My new book debuts: Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple

My latest book, Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple: A Guide for Helping Mothers is scheduled to debut on July 20 from Hale Publishing (for order information, see This project has been a real labor of love for me.  Eight years have passed since I finished the third edition of The Breastfeeding Answer Book (BAB), and the amazing leaps forward in breastfeeding demanded an update.  My goal was to start from scratch and create a comprehensive, research-based counseling guide with updated answers to virtually every breastfeeding question. 

I also wanted to keep what everyone loved most about the BAB: its easy-to-use two-column format.  Organized in a similar format, this new hardcover book (which I call BAMS for short) features an outer “Main Idea” column that allows you to quickly scan a chapter when helping mothers by phone.  Once you find the point you’re looking for, the inner “Details” column provides you with all the latest information on that topic.  While not spiral-bound like the BAB, Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple's binding lays flat when open for easy reference.  It has also been professionally indexed to make the information you need even easier to find.

Because so much new breastfeeding research had been published since 2002, it took me just over two years to write this new book and the end result added up to 886 pages (not including index).  In it I describe both the cutting-edge and classic breastfeeding research that should inform our practice.  The international studies featured in Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple include those on all aspects of breastfeeding and weaning: skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding positions and feeding dynamics, making milk, new studies on galactogogues, as well as a wide range of unusual situations.  Each chapter also includes effective strategies for solving breastfeeding problems and insights into the emotional dynamics at work while helping mothers. 

Written for all levels of expertise, from beginners to advanced practitioners, BAMS was also written for all settings: hospitals, clinics, medical practices, public health offices and clinics, peer-counselor programs, and community-based practices and organizations such as La Leche League. 

New chapters include “Making Milk,” “Challenges at the Breast,” “Breastfeeding Rhythms” (which covers all breastfeeding ages and stages), “Basic Dynamics,” and a new appendix featuring the WHO Growth charts based on exclusively breastfed babies.  Some of the new areas covered include:

  • the four types of tongue tie (with photos of each)
  • how to transition preterm babies to the breast at much younger ages
  • gigantomastia
  • torticollis
  • baby-led solids
  • breastfeeding after gastric by-pass surgery
  • helping mothers with a history of childhood abuse
  • MRSA
  • Group B strep
  • postpartum thyroiditis, and much, much more.  

Also included are sections on how cultural beliefs can contribute to early weaning and effective strategies that can help delay premature weaning in these settings.

Every chapter was reviewed by world-class experts in the field, including Nils Bergman (who also wrote the book’s Foreword), Catherine Watson Genna, Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, Lisa Marasco, Barbara Wilson-Clay, Miriam Labbok, Lawrence Gartner, Suzanne Colson, Gill Rapley, Laurie Nommsen-Rivers, Kirsten Berggren, Susan Burger, Karleen Gribble, Carol Wagner, Cheryl Lovelady, Kerstin Hedberg Nyqvist, Marsha Walker, and Christina Smillie.  One of my chapter reviewers was also my editor (and my coauthor on Breastfeeding Made Simple), Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, whose paradigm-changing insights into inflammation and depression are also explained in its pages. 

My hope is to provide you with a book that includes everything you need to help mothers and their babies achieve a serene and satisfying breastfeeding relationship.