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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have the book DVD and met Clare personally. NOTE her specialism is breastfeeding PROBLEMS
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...
Published 17 months ago by Mrs M

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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. It also claims that after your baby has a feed that they happily go off to sleep in their moses basket for 2-3 hours, provided they got enough milk. Roll on the birth of my beautiful son. Was completely surprised when he spent most of the...
Published 8 months ago by Mad_Wan


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have the book DVD and met Clare personally. NOTE her specialism is breastfeeding PROBLEMS, 3 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: What to Expect When You're Breastfeeding...And What If You Can't? (Paperback)
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. If you're lucky enough not to (like me) have what one Dr described as breasts that are perfectly designed with mastitis in mind, then you might not 'get' how much of a difference this lady can make, breastfeeding day 11 of my newborn and it's getting more comfortable and enjoyable all the time.

There are some very negative and some downright nasty things written about Clare, she's described as 'marmite' you either love her or hate her and some pretty vicious reviews, however, I've seen the DVD and it helped get me 80% of the way, and I've been to her personally - I would not be breastfeeding without her help and so I cannot recommended the book, the DVD and her approach highly enough.

Beware the label applied to her as 'old fashioned' since 'fashion' and breastfeeding are dangerous bedfellows, the 'fashionable advice' has changed a lot in the 2 years between my babies - I did the hospital classes and note that now they are more realistic and closer to Clare's teaching, if you're having problems, bad advice and current fashion in breastfeeding might just land you in A&E, this lady wont. I now have the book and it's a great reference guide to go back to as I progress each day with feeding. No one would talk to me about what to do 2 years ago, no one would discuss milk, or shields, or expressing (including consultants, midwifes, breast support volunteers, health workers I mean everyone - some even said they were "not allowed") - It's a relief to see that there doesn't need to be guilt and stigma out there if you can't feed - I wish I had found this lady 2 years ago but at least I have her this time around and IT WORKS!!!!!!

******3 MONTHS ON UPDATE******* My very happy baby is now 3 months, I'm barely using shields and he is more than double his birth weight, he feeds really well from both sides every feed AND he sleeps through the night!! - don't get bogged down with the details if you're having problems, just position - shape and 'shove' exactly like she says...
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical Advice, 9 Feb. 2010
By 
T. Mclaughlin (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: What to Expect When You're Breastfeeding...And What If You Can't? (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not helpful, 20 May 2014
By 
This review is from: What to Expect When You're Breastfeeding...And What If You Can't? (Paperback)
I was recommended this book before my son was born. It looked great, lots of detail on getting the baby to latch, positioning etc. It also claims that after your baby has a feed that they happily go off to sleep in their moses basket for 2-3 hours, provided they got enough milk. Roll on the birth of my beautiful son. Was completely surprised when he spent most of the evening cluster feeding. No mention of this in the book. And he fed pretty much every hour during the night, only sleeping for a longer stretch towards morning, refusing to sleep anywhere but in the bed with me. The author only really recommends one breastfeeding position, that is sitting in a chair with the baby hiked up on pillows. The only way I got some sleep was to breastfeed lying down. The only I got something to eat was to breastfeed while sitting at the table eating. This book convinced me my supply was inadequate, when it fact it was adequate. Avoid at all costs if you intend to breastfeed
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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
This review is from: What to Expect When You're Breastfeeding...And What If You Can't? (Paperback)
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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85 of 101 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The advice is this book will convince you that you don't have enough milk, 26 Jan. 2009
By 
mama ninie (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: What to Expect When You're Breastfeeding...And What If You Can't? (Paperback)
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.
xx
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69 of 87 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK!, 15 Nov. 2008
This review is from: What to Expect When You're Breastfeeding...And What If You Can't? (Paperback)
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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51 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, incredibly helpful and NON-JUDGEMENTAL!, 2 Oct. 2003
By A Customer
It is obvious that views on this book are poles apart! If you have breastfed successfully you may not understand the need for this book but if you have never breastfed before or worse, like myself, were unable to establish breastfeeding the first time round and were left feeling an utter failure this book is invaluable. It is informative, full of helpful advice and, best of all, not judgemental should breast feeding fail. Sorry, all those earth mothers and La Leche ladies out there - we all KNOW breastfeeding is best for our babies but it does NOT come naturally or easily to all women (or all babies - as I found out with my first child) - so please don't decry a book which actually acknowledges this! With my second child I was determined to try breastfeeding again and bought this book as part of my "preparation". When I was almost screaming though each feed with the pain of cracked and bleeding nipples it was the information in this book that gave me the confidence to follow my instincts. I expressed milk to bottlefeed, topped up with formula if I could not express enough, and gave one breastfeed a day on the least sore side to keep baby familiar with the breast. After 4 days I returned to breastfeeding with 2 bottles of formula to supplement until my supply returned fully and after a week was just breastfeeding again! Breastfeeding is now an absolute joy but without this book I really do not believe I would have cracked it! I was depressed after my first child (now a happy and healthy 3 year old), partly because I felt a breastfeeding failure - breastfeeding was "expected" of me! This book has finally healed the emotional scars.
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Some useful advice but be discerning, 21 Jun. 2011
This review is from: What to Expect When You're Breastfeeding...And What If You Can't? (Paperback)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A voice of sanity, 3 May 2014
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This review is from: What to Expect When You're Breastfeeding...And What If You Can't? (Paperback)
I struggled miserably with feeding. Without the calm, sane advice of CBCook I think I might really have been heading for a depression. Hearing from everyone that you just need to persist, isn't any help at all. For anyone who's found the nose to nipple utter nonsense, here's the reason why.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 14 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: What to Expect When You're Breastfeeding...And What If You Can't? (Paperback)
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 visitors I've dealt with. I would thoroughly recommend it.
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What to Expect When You're Breastfeeding...And What If You Can't?
What to Expect When You're Breastfeeding...And What If You Can't? by Clare Byam-Cook (Paperback - 4 May 2006)
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