06 Jun

Book Review: Breastfeeding Made Easy, by Carlos Gonzales

Carlos Gonzales writes as though he is giving a TED talk. In places, his stridency is amusing; but mostly it is just strident. I cannot tell if it would come across the same way in the original Spanish, or if this is a tonal quirk of the translation, but I did experience the same sense of being exhorted to follow his well-argued directions in his earlier books, and for this reason I would be very unlikely to share them with parents.

Breastfeeding Made Easy is a dense book filled with much confusing detail, and is quite outdated. For example, on p53 he discusses “foremilk and hindmilk,” a concept from which most breastfeeding authorities have moved on. Gonzales is, furthermore, highly prescriptive in his approach to positioning and attachment, and there is no mention at all of laid-back breastfeeding. He makes several sweeping statements that many parents would rightly disagree with. Here’s one:

breastfeeding stops being an issue when the baby starts eating solids (p84)

To which I say: hm, define “issue.”

The book also swings from exhaustively detailed advice such as that given on maternal diet (which in fact has very little impact on milk quantity or composition), to peculiar inclusions in the list of maternal conditions that may affect breastfeeding such as myopia – which, obviously, doesn’t affect it at all.

There are far more useful breastfeeding books available; this one is little more than an eyebrow-raising curiosity.

[Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book by the publishers Pinter & Martin]