1. Krening, Cynthia F. MS, RNC

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Nursing Mother, Working Mother: The Essential Guide to Breastfeeding Your Baby Before and After You Return to Work, by Gale Pryor and Kathleen Huggins, 2nd ed.


This book addresses the challenge of combining the dual roles of nursing a baby at home as well as after returning to the workplace. It begins with a wonderful chapter on bonding with an infant, and the role that breastfeeding plays in that relationship. It also mentions the gift of maternal confidence that comes with successful breastfeeding. Chapter 1 ends with a discussion of the risks that working may have on infant attachment, and a historical look at working mothers. Chapter 2 reminds the reader of the importance of breastfeeding for both the mother and the baby, including the immunologic benefits and nutritive value of breast milk, and breast milk and allergies. There is discussion of the physical and emotional benefits of breastfeeding for working mothers, and the instinctual parenting practices that include breastfeeding without restriction.


Breastfeeding Basics is the title of chapter 3. It gives valuable information for the first feeding at the breast, minimizing engorgement, avoiding sore nipples, and the importance of seeking help for problems. Sections on how the breasts produce milk, and establishing milk supply help enhance the knowledge base regarding breastfeeding for the new mother. The next chapter continues with the breastfeeding learning period-the first 6 to 8 weeks-and gives tips on how and why to avoid supplements. Other common concerns, such as how to tell if baby is getting enough milk, leaking milk, healing sore nipples, preventing and treating plugged ducts and breast infections are covered in detail. There are additional sections in this chapter on topics not directly related to breastfeeding, but of interest to new mothers. These include carrying a baby, where a baby should sleep, caring for yourself, simplification, enlisting help from the partner, and finding support when blue.


Chapter 5 begins to discuss the important subject of preparing to return to work. This chapter does not yet discuss breastfeeding and working outside the home, but tackles the important preparations that need to be made: reconnecting with the outside world and the workplace, finding daycare that fits individual personal and family needs, and preparing the home, family, and workplace. The logistic and legal aspects of pumping at work are covered and include many important details. Changing work arrangements, such as flexible scheduling, compressed workweeks, telecommuting, part-time work, job sharing, staying home, starting a business are offered as options for the new mother.


Methods for expressing, storing, and feeding breast milk are the subjects of the next chapter of this book. The first section on milk expression and supply addresses hand expression versus hand-operated and electric pumps available. Other supplies required for pumping are mentioned. Care and handling of breast milk is a very useful section of this book, and includes milk temperature requirements, collection systems, using stored milk, and feeding expressed milk by introducing a bottle to the baby.


In chapter 7, the authors continue with important information about the return to the outside world with tips directly and indirectly related to breastfeeding. Combating fatigue, baby adjustment, reverse-cycle feeding, milk supply with pumping, combining breast and formula feeding, leaking, pumping at work, transporting milk, teaching caregivers about breastfeeding, preventing and treating plugged ducts and mastitis, adjusting to being away from baby, making enough milk, business travel, when to stop expressing, weaning, managing life at home and at work, infant illness, and blending working and mothering are covered. There is valuable information for the working mother in this chapter.


This book concludes with a chapter titled "Changing the World-One Nursing, Working Mother at a Time." This is really the overall theme of this important book, as it supports what so many women strive for, which is to be the best mother possible. The appendix contains resources nursing, working mothers, such as breastfeeding support groups, lactation consultant referral services, breast pump rental information, helpful Web sites for nursing and working mothers, family and work-life organizations, home-based business resources, and a recommended reading list. This continues to be a valuable reference for breastfeeding mothers who are returning to work outside of the home.


Cynthia F. Krening, MS, RNC


Perinatal Clinical Specialist, Littleton Adventist Hospital, Littleton, Colo