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breastfeeding guru to the stars give dubious advice

(28 Posts)
emkana Sat 07-May-05 11:13:23

in the Times today

She says that a normal, healthy baby should feed every three to four hours and that feeding every hour shows that something is wrong. Ey? What happened to feeding on demand? What happened to cluster-feeding a newborn? If I had gone by that advice when mine were tiny then I would have thought I was doing something wrong, but I don't think I was!

Tiktok, any other experts here who can enlighten me on what the most up-to-date advice is?

emkana Sat 07-May-05 11:16:55

Just wanted to add that of course feeding every hour shouldn't go on for ever and ever. But there's nothing there about growth spurts, building up milk supply...

piffle Sat 07-May-05 11:35:40

my advice is do what you feel you need to do
Gawd, honestly what did women do before b/f gurus huh.
I mean if we hadn't figured it our ourselves for eons the human race might not be around!

Tommy Sat 07-May-05 11:57:01

I read her book and found it quite helpful TBH - do you think this might be a case of quoting things out of context as journalists sometimes do?

MissChief Sat 07-May-05 12:05:28

i found this article quite fair, yes parts maybe quoted out of context. I had her book when ds was little and found it a godsend - full of useful advice - such as being realistic if b/f to painful and going on to expressing or mix feeding. she's just as expert as anyone in the NCT/LLL etc,IMO.

tiktok Sat 07-May-05 12:12:19

She gets quite a lot (not everything!) wrong, and seems to be unaware of research showing how breastfeeding works. Feeding every hour can be normal. It can also be a sign that something is wrong - but it would not be the only sign. She doesn't seem to like NCT, I don't know why.

MissChief Sat 07-May-05 12:22:39

If it works, it works, nothing wrong about it.

CarolinaMoon Sat 07-May-05 13:16:41

tiktok, I bet she doesn't like the NCT - every time you advise a mum you're potentially doing her out of £120...

suedonim Sat 07-May-05 13:29:25

There's another article here that mentions Byam-Cook. She seems to be flavour of the month - is she promoting herself or something?

CarolinaMoon Sat 07-May-05 13:45:18

that there are only 100 nct bf counsellors in the country, according to that article...

motherinferior Sat 07-May-05 14:08:54

I do think there's masses of need for breastfeeding support, but at a cursory glance she looks as if she's talking bollocks, isn't she? My babies didn't get nipple confusion but I bet others do. And they certainly didn't start feeding every three to four hours for absolutely ages. Constantly at the breast in the early days IRCC. Which I did find a bit stressful from time to time, but did actually pass.

ionesmum Sat 07-May-05 14:53:09

I used her video when preparing to bfeed dd2 and I don't think I'd have managed without it. The advice on positioning is wonderful, I practised with one of dd1's dolls prior to going into hospital and once my milk came in I had no problems at all with soreness or cracking. As I couldn't bfeed dd1 I think CBCook is a marvel.

I ignored all her cobblers about feeding routines though! I guess it' s like any other baby guru - good advice amongst a lot of rubbish, best taken with a hefty pinch of salt.

LeahE Sat 07-May-05 15:53:45

One thing that she's the ONLY person I've seen mention is that not all babies have a proper rooting reflex and that "nose to nipple" doesn't necessarily do anything. Both the breastfeeding classes I took before having DS said that if I brushed his nose with my nipple he'd open his mouth wide, but it just didn't happen that way. He had pretty much no rooting reflex and would only open his mouth halfway. We managed feeding pretty well, in fact (no sore nipples, no blocked ducts, steady weight gain, etc.), but for a while I was convinced I must be doing something wrong or there was something wrong with DS. I'd have liked to have read this first.

rumplestiltskin Sat 07-May-05 16:21:03

my dd had little rooting reflex, she'd poke her toungue out a bit and then sort of 'shlurp' the nipple in. very painful. it was only that i'd feed ds1&2 successfully that i persevered, no one i knew had ever seen this before and where unable to offer any advice. i think you need to read and hear everything and then take what is relevant to 'that' child at 'that' time. my mum has given me oodles of advice over the years, some has been inspired some truely awful. i've even managed to tell her a thing or two. lol

tiktok Sat 07-May-05 18:14:15

There are about 300 breastfeeding counsellors with NCT, and probably 200 or so in total from the other organisations.

There should be no prescriptive dogma about positioning - nose to nipple can help some mothers, and not others. It doesn't really matter, as long as the nipple and the breast are able to get far enough in to the mouth.

highlander Sat 07-May-05 18:38:12

DS needed booby every 2 hours until he was well established on solids.

I really don't know why mums are under sooooo much pressure to 'drop feeds' and reduce the time between feeds as babies get older. Surely by encouraging a grazing approach to food, as opposed to a stuff yourself full every 4 hours, is far healthier? It's how we as adults are encouraged to eat.

zebraX Sat 07-May-05 19:12:31

But Byam-Cook is being quoted, for instance:

"If you went round any hospital in London and asked 20 midwives about sore nipples, I can guarantee that at least 18 would say: It’s part and parcel of breast-feeding’," she says scathingly.

Every MW I've ever met has either had nothing to say, or said emphatically that br'feeding shouldn't hurt, or are just London MWs especially rubbish?

and so on. The thing about hospitals advising that a woman squeeze their breasts into a particular shape (whereas, bizarrely, Byam-Cook suggests you squeeze 'em into a different shape). I never read that advice anywhere on hospital literature, have any of you?

CarolinaMoon Sat 07-May-05 19:18:52

it is part of the whole 'carry on as if nothing has changed' bizarre culture that we have now about babies, i think - get your baby onto solids asap so you can go back to work full time with your baby at nursery 8am-6pm, then before- and after-school clubs every day when they're older, vast chunks of their time delegated to someone else...

I know lots of people have no choice about this , but the expectation is there even if you have 2 good incomes...

CarolinaMoon Sat 07-May-05 19:21:09

my last post was directed at highlander's comment btw, must learn to type faster...

ionesmum Sat 07-May-05 19:35:51

zebra, I was advised by a midwife to shape my boob exactly the way CBCook says not to by my midwife with dd1, and as I said I failed. I shaped the way she does with dd2 and it worked like a dream. Unless you see her in action it's hard to understand what she's talking about with regards to positioning (I also have her book) but her advice does work an dis absolutely spot-on. I don't agree with her re routines or giving bottles but there are plenty of other places to go for information.

beckymumof3 Sat 07-May-05 20:16:54

I think it is the same with all parenting 'advice' - sieve out the stuff that is relevent and works for you and ignore the rest. Now which guru is going to say that?

ionesmum Sat 07-May-05 20:24:23


highlander Sat 07-May-05 22:05:58

you've hit the nail on the head there Carolinamoon. I knew I had all the time in the world to be flexible with DS, as there's no rush (financially) to get back to work. On the other hand, 2 of my old collegues starting fretting with routines, introducing formula etc etc when there babies were only 3 months old - all because they were going back to work at 6 months and the babies had to be able to slide into a nursery routine

ionesmum Sat 07-May-05 22:30:47

yes, I've seen this too. To me it all seems very sexist - we are told that we are not fit to raise our own children and that our only value is if we are contributing to the economy through taxation. I will scream if I hear another politician talk about 'hard-working families' - what exactly do they think being a SAHM is then????

JulieF Sat 07-May-05 22:39:22

The NCT bfc was very misquoted in that article, and she isn;t too happy about it.

However with regards to CBC she has been known to give poor advice, some of her techniques work some of the time but people regard it as gospel.

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