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What to Expect When You're Breastfeeding and What If You Can't?: How to Feed and Settle Your Baby and Have a Life of Your Own [Paperback]

Clare Byam-Cook
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 5 April 2001 --  

Book Description

5 April 2001
While some mothers take to breastfeeding like a duck to water, others just can't seem to get the hang of it. The author agrees that breast is best but she stresses that the most important thing is that your baby is fed - whether by the breast or bottle - and you, the mother, should feel comfortable with whatever you choose to do. So, IF YOU CAN . This comprehensive guide contains all the information you could possibly need to breastfeed your baby successfully, including: how to prepare for breastfeeding, what to expect in the early stages and how to overcome common problems. AND IF YOU CAN'T . The first rule is you shouldn't feel a failure. From her extensive experience in dealing with new mothers, Clare recognises there are certain circumstances where bottle feeding is an advisable alternative. Rather than making you feel guilty if you prefer or have to bottle feed, she is wholly supportive and sympathetic and provides you with all the practical advice and information you need.

Frequently Bought Together

What to Expect When You're Breastfeeding and What If You Can't?: How to Feed and Settle Your Baby and Have a Life of Your Own + Breast Feeding Without Tears With Clare Byam-Cook [DVD] + Top Tips for Breast-feeding
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Vermilion (5 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091856744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091856748
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 929,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"I just can't praise her enough" -- Kate Winslet

Book Description

An invaluable breast-feeding guide with clear and sensible advice for new mothers --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Mrs M
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ok some reviewers seem to have missed that the book describes itself "IF YOU FIND BREAST-FEEDING DIFFICULT and are on the verge of giving up..."
In short I had a nightmare with my first son, I was unable to breastfeed and had mastitis and every other breastfeeding issue going and ended up expressing for 2.5 months until my milk ran out. The 'fashion' 2 years ago among midwives was to deny the baby any bottles or liquid until breastfeeding was established - I stupidly listened to this advice until a trip to A&E with a dangerously dehydrated jaundiced baby at 5 days old.

This time someone recommended Clare so I bought the DVD. From first skin to skin contact I was able to latch and feed my second baby, it felt amazing, he fed well until the third day at home I was in agony, nipple blisters, cracks, stabbing shooting burning pain etc. So I contacted Clare and saw her personally (she is lovely, but no nosense and direct and very clear!). What was I doing wrong that I didn't get from the DVD...? I had the latch pretty well BUT I thought I had the baby close to me - I was actually leaning over him so much to check if he was on correctly I had both the pillow and him about 4 inches away - Clare moved both closer and had me resting on the pillow up against my ribs and the baby's lower shoulder touching the underside of my breast to roll him on to me - the pain was less instantly - if you watch the DVD it's all quite clear on there it's just very hard to see your own position until someone points out what you are doing wrong.

In short I would not be able to feed my baby without this woman's help - the DVD was an excellent starting point.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical Advice 9 Feb 2010
I was really quite dismayed at reading the very negative reviews of this book. I m a GP and first time mum and I thought the book was very helpful. I was recommending to a friend but now she is considering not buying it after reading the negative comments.

My little girl has never latched successfully. She is now 8 weeks, thriving and happy. I m using nipple sheilds and I appreciated the authors PRAGMATIC approach to feeding. The hospital and midwive approach to shields in my area was very negative-it was them or not breastfeeding at all-they were life savers!

I think breastfeeding requires a relaxed approach. It is not the be all and end all-mothers should not feel guilty if it can't be mastered as it is a very difficult skill. Quite frankly I don't think it is essential that her theories are not entirely evidence based-much evidence in current trials is flawed and unable to be applied to real life. I think that practical experience should not be underestimated.

There may be sections about which some people disagree but I thnk that using your own common sense is important too-I would never stick too rigidily to a textbook-especially if your instincts were telling you different but as a guide to worried and confused mums -I think it was great!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practice guide that works 12 Aug 2013
No nonsense and practical methods which work whether breast or bottle feeding. Very helpful guide . Noticed a difference quickly when applying the advice .
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84 of 100 people found the following review helpful
I had this book while pregnant and discarded it within 3 months of breast feeding because the information was inaccurate, out of date, recommended needless interventions of expressing and worst of all convinced me that I had poor milk supply! What complete rubbish!!

It is completely undermining of the breastfeeding relationship - does not tell you that it is NORMAL for babies to feed ALL evening, that it is NORMAL for babies to feed much more frequently than 3-4 hourly. Recommending formula "top-ups" is the quickest way to destroy breastfeeding.

There are much better breastfeeding books out there - look at the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League or any of the NCT titles. Better still find a breastfeeding support group locally and go every week! This helped me to breastfeed for over a year (and I was one of the rare people who follow advice not to start solids until 6 months!)

Unfortunately the website wouldn't let me put 0 stars on this review because I cannot say strongly enough that you will regret buying it.
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68 of 86 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK! 15 Nov 2008
By ariel
I am a trained midwife, currently practising as a maternity nurse. I like to read to keep up to date with what the women I work with are reading. I would NEVER recommend this book. It is full of inaccurate sweeping statements and not even one single reference - the whole book is solely based on what she thinks! NEVER take a book seriously if it can't be backed up with references.

The book regularly had me shouting out loud at her inaccuracies (eg re getting baby to take a bottle 'You can use the same bottle of milk for up to one-and-a-half hours, reheating it as often as is necessary to keep it at an attractive temperature for him.' - JUST NOT TRUE AND ACTUALLY POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS) and therefore had me extremely worried about ALL the advice she was giving. Some of it is so inaccurate and misleading.

Never once in this book does she suggest holding your baby or playing with your baby. It's all feed, wind, sleep. What about relationship and nurturing? I think she's missed an important point about breast feeding and the early days relationship.

Breast feeding doesn't require a text book. It requires patience, common sense, a good sense of humour and a relaxed approach. If you're really struggling see a local breast feeding counsellor (BUT even then be wary, and follow your gut and your heart, and your baby!).

The book desperately needs updating, but preferably, in my opinion needs removing from the market. DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I would highly recommend to any parents/ parents to be and other...
Bought for a CPD course I am doing. I would highly recommend to any parents/ parents to be and other professionals.
Published 10 days ago by elh
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent
brilliant book, lots of information in one place, just what I needed
Published 24 days ago by Mrs Debbie Lane
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Simple practical advice. Def helped me on journey to successfully feeding my two children for almost a year
Published 26 days ago by mark o connell
4.0 out of 5 stars Good practical, workable advice that works and author does ...
Good practical,workable advice that works and author does not make you feel like you're the worst mother in the world if you do have to give the occasional bottle! Read more
Published 1 month ago by andi crouch
1.0 out of 5 stars Not helpful
I was recommended this book before my son was born. It looked great, lots of detail on getting the baby to latch, positioning etc. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mad_Wan
5.0 out of 5 stars A voice of sanity
I struggled miserably with feeding. Without the calm, sane advice of CBCook I think I might really have been heading for a depression. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Charlie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I thought this book was excellent. Easy to read. Lots of great advice if you have any problems. I've certainly learnt more from this book than any of the midwives or health... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Dixon
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
A good book to read alongside nct book or LL book as it helps you tackle the many problems with breastfeeding and also if you need to supplement with formula without making you... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mp
5.0 out of 5 stars I buy this for all my friends who have a baby
This book was a a great help for me when I struggled with breast feeding my second child. It was recommended by a friend and I have recommended it to many others. Read more
Published 11 months ago by San
1.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous rubbish
It's almost too easy to critique this book. Breastfeeding 'expert' with no breastfeeding qualifications. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mrs. E. H. Evans
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