Reviews for the Second Edition of Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk
***When I was first asked to read this book, I must be really honest and say I was slightly nervous. I was nervous about reading a book that might perhaps glorify the hard work that comes with exclusively pumping breast milk or encourage mothers to consider doing it when breastfeeding might be a workable option for them. The community of exclusive pumping is growing and I was nervous this would be some kind of ‘call to arms’ – “Come join us! It’s great”.
I owe Stephanie an apology for even letting those fears enter my mind. Her book is far more intelligent, sophisticated, realistic and useful than that. A hundred times over.
No one would read this book and think exclusively pumping sounds like the lazy option. It takes determination and dedication. Exclusive pumping is not presented as some kind of easy ride. However it is an option for some women and an alternative to formula feeding that as breastfeeding advocates we should be fully aware of. Many women come to exclusive pumping after having experienced breastfeeding failure for a huge variety of reasons – probably the majority. Yet this is not everyone’s story. The woman who has a history of sexual abuse or who must be separated from her baby from an early age are here too.
However they got there, the population of women who choose to pump 6-8 times a day for months and months (sometimes less) are deserving of medals. They show immense dedication in a culture where formula feeding is presented as easy and adequate and mainstream. Parenting forums hardly dare breathe the words that ‘breast milk is superior to formula milk’. Read the feeding forum on Mumsnet to realise how unacceptable it is to say anything disparaging against formula feeding. These mothers who exclusively pump sometimes for months are often not fully accepted by the breastfeeding world but in the formula feeding world, they must surely struggle even more. Their daily commitment to the importance of breast milk will inevitably make those who combination feed or exclusively formula feed feel uncomfortable.
You can imagine easily how important this book must be for a mum feeling isolated. Stephanie manages to come across as the best kind of friend – well-informed, supportive, encouraging but also challenging. She asks you to think through your decisions and in the best spirit of breastfeeding support - she enables you to reach your own goals.
The book contains a huge amount of practical information. Unfortunately the detailed sections on pump types are less relevant for us in the UK, as they focus on North American brands so I hope this level of information is found easily by UK mums. [There are forums available for UK mums such as http://community.babycentre.co.uk/groups/a1669245/pumping_mummies] . Stephanie even encourages pumping mums to think about the WHO code and the part they might play in supporting brands who otherwise undermine breastfeeding.
Stephanie is not a qualified health professional or lactation consultant (which she discusses openly) but her book contains more detail and a greater focus on research-based information than many books that have been written by professionals. She has also written a book for mums who manage to make breastfeeding work ‘second time around’ [Breastfeeding, Take Two: Successful Breastfeeding the Second Time Around]. I think she would be a good candidate to write an introductory book on breastfeeding for everyone. The sections here on how supply works are a useful read for any breastfeeding mum. She has a natural flair for explaining things clearly and relevantly. Her section for mums pumping for premature babies logically repeats some things from other chapters on the assumption these mums may need to get information quickly and not to able to leisurely read the whole thing. That kind of sensible thinking is throughout the whole book.
The book ends with her recommendation to find other mums – find a forum, look up her Facebook page. If all new mums manage to find someone like Stephanie (if not the real Stephanie), they are on to a winner. ~ Emma Pickett, IBCLC
***Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk is a must read for exclusively pumping moms. It provides a perfect balance between validating the emotional and psychological effects of breastfeeding challenges and providing scientific and factual information that mothers need to know in order to be successful at pumping long-term. Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk provides a much-needed positive perspective on the viability of extended pumping as an alternative to formula feeding.
In addition, Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk is an excellent resource for medical professionals and those engaged in the support of new mothers. As the first line of information for this vulnerable population, these professionals have the responsibility to present women with all of their options, and to be prepared to support them when and if what they choose is not the traditional either/or--breastfeeding or formula feeding.
In writing this book, Stephanie Casemore has thrown a life preserver to the thousands of women out there who thought they were all alone in the abyss between the breastfeeding and formula feeding worlds. ~ Christina Quartararo
Other Reviews for the Second Edition Found on the Web:
Reviews for the First Edition of Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk
Initiating and maintaining lactation via milk expression is extremely challenging for mothers following preterm delivery. However, there are very few resources available to mothers which specifically address the problems of long term milk expression.
This book is written in a clear style and the information is easy to access. It contains expert knowledge about long term expression, which can only be learned from personal experience. The author, herself a mother of a preterm baby, exclusively pumped for a year and shares with us the highs and lows of her long journey. The book is filled with useful tips and anticipatory advice about how to initiate and maintain a milk supply. There is also a comprehensive trouble shooting section which skillfully deals with problems such as a declining milk supply, sore nipples and much more.
Although this book is an extremely valuable resource for mothers of premature and sick babies, the information it contains will appeal to all breastfeeding mothers. The content will also be extremely useful to a larger audience including health care professionals and breastfeeding advisors. This book fills a void in breastfeeding literature that has been missing for a long time. It is a practical book, thoughtfully written which deals with difficult issues in a sensitive and practical way. I recommend this book whole heartedly as an extremely valuable resource.
~ Elizabeth Jones, Breastfeeding Specialist, England
From the Journal of Human Lactation, Vol. 21, Number 3, August 2005:
This short, easy-to-read book lists possible reasons for exclusively pumping, including prematurity, illness, latch problems, long-term separation, and maternal choice. Throughout the book, Casemore recommends seeking help through the services of an LC. She details the realistic time and energy needs of a pumping mother and discusses the emotions involved, including the sense of loss and grieving when one is no longer able to breastfeed, the response by others to the decision to exclusively pump, and guilt over the decision not to breastfeed.
This book addresses well the fundamentals of pumping, including properly fitting flange sizes, comfortable suction levels, and double pumping with a good-quality breast pump. The research on cycles per minute and millimeters of mercury pressure is discussed fully. Casemore lists the differences between types of pumps, giving examples by name of the better models in each category.
Excellent suggestions are made for initiating a milk supply by pumping, followed by directions for maintaining the well-established supply, increasing a diminishing supply, and “power pumping and cluster pumping” (p 64). The chapter on milk storage guidelines, containers for storage and feeding, cue feeding rather than scheduling, feeding to infant satiety, and caution about infant overfeeding is excellent.
Exclusively Pumping is based on the personal experience of the author with input of more than 50 other women who exclusively pumped milk for their infants. Casemore states, up front, that she is not a medical professional and has no background in lactation or breastfeeding support. Despite this fact, she provides high-quality, up-to-date information and strongly promotes the physical act of breastfeeding at every opportunity. She further states, “When breastfeeding does not work out, breast milk is still the best way of nourishing a baby and it must then be provided by pumping” (p 13).
A wide-ranging list of resources online is included in the appendix and includes LactNet archives, LLLI, Dr Newman, and Linda Smith; unfortunately, no resources for ILCA or IBCLE are given.
I would recommend this book, which will make a good addition to the libraries of lactation professionals who assist mothers with difficulties, providing yet another informed choice for mothers.
~ Kathy Parkes, RN, IBCLC, RLC San Antonio, Texas USA
Women express for many reasons, to deliver mother’s milk to their preterm or ill babies who cannot breastfeed yet, to provide nourishment when mother and baby are separated for any reason or to provide breast milk when breastfeeding is not an option. This book is written for all of those mothers in a comfortable style, well researched and full of useful information and practical tips.
The subject matter ranges from discussion about biases and beliefs, personal experiences, expectations and emotions, physiology and biochemistry to the fundamentals of how to pump and maintain milk supply. There are also chapters on using and storing expressed breast milk and overcoming difficulties. Many great sources of web-based information are also included.
A useful resource for mothers and health workers.
~ Kathy Venter, RN, IBCLC, Canada
We all know that breastfeeding is best, but what can you do when your dream of breastfeeding just doesn’t come true? Exclusively pumping at least gives moms the chance to provide their babies with the best start in life — mother’s milk. Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk is a lifesaver for new mothers who wanted but find themselves unable to nurse their babies. It not only describes the physiological and mechanical aspects of pumping, but also sensitively addresses the very emotional side of being unable to nurse. ~ New mother, Albany, NY, U.S.A
I enjoyed the book–it gave me the needed encouragement at a time when I was ready to quit! ~ Becca Heary, exclusively pumping mother, U.S.A.
I read the entire book in about 2-3 days. It is very informational and answered many of the questions I had regarding pumping breast milk. I had my first daughter 5/1/605 and have been exclusively pumping (due to latching problems) since she was about a week old. The discussion groups you provided on the internet were helpful. I find them to be very supportive and a good source of information. Now, I feel more confident that I can continue pumping seeing how many moms have been successful with it. ~ Kathy, Minnesota, U.S.A.
I have to tell you, you are a godsend to me! You were among the first people who recognized, to my knowledge, that there is a whole community of women out there who are breastfeeding, but using the bottle as the delivery mechanism! I applaud your efforts to educate people and look forward to reading what you have to say about our specific situation. So, thanks!
~ Jessica Abbott, Atlanta, Georgia