23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars
Some useful advice but be discerning, 21 Jun 2011
I think it is great that some mums have posted how helpful they thought this book is. There is some useful advice on feeding in the early days, and the suggestion to offer the breast regularly is perhaps more helpful than the term "demand feeding" which implies you should wait for the baby to cry out to demand a feed when it is tiny. She points out that many babies are too sleepy to do this. My baby didn't cry to be fed until she was 6 weeks old - until then I had to offer regularly and picked up more subtle signs that she wanted to feed. Perhaps "request feeding" would be a better term.
But do be careful what advice you take from this book. I read this when my baby was 3 months and fussing at the breast. I found the information about latch on unhelpful as she suggests lying babies on pillows rather than holding them - not really possible once they are at the wriggly stage so what are you supposed to do then? I found other advice totally undermined my confidence in myself and my ability to breastfeed. It convinced me I had a low supply and suggested checking this by expressing milk at a feed time to see how much you produce. I can sit for an hour expressing milk and have 1oz to show for it! So of course I thought this was the problem - then found out expressing is, for most women, a totally inaccurate way to gauge supply and this clearly wasn't our problem (my baby has gone from 25th to 75th centile by weight so I think she's getting enough milk). The book then convinced me I had an overactive let down. I bought the nipple shield but it didn't help. A breastfeeding consellor checked my latch on, discussed the weight and general demeanor of my baby and managed to convince me I should just trust that baby was doing fine, thriving, so I shouldn't worry. I just had a very nosy baby who wanted to look about and feed at the same time - it was a phase that passed so I could have done without the stress caused by some of the advice in the book.
Unlike other reviewers, I did feel the book was judgmental. She is scathing of people who sleep with their babies and begrudgingly illustrates the feeding lying down position but gives it very short shrift. I know many mothers who have been exhausted in the early days and found this position very helpful, and it certainly got me through some hard nights when there is lots of night waking as you barely need to wake up fully in this position. In addition the information given about introducing solids before six months is very dodgy! She suggests it is cruel to many babies to deny them the calories of solid food when they are obviously hungry. Hilariously inaccurate - formula or breastmilk is the most calorie dense food your baby can have - considering first foods are usually 1 tsp of pureed fruit or veg they would have to eat a phenomenal amount to get enough calories to fill them up! Ever noticed how babies put on more weight in the first 6 months of life than at any other time? That's because all they have to eat is milk! Once solids are introduced the gain begins to slow.
In reality, it is misleading to expect any book to have all the answers to very specific problems. If you find the answers in this book that is great but for me it didn't offer the help I needed. My baby is also a bottle refuser - something else the book doesn't really help with, and I expected there to be emotional support for women who have given up trying to breastfeed (due to the "what if you can't" of the title) but was disappointed that this was not covered at all. In my opinion you're best off finding a decent breastfeeding counsellor (search via NCT or La Leche League online - there will be one somewhere near you, and if you don't like the first one you meet keep looking) who can discuss your individual problem and help you. Breatfeeding can be tough but one of the toughest things is the leap of faith you have to take - you have no idea how much your baby drinks, if they are really hungry, if you are over or under feeding them and I think this book plays into those concerns. In my experience, once you know baby is latched on properly, just finally relaxing and accepting that she'll get what she needs will work for the vast majority of mums.
You may well like this book if it fits with your parenting style, which would be Gina Ford, Annabel Karmel, and Toddler Taming followers.