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Customer Review

on 17 January 1999
I have a love-hate relationship with this book. It is huge, and there is something to read on every question you may have. However, it is often highly misleading, and despite being theoretically a UK version, a lot of the information is more relevant to the USA. It is presented as an unbiased reference book, for example listing arguments for and against certain approaches to childcare. However, the authors have been highly selective in the arguments they list in such sections, so that many points which they presumably do not agree with are either not included, or presented unfairly.
The book seems to promote an American conservative approach to childcare, which seems peculiar in the UK. For example, the authors are evidently very much in favour of routine circumcision of baby boys, and the list of possible arguments against it is small and superficial. This operation is routine in some US hospitals, but is generally considered unnecessary and unfair in the UK - most doctors will refuse to perform it unless there is some overrriding clinical or religious imperative.
The book is less supportive of breastfeeding than any other modern childcare book I have read, and it gives strange advice in this chapter. The authors claim that breastfeeding is not recommended in a range of situations, but most lactation authorities would disagree with many of them. If you want help with breastfeeding, consult the experts at La Leche League or the National Childbirth Trust, and ignore this book.
In numerous other areas, the book presents some highly controversial views as if they were accepted facts. Use this book if you will, but consult other sources as well.
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