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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Candace C Knight, Ph.D., BSN (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
Description: This clinical reference guide to lactation contains a multitude of helpful resources for establishing and maintaining breastfeeding. The previous edition was published in 2009.
Purpose: This is intended to provide best practice models for lactation support in the hospital setting and beyond. However, several chapters have outdated representations of current practice trends. For example, in the section on the separation of the mother and neonate in chapter 4, the author states, "It remains common to see mothers and their babies separated at birth, infants cared for in a nursery, mothers and babies together only during the day, infant interventions performed not at the bedside but in the nursery, and the expectation that continuous contact will somehow lead to the baby becoming 'dependent' on the mother." (p. 201). This does not reflect current practice trends today which are increasingly more in line with evidence-based practice regarding lactation support, supplementation, rooming-in, and exclusive breastfeeding.
Audience: This is intended for lactation consultants, nurses, and physicians as a tool to support breastfeeding in the hospital setting. It is written at an appropriate level for these care providers.
Features: The book covers the importance of breastfeeding and the physiology and maternal pathophysiologic challenges, as well as factors that influence breastfeeding in the hospital and beyond. The appendixes following each chapter offer concrete resources to aid clinicians in their support of positive breastfeeding outcomes for mothers and their infants. However, the repeated suggestions that current practices fall far short of evidence-based care are not supported with recent references and appear to be opinion. While the author has significant clinical experience in this area, her perspective on the evolutionary origins of lactation are unnecessary and distract from the purpose of the book.
Assessment: This edition is a useful tool in the support of breastfeeding mothers and infants.