Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ezzo De-Constructed- Part 2

Read Part 1 Here
Thought that I would have more typed up by now, but no. For now this will suffice.

Chapter 4: Facts on Feeding
Page 45: Context 3 month old waking “two, three, or four times in the middle of the night to nurse” “Mothers will say, ‘But my baby is waking for comfort nursing not just food.’ We would still ask the same question at this age. A baby nursing for comfort so many times during the night is a cue that your parenting style during the day is causing too much discomfort.”

My thoughts: Ouch! That was a nasty thing to say considering later on in the book he also mentions other very common reasons why a 3 month old may wake often in the middle of the night. These reasons include growth spurts, which occur at the 3 month mark and acid reflux or GERD, which is where food and stomach acid is regurgitated and leaves the baby with an uncomfortable burning feeling. But in this section, no where does he gently mention that a parent should eliminate these reasons first for comfort nursing or waking up multiple times in the night. Instead he tells parents that they are “causing too much discomfort.”

Page 45-46: “We can say that because there is an alternative that provides a better way because constant morning fatigue is not a sign of motherhood sacrifice but an inadequate parenting philosophy.”

My thoughts: The editor didn’t really edit this sentence well because it’s poorly phrased. But basically the jest is that because he has an alternative parenting style that will leave you well rested (or so he claims) the motherhood mantra of sacrificing your sleep for the sake of the baby is a sign of a bad parenting philosophy. I disagree. Again babies aren’t perfect nor do they operate all alike. There is no average or normal baby. So some babies will need extra nutrition during the night or have medical conditions that wake parents up often or babies get sick. Parenting philosophies can’t be one size fit all.

Page 46: “A mother who takes her baby to her breast twelve, fifteen, or twenty times a day will not necessarily produce any more milk than the mom who takes her baby to breast eight or nine times a day.”

Yes and no: In this section, he is trying to say that in some cases a woman who brings her child to breast five times a day as opposed to two will certainly produce more milk, but that…well you can read the quote for yourself. If a woman is having supply issues than perhaps taking her baby to breast multiple times a day compared to eight or nine times, than that is a good thing. As Ezzo said, breastfeeding works on a demand and supply concept. The more times you bring baby to breast the more milk a baby will consume. What he doesn’t say, and I’ve said this before, is that milk production works on how much is drained from the breast. So if a mother is bringing her child to breast 15 times a day and they are completely drained (well for the most part there is always milk being produced so there is always some), then milk production will speed up. Theoretically, baby will demand that the breast will produce more and therefore, the need to breastfeed often will subside.

He also doesn’t explain the difference between establishing a milk supply at birth and having already established a milk supply. At birth, a milk supply is established through stimulation of the nipple. The more stimulation, the more milk is produced. After that has occurred, your milk supply will stabilize and the amount of milk produced will depend on how often the breast is drained. For women who are adopting and seeking to breastfeed, it’s a bit tricky because you have to tell your body to start producing the hormones that are there at the birth. Also women whose supplies dip low due to hormones or stress, stimulation will also help as will continually draining the breast. You therefore have to stimulate so stimulation does help with older babies too although it is less of a factor in milk production once the milk supply has been established. Source: Kellymom.com

Page 46: “First, babies on a routine of fewer feedings will take in more calories at each of those set feedings than babies who feed ad lib.”

Not necessarily. Ezzo sites a source from 1985 and much more research in child nutrition has been done since then. Secondly, there is more recent research to suggest that in older children who snack more they do eat less calories but the correct amount. Snacking is not a bad thing. Our country is overweight as it is. Too few feedings could equal over eating. If a baby knows that they can eat when they are hungry, they don’t worry about being full. However, if a baby is on a rigid schedule, it could be more harmful to them and cause them to overeat.

Also Ezzo talks about calorie intake and beefing it up, but he never once mentions sugar spikes. In medical literature today, adults with hypoglycemia or GERD are told that it’s better to eat more frequently and smaller meals. The reason is the body has trouble dealing with being too full. Similarly, sugar spikes after we eat and then can crash if we wait too long to eat. Neither of those things are good. Babies spit up and they also have a harder time with their sugar. Eating more often is better for them. So what Ezzo is saying sounds like a bad thing, but from my understanding, it’s not.

Page 47: “An infant fed on a basic 2 ½ to 3 hour routine and whose digestive metabolism is stable, will demand more milk. In turn, this stimulates greater milk production than the infant demanding less milk more often. Here then lies your key to efficient milk production. Work on getting full feeding.”

Again, milk production is based on stimulation and the amount of drainage from the breast. If a baby doesn’t stimulate the breast often enough, you still won’t get enough of a milk supply. Getting a full feeding is only one part of milk production.

Page 48: “Take care not to touch her upper lip (when getting her to open her mouth) as this creates confusion for baby. As her mouth opens wide, center your nipple and pull her close to you…”

*sigh* I wonder if they ever breastfed an infant. You tickle whatever part around the baby’s mouth that will get him/her to open it. I tickled the upper and lower lips and the cheek. He was never confused. But every baby is different so maybe from their experience, it confused one of their babies. As for the “center your nipple,” that’s totally incorrect. In the hospital and on Kellymom.com, you can clearly see that the nipple should be aimed at the top of the baby’s mouth and not center. I won’t go into why because it’s on Kellymom.com.

Page 49-50: This is the place (50 pages in) where he says that he includes the feeding in his time table between feedings. Up until this point, I just agreed with him on the every three hours bit. The other problem I have with this is that he expects all babies to eat within a 30 minute time frame regardless of age. Younger babies can be expected to eat anywhere from 1 hour to 45 minutes (and sometimes longer). Older babies can eat in 20 minutes. My pediatrician said a good, full-term, older, healthy baby will polish off a breast in 7 minutes flat so a good rule of thumb she tells parents is 15 minutes at least.

Page 53: Here he discusses bottles and dummies (bottle nipples, the Brits call them dummies) and in the middle of this he says “With so many choices, don’t go to the store without adequate rest.” I found this comment rather condescending. I’m tired when I go to the store, but I’m not stupid. If I buy the wrong thing, I can take it back. I appreciate his concerns about getting rest, but really I can take care of myself. But anyway…I’ll simmer back down.

Page 53: “Putting a child six months and older to bed with a bottle is no-no.”

This is true at any age.

Page 55: “Most babies don’t like to expel gas. They will tighten their bottoms and resist the normal expulsion of gas, making them very uncomfortable.”

I believe that this is an old wives tale. According to Dr. Harvey Karp, babies are okay with their gas. Using drops to help alleviate gas problems doesn’t do much more than water. The problem isn’t their resisting to push out the gas; it’s that it’s trapped. I know I feel uncomfortable when I have gas, but I’d rather it out than in. I don’t know. I could be wrong here. But HB loves to burp and fart. He can get some real good ones going.

I'll be sure to type up more comments for next week when I get a chance.


  1. Hopefully this posts, I had one disappear earlier.

    LOL on the gas. Neither of my kids disliked or tried to stop it! We did use mylicon w/ Kalila cause hers would bubble up (and you could feel it). Zavier we did Gripe water a couple times, not often. He's a lot better at passing gas lol. Well as a baby, she's good now ;-)

    And on the rest... wow. That's about all I can say :-(

  2. This whole post is the pinnacle of all that is wrong with this book. There are more things about it that are wrong, but one could argue that it's his wording or promotion of his philosophy. But the part about the nipple placement made my eyes bulge in my head. I could just imagine this new mom trying to center the nipple and being in horrible pain with purple nipples. I had to say something, which is the whole reason why I decided to review the book. The amount of misinformation is just stiffing. And there are people who actually believe in this stuff. How can one trust this man's philosophy if his research/science is inaccurate?


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