of value out of it as evidenced by all the tabbed pages that I will return to as needed. The appendices are also excellent.

    The only two minor (but correctable) downsides are:
    1. the breastpump discussion just can't keep up with the newly introduced products so check around Amazon for more reviews
    2. I found it really helpful to watch the short video (as part of the breastfeeding class) which had a very short animated graphics showing how latch on should occur as viewed as a cross-section of the baby's mouth cavity; maybe something similar can be borrowed/viewed from a library for free?

    Good luck ladies! I'll have my trial by fire in a few short months!...more info


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