Balancing Breast and Bottle


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Are you a breastfeeding mother? Do you sometimes need to find an alternate way to feed your baby when you are apart?

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Choosing to breastfeed your baby is an excellent choice. Your baby benefits in many ways and you have the peace of mind of knowing you are giving your baby a great start. There may be times, whether by necessity or choice, when you need to offer your baby a bottle or a pacifier. You will want to find a feeding and comfort method that works for you and your baby without sabotaging breastfeeding. Although many companies claim their bottles are most like breastfeeding, no bottle nipple style is right for every baby. Balancing Breast and Bottle provides you with valuable information on how to select and use the bottle nipple or pacifier that is best for your breastfed baby.

Authors Amy Peterson and Mindy Harmer help mothers solve the dilemma of how to feed a breastfed baby during separation, while protecting the breastfeeding relationship and making sure every mother can reach her breastfeeding goals. The authors’ combined professions of International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Speech-Language Pathologist bring two unique and informed perspectives in selecting and using artificial nipples for a breastfed baby.

Balancing Breast and Bottle helps mothers understand the basics of breastfeeding and how a baby’s suck can be used to select the best bottle nipple. Tips for collecting, storing, and stockpiling milk are included, along with various pumping scenarios to ensure the baby’s bottles are loaded with as much breastmilk as possible. In this book mothers will learn how to find the ideal balance between breastfeeding, pumping, and bottle-feeding for their own family. By following the tips in this book, every mother can feel confident her baby will eat when they are apart.


Authors: Amy Peterson, BS, IBCLC and Mindy Harmer, MA, CCC-SLP

ISBN: 978-0-9823379-5-0

Copyright: 2010

Total Pages: 172




ILCA Print and Multimedia Reviews
June 2010 – Available at
Balancing Breast & Bottle: Reaching Your Breastfeeding Goals
Amy Peterson, IBCLC, and Mindy Harmer, CCC-SLP
Hale Publishing, 2010
169 pages, illustrated, US$21.95, softcover
Orders: Hale Publishing, LP, 1712 N. Forest Street, Amarillo, TX 79106 USA
Tel: 806-376-9900; 800-378-1317; fax: 806.376.9901

In most western cultures, where the obstacles to normal breastfeeding relationships are frequent and steep, a book that includes in its title “reaching your breastfeeding goals” has a tall order to fill. Balancing Breast and Bottle: Reaching Your Breastfeeding Goals takes away the either-or view of infant feeding in a society where many mothers cannot stay with their babies, and replaces it with an approach that allows bottle-feeding to add to the breastfeeding relationship rather than detract from it.

Some breastfeeding mothers face the difficult situation of being separated from their breastfed baby who will not accept milk from a bottle. This book offers a solid, easily understood approach to helping a baby learn to accept mother’s milk from a bottle. The emphasis is first on establishing the breastfeeding relationship, developing an understanding of how a baby adapts to his mother’s breast, then using that understanding to select and use an appropriate bottle nipple to enable the baby to feed functionally when his mother is not available. Loaded with clear, applicable photos, this book is a quick read even for a mother who is sleep-deprived or overwhelmed by the idea of an impending return to work or school.

Peterson, an IBCLC and stay-at-home mother, and Harmer, a speech/language pathologist who worked away from her baby, combine their collective experiences to present a practical, systematic, anatomy-based approach that is useful for mothers and lactation consultants alike. Mothers can find comfort in the step-by-step, detailed advice on topics that include effective feeding at the breast, selecting and using a breast pump, choosing a bottle and nipple that will be compatible with baby’s and mother’s unique anatomy, and getting through the workday in a manner that supports robust milk production. Lactation consultants who have never fed a baby from a bottle will be interested in the authoritative, science-based techniques and procedures, especially the photos that depict relaxed babies feeding properly and efficiently from bottle nipples that fit their mouths.

I was delighted to discover that this book accomplishes what I believed to be impossible: it provides a practical approach to bottle-feeding that enables the mother in a less-than-ideal situation to meet her baby’s need for food while keeping the breastfeeding relationship vital.

Diana Cassar-Uhl, LLLL, IBCLC
Cornwall, New York, USA


    As a lactation professional and breastfeeding mother, I have found the information in this book to be literally invaluable. There are issues addressed in this book that have not been otherwise addressed anywhere else; especially to this degree of accuracy and thoughtfulness. This is essential information that mothers need to know. This book will make breastfeeding mothers more successful and encourage them in every aspect of their breastfeeding relationship.
    We say in the lactation world, that when breastfeeding goals are not reached, it may be because of lack of support and lack of education. This book contains the essential tools needed to understand and overcome obstacles to breastfeeding that were previously not explored and not compiled in a way to make it an easy resource for mothers.
    Hurray for this book!!! At last, we have a unique guide that can help us as mothers; and professionals who help nursing mothers.
    This information is brilliant.
    Great job, Amy and Mindy.
    With gratitude,
    Summer Stout-Bloyer B.A., C.L.E.C.


      Balancing Breast & Bottle: Reaching Your Breastfeedig Goals is a well-written, clear, concise, and evidence-based book detaiing the correct way to bottlefeed a breastfed baby. For far too long there has been either a lack of information, or misinformation about the proper way to bottlefeed a breastfed baby. It is a fact of life that there are many mothers who, for whatever reason, MUST use bottles in addition to breastfeeding to feed their babies. Whether it is separation due to employment, or a mother who had major difficulties getting breastfeding going and is having to supplement, there is a need to know how to choose and use bottle and nipples properly to keep the breastfeeding relationship intact.

      Amy Peterson, BS, IBCLC and Mindy Harmer, MA, CCC-SLP have written an excellent guide for parents and professionals alike. This book it is a quick read, and mothers can flip to the chapter they need for specific information, although reading it from front to back makes more sense as it does flow nicely from one topic to the next. The book covers the benefits of breastfeeding and breastmilk, basics of breastfeeding, how to choose a breast pump, hwo to choose bottles and nipples using their SIMPLE method, how to troubleshoot bottle refusal, how to work with childcare providers who are not familiar with breastfed babies and finally how to store and use pumped breastmilk. The authors are clearly on the side of breastfeeding with numerous references to breastfeeding as the norm and preferred mode of feeding, and breastmilk as being far superior to artificial baby milk (formula). However they do understand the need for the use of bottles to preserve breastfeeing in some cases and want mothers to find what works for their situation. Professionals will find that the book is evidence-based, and chock-full of studies and research backing up their information. The book has many photographs and appendices that are very useful as well.

      As an IBCLC in private practice and the Author and Founder of Breastfeeding in Combat Boots ([...]), I work primarily with military mothers who by the very nature of their job must be separated from their babies regularly, and need accurate and clear information about how to use bottles while still preserving and reaching their breastfeeding goals. I have found this book is a blessing to my practice and is already finding use in my office as I work with my clients. I wish I had this book when I was breastfeeding my son on active duty and struggling with finding a bottle he would take, and a childcare provider that wasted my precious breastmilk! I will be referring my clients to this book (and the companion website) from now on. This is a very needed resource for both the lactation community and mothers and I thank the authors for writing such a useful book!

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        Balancing Breast and Bottle

        Balancing Breast and Bottle

        Are you a breastfeeding mother? Do you sometimes need to find an alternate way to feed your baby when you are apart?

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