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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Virginia "Ginna" Wall, MN, IBCLC (University of Washington School of Medicine)
Description: In the course of helping families learn to breastfeed, clinicians will encounter common and uncommon problems. Until now, no visual guidebook existed to help consultants identify what is normal and what is not. This is the first book almost exclusively filled with color photographs of maternal and infant conditions related to breastfeeding.
Purpose: The purpose is to highlight variations in breasts and nipples, and to illustrate unusual situations that interfere with lactation.
Audience: It will be most useful to students, but experts may also consult this book for a quick or in-depth review. The editors are recognized authorities who have written textbooks and journal articles in this field.
Features: The book begins with photographs of normal breast and nipple variations. A quiz precedes this section, and the answers will surprise readers who assume that simple visual assessment of a woman's breasts can discern her age or childbearing history. The second section covers problems such as dermatitis, candidiasis, accessory nipples, engorgement, sore nipples, mastitis, abscess, surgical scars, and hypoplasia. Mini case studies accompany some of the photos in this section. The third and final section contains pictures of infant conditions. This section could have included many more conditions that both students and practitioners see only rarely: Down Syndrome, Pierre Robin, micrognanthia, facial palsy, birth trauma, and other craniofacial abnormalities that impact the baby's ability to breastfeed. However, the pictures of cleft lip and palate, ankyloglossia, and thrush are very helpful.
Assessment: In my opinion, this is a needed book that lactation consultants will use as a resource not only for identifying unusual clinical conditions, but also for teaching other healthcare providers about breastfeeding. The study guides in each section challenge not only beginning students but also established practitioners to think critically about issues and assumptions in clinical lactation.