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Book Reviews:

Breastfeeding's Number One Question:
How Do I Know My Baby is Getting Enough Milk?

Beverly Morgan, IBCLC, CLE
San Jose, CA
Milky Way, 2000

Reading Your Baby's Body Language

Beverly Morgan, IBCLC, CLE
San Jose, CA
Milky Way, 1998

Reviewed by Gina G.-M.
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 19, No. 2 March-April 2002 pp. 66

While anticipating the arrival of my fourth child, I was surprised to feel the same uncertainty that I did with my earlier pregnancies.

I thought the anxiety would lessen and the anticipation of welcoming a new member into our family would wane by the fourth birth. That wasn’t true for me. Even while awaiting the birth of Jenna Claire, our fourth child, I remember having the occasional twinge of worry: Would she be healthy? Would the birth be easy? Would breastfeeding begin easily? Would I quickly get to know her and learn how to be the mother she deserved?

For any pregnant or new mother, whether or not she has other children, such questions are common. Some can only be answered with time and the birth of the baby, but a good resource can help with other, more general concerns. Breastfeeding’s Number One Question: How Do I Know My Baby is Getting Enough Milk? and Reading Your Baby’s Body Language, two audiobooks by Beverly Morgan, IBCLC, CLE, are thorough, easy-to-understand resources for new and experienced parents alike. The tapes would make great new-mother gifts, offering reassurance and tips for learning about baby’s cues, as well as arming parents with the information to assess whether their baby is thriving.

Breastfeeding’s Number One Question: How Do I Know My Baby Is Getting Enough Milk? is particularly relevant to new mothers. In this tape, Morgan uses helpful examples and tips that are both educational and comforting. One tip is that by pouring a few tablespoons of water in an unused diaper, a parent can get a clearer picture of what constitutes a “wet” diaper. Similarly, in describing foremilk and hindmilk, Morgan suggests imagining two drinking straws, one in a glass of water and one in a glass filled with a milkshake. The water moves quickly and easily through the straw and quenches thirst, while the milkshake moves more slowly and is more filling. Full of clear descriptions like these, this audiobook is an excellent, supportive resource about the first weeks of breastfeeding and answers many of the questions that parents often have about this sometimes stressful, anxiety-filled time.

Reading Your Baby’s Body Language offers insights into newborn and infant behavior that might be new to many, even to those accustomed to working closely with babies. Many of the cues described are often overlooked, causing confusion and frustration in new parents. For instance, Morgan clearly explains which body language expressions might indicate colic and which might just be a symptom of a baby who has been crying. Included as well are examples of body language cues that might be observed in a premature baby. Morgan consistently emphasizes what is “normal” while reminding listeners that each mother/baby duo is unique. As she often reiterates, a new baby doesn’t come with a “nursing license” and must learn, in his or her own way, to become a proficient breastfeeding person.

Throughout each tape, Morgan explains important ways to be sure that your baby is getting enough milk, such as diaper counts, breast changes, and baby’s cues. The diaper count information is very detailed, including how many wet diapers a newborn should produce, how to tell if a diaper is wet enough, and what a healthy bowel movement should look like. This important information is repeated in both audio books and gives parents concrete examples of what makes up a healthy milk supply and when to consult a lactation specialist or a health care provider. A chart for keeping track of diapers is included with Breastfeeding’s Number One Question: How Do I Know My Baby Is Getting Enough Milk? in case a mother finds this sort of tool helpful.

These tapes do not simply institute “rules,” but instead reassure listeners with relevant information that will increase their knowledge and self-confidence. The audiobook format is one that many busy parents might find helpful, since they can listen while relaxing, driving, or caring for their baby. Both tapes are very positive and upbeat. The narrator of both of these tapes, Kathryn Nymoen, adds to the encouraging tone of the material by way of her kind, gentle voice. Whether a mother is expecting her first child or her fourth, she may be put at ease by these thoughtful and informative audio books on the newborn period.

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