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Clare Byam-Cook is getting way too much exposure as a BF 'Expert'

(68 Posts)
kiskidee Wed 12-Sep-07 13:19:51

People will start to believe this woman knows enough about bf before long.

TheQueenOfQuotes Wed 12-Sep-07 13:20:45

who is she????

MarinaLaPasionaria Wed 12-Sep-07 13:22:29

B/F "advisor" to SWMNBN, which should tell us all we need to know hmm
Even the title of her book is equivocal about b/f successfully, for shame angry

TheSocialistWorker Wed 12-Sep-07 13:24:13

What qualifications does she have?

kiskidee Wed 12-Sep-07 13:25:20

AAAARGH he just promoted her farking book!!!

Jeremy Vile, that is.

LizaRose Wed 12-Sep-07 13:25:28

Actually, I found her book very helpful.

kiskidee Wed 12-Sep-07 13:26:36

not any afaik. if she does, it must be at least 20 years old.

I stood in a bookshop once and read a snippet and had an underlayer of misconceptions.

VeniVidiVernonHartshornNUMNQV Wed 12-Sep-07 13:27:11

Oh, she allegedly knew all there was to know. (In 1963 or something hmm)

Allegedly, going by the advice I have seen on 'other' websites, it apparently doesnt reflect current Government or WHO advice.

ChubbyScotsBurd Wed 12-Sep-07 13:27:49

I can't believe her first breath was to discuss women who 'don't have enough milk' - what sort of breastfeeding expert spouts generalisations like that? What percentage of us REALLY can't make enough milk?

She's undermining everything people are doing to advance knowledge about breastfeeding and she's actually effectively denting women's confidence in their bodies when she says she's doing the opposite.

Email sent ... angry

VeniVidiVernonHartshornNUMNQV Wed 12-Sep-07 13:29:12

Liza, she's not all bad, that's true.

However, it could be suggested that her motives have a financial agenda that possibly override the need to keep up with current advice that may conflict with certain parenting 'experts'.

(MNHQ - am I being careful enough?)

TheSocialistWorker Wed 12-Sep-07 13:29:38

I never take advice from anyone with "guru" after their name

LizaRose Wed 12-Sep-07 13:30:06

What exactly is wrong with her book? I read it when pg with ds2 (having dismally failed to bf ds1) and it was a heck of a lot more useful than anything I got from the NHS!

LizaRose Wed 12-Sep-07 13:31:18

Bf ds2 for 3 years, btw wink.

MarinaLaPasionaria Wed 12-Sep-07 13:31:29

What VVVQV said, really. But it's great if you found it helpful LizaRose

MarinaLaPasionaria Wed 12-Sep-07 13:32:37

And agree with you that b/f support on the NHS is horribly patchy, sadly.
From my own experiences, the book that most of my b/f pals found helpful was Bestfeeding

TheSocialistWorker Wed 12-Sep-07 13:34:00

I do disagree with things like this:

"4 No pain = gain
Whoever tells you that breastfeeding should feel uncomfortable to begin with is wrong. From day one you should feel NO pain. If you are, it's a sign that your baby isn't latched on properly."

I just DISAGREE. I breastfed for over 3 years in total and I NEVER found it pain-free or comfortable. Despite my two best mates being well qualified breastfeding counsellors (proper ones). And the first few weeks were HELL, and my health visitor kept saying "IF IT HURTS THE BABY ISN'T ON RIGHT" which I just heard as "YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!"

I think it CAN hurt. And it probably WILL hurt. And if you think this is because you are DOING SOMETHING WRONG - when this is the ONE thing you are supposed to be doing for your baby! - you are going to feel very very crap about yourself.

VeniVidiVernonHartshornNUMNQV Wed 12-Sep-07 13:35:07

Oh I agree Liza, the lack of Government funding and support to assist mothers with regard to infant feeding has left a gaping hole in "the market".

I'm surprised more 'experts' havent cashed in, tbh.

I blardy wish Hunker and tiktok would right a book on it.

TheSocialistWorker Wed 12-Sep-07 13:36:13

And I disagree with things like this:

"Perfect timing
For the first few days, before your milk comes in, a baby that is latched on correctly should only need to spend approximately 15-20 minutes (7-10 minutes on each breast) at each feed. If she is feeding for much longer than this, she is almost certainly latched on incorrectly and is therefore unable to extract your milk effectively. Don't listen to what people say about letting your baby dictate the amount of time she should be on there."

I utterly disagree. Baby1 spent 40-60 minutes for each feed, and Baby2 spent 3-5 minutes for each feed, right from birth. I think all babies are different, and all mummies let downs are different, and if you start timing feeds you are setting yourself up for a stressful ride about what is 'right' and 'wrong'.

VeniVidiVernonHartshornNUMNQV Wed 12-Sep-07 13:36:54


write a book on it.

TSW - i was told off by tiktok for saying that once.....there was a good escapes me now. I hope she'll come along soon and explain for

TheSocialistWorker Wed 12-Sep-07 13:37:39

And I disagree with things like this:

"Don't rely on your baby being able to tell you when and how often he needs to feed. You should know roughly what a newborn will need by the way of food and sleep and try to provide it. After all, if you went into a pet shop to buy a hamster you would expect the owner of the shop to give you feeding instructions, not the hamster! Surely the situation is the same with a new baby!"

Because a BABY is not some sort of CONSUMER ITEM that you buy with an instruction manual!

TheSocialistWorker Wed 12-Sep-07 13:39:37

And I disagree with:

"If all else fails
If, for whatever reason, breastfeeding doesn't work for you (e.g. excruciatingly sore nipples, not enough milk etc), and none of the experts you have consulted have provided a solution, don't feel you're a failure. It's the experts who have failed, not you. After all, if a plumber failed to fix a problem, you wouldn't blame yourself would you? Give up and bottle feed!"

Because the tone is flippant and because it assumes that you might not have enough milk. I think making it so casual "Oh you might not have enough milk - so give up!" is very undermining.

wordgirl Wed 12-Sep-07 13:41:24

That hamster analogy is really crap. I'm pretty sure a mummy hamster doesn't need a manual to tell it how to feed its baby.

ChubbyScotsBurd Wed 12-Sep-07 13:47:36

I agree TSW - successful breastfeeding needs support in the vein of "You CAN do it and you WILL do it and your problems CAN be fixed", not "Nevermind, here's a bottle of SMA". Anyone with genuine knowledge of the subject would be much less flippant - there's no place for her levity when BF mums need encouragement.

DaisyMOO Wed 12-Sep-07 13:55:33

As a former hamster-owner I've never found the need to regulate their feeding - they seem to know how much they need and when if you allow them free access to food. Similar to babies then. smile

tiktok Wed 12-Sep-07 13:58:00

Did she really talk about hamsters? Dear oh dear.

She is a pain in the arse, to be honest, and her book is riddled with elementary errors about how breastfeeding works - she is also unsupervised and works in private practice, and everyone needs to work with supervision, in my view (I don't mean with someone breathing down your neck, but with an organisation or a professional system that means you can be kicked out or re-trained or re-skilled if you f* up).

What does make her successful is the way she does not mince her words about how crap the breastfeeding support is for women in general - and I can't disagree with her there. Some women also like her brisk, interventionist approach and the way she tells them what to do - including 'give up breastfeeding'.

Breastfeeding counsellors - who she hates - don't work like this. We also (on the whole) know more about breastfeeding.

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