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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 29 October 2004
I write this as an American living in the UK.
I read most of the book in one sitting. It is enjoyable, informative & funny. I was disappointed, though, by the anecdotal tone -- although she often cites "studies" she doesn't tell us which study, where, by who, when, etc. She dismisses all manual breast pumps as rubbish, when most people who have tried it get on with the Avent system, and heaven knows it's a lot cheaper than any electric pump. She also doesn't mention Hale & his book on Medications in Mother's Milk, which is an invaluable resource for women needing meds when breastfeeding.
She says or advises a lot of things categorically which were not true in my experience -- ie, I didn't find it necessary to take 5 pillows to hospital with me, just to get breastfeeding established.
But even though I already breastfed 3 children, I also found useful & new information in the book. I would say it's an excellent resource for anybody who *knows* they want to breastfeed & just need support, or anybody who is open-minded to the idea and wants information that is easy to read. If you detest brash Americans then don't buy it, though, it will irritate you into stocking up on formula at the next opportunity.
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on 5 October 1999
This is a terrific book. I work with mothers who are trying to breastfeed and recommend this book very highly. After reading a borrowed copy, I went out and bought two copies of my own, so I could loan it to others but always have my own copy too. That's how good it is.
Plus it's so readable you can read it even with the tenth of a brain you still have functioning in the few days after giving birth.
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on 15 May 1999
When I was first considering breastfeeding, I read every book I could get my hands on. This one is by far the best! It is practical, helpful, and a great reference. But, unlike some others I found, it is also funny, enjoyable, and *easy* to read. I've been nursing for 8 months now and I still use it as a reference. I love this book so much that I've already purchased copies for two of my friends who are pregnant and plan to give it to every new mother I know from now on!
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on 14 April 1998
I'm a firm believer in preventing problems before they start, and Janet Tamaro's book will do just that. She discusses *why* you should breastfeed, or at least "try it" even if you think it's "not for you" (it doesn't have to be; it's for your baby), and how and why to avoid situations that can cause breastfeeding problems such as drugs in delivery, bottles by the nurses, infant/mother separation. Maybe it will make some people realise that those of us who advocate those things aren't martyrs, but are realists. Proper latch-on and positioning are well explained, as are the realities of living with a tiny newborn. (Scary sometimes for first time moms, but it doesnt' have to be.) "So that's what they're for" should be available in every bookstore instead of dry, condenscending books such as the "what to expect" series. Read this and you won't need the any other books on early babyhood because you'll be well on your way to being tuned into your baby and your body. It's a pretty fast read but good for a second or third trip through.
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on 18 December 1997
This is, by far, the funniest, most clever book on breastfeeding I have ever read! Mothers have been inundated with cliches about the "joy of nursing" -- but this book takes a lighthearted look at the nursing relationship, along with providing concise, informative, accurate advice on breastfeeding. Baby books and "manuals" are fine for practical advice on fevers, toys, baths, etc. -- but few offer accurate or thorough information on breastfeeding. I would give this book to any woman who plans to nurse her baby. "So that's what they're for" also addresses attachment parenting (with regards to nighttime nursing and family bed), an approach to parenting that is often regarded, by its critics, as "spoiling" children. However, the author's casual, "follow-your-instincts" attitude is a welcome change from the rigid, preachy methods and systems of popular baby books. Breastfeeding is taken way too seriously in this country: this book is the ultimate answer to that problem! Kudos and thank you, Ms. Tamaro!!!
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on 2 May 2003
This is the best breast feeding book that I have read. It contains loads of information and helpful guidance that is written in a human way. Bit too much focus for me on how to justify your choice of breast feeding to others - think maybe attitudes have changed since the book was written (or maybe it is a North American thing) but apart from that everything is interesting and helpful. A book for people who want to breast feed and are looking for help/information on making it work for you - if you are hesitating about what to do buy this book and persevere!!
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on 6 June 1999
This is a great book! I have several good breastfeeding books and this one is the one I would recommend first to anyone. Even though there are others that are more technical, I found this one to be warm and intelligently written, as well as funny. I think the information in it is vital for any breastfeeding family -- dads too!
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on 30 April 1999
How I wish I had found this before my son was born. All the info I found in the other books was in here, but MUCH more entertaining and just as accurate! Great shower gift for expectant moms! Loved the chapter on toddler nursing, too!
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on 13 January 1999
I always knew that I wanted to nurse because I thought it was the best thing to do for the baby. After reading this book, I realized that not only is it good for your child, but it's best for the mother and the family as a whole. In fact, I can no longer understand why women do not want to breastfeed. This book has taught me (in a very humorous way) that breast milk contains more than 400 ingredients not found in formula!! Additionally, breast milk has four hormones that cannot be reproduced synthetically that have a direct effect on a baby's brain development. However, the most amazing thing is that if your baby is sick and you nurse, the germ will travel from the baby into the mother's body via the breast. The mother will then manufacture a matching antibody and send that back to her baby through the breast milk (how can you beat that!!!). Nursing also helps get the mother back in shape by burning 500 to 700 calories per day and causing the uterus to contract.
I cannot recommend this book enough. You'll finish it in two days!! (it's that good and well written).
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on 20 June 1999
Although most people think that breastfeeding is instinctive, you really need an instruction manual since neither of you know what you're doing. If you are tempted to buy the more technical breastfeeding books, save your money. Janet does an excellent job of telling you everything you need to know. And her hilarious sense of humor really helps you absorb the information you'll need to breastfeed successfully (barring unusual individual circumstances). This is only one of two books I've ever laughed out loud at--she really makes a technical subject rather riveting! Her discussion of the later stages of breastfeeding is also helpful, since the learning process doesn't stop when they learn to latch on.
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