Book Review: Bouncing Back after Your Pregnancy by Glade B. Curtis and Judith Schuler

Of all the books on postpartum issues that I have read so far, Bouncing Back After Your Pregnancy is the most comprehensive and well-organized. Topics flow from immediate issues to infant feeding to maternal nutrition and exercise to marriage and family topics to returning to work and planning your next pregnancy. I’d love to be able to recommend this book.

Unfortunately, the content is simply ridiculous and filled with misinformation. Episiotomies are assumed and, to read the chapters on immediate postpartum care, you’d think the episiotomy is really the most important part of childbirth (before and after). The exercises in the exercise chapter are laughable – some aren’t really much by way of exercise and several list the wrong muscle groups as the ones being exercised. No distinctions are made between strength exercises and stretching and no attention is given to grouping exercises into any logical pattern. And the breastfeeding advice…

Let’s just say the authors probably couldn’t be more anti-breastfeeding if they tried.

Bottle-feeding is listed first in the infant feeding chapter and great pains are taken to list every possible advantage of bottlefeeding and to minimize any possible disadvantage you might have heard. Once the authors get around to discussing breastfeeding, a bold section heading offers “disadvantages to breastfeeding”. Almost every bit of breastfeeding advice is given as a blanket statement that assumes breastfeeding is uncomfortable, messy, and inconvenient. Mothers are educated on “warning signs” in a breastfed baby – but not told what signs suggest that breastfeeding is going well. The authors only recommed breastfeeding for six months and reassure moms that the majority of mothers don’t go that long.

Bad breastfeeding advice and attitudes aren’t limited to the breastfeeding chapter. In the chapter on nutrition, mothers are given lists of foods not to eat while breastfeeding (actually, most breastfeeding babies will grow and thrive even if their mothers make NO changes at all to their diet – even if the mother is eating unhealthfully in the first place.) The chapter on returning to work mentions the possibility of pumping and gives a little advice, but the advice is incomplete and doesn’t offer any middle ground. Yes, I’d rather a baby get only breastmilk, even while his mom’s at work – but feeding formula while you’re away and breastfeeding at the breast when you’re with baby is better than weaning completely, and is TOTALLY doable (I’ve seen dozens of women, mostly Hispanic, who have very good success with this.)

So no, I can’t recommend this book. I’ve focused on the breastfeeding issues mostly because that is an area in which I have expertise, but the problems with the breastfeeding advice are just an example of the poor research and rampant misinformation found within this book.

I do NOT recommend Bouncing Back after Your Pregnancy.

Rating: 0 stars
Category: Postpartum health
Synopsis: A look at issues facing postpartum moms.
Recommendation: Full of misinformation. Not recommended.

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