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Clare Byam-Cook

(113 Posts)
MewsMum Thu 09-Jul-09 15:38:41

Hi there,
I've just been having a look through some of the breast feeding threads and just wanted to post a little note re CBC.

She is fantastic.
I gave birth to my little girl at St.Thomas' in May and although I found the midwives to be excellent the help that I got breastfeeding was awful.
It was sooo demoralizing as all the other mums in the ward seemed to be taking to it like ducks to water but I just couldn't get my little girl interested. I asked for help as having joined the NCT I had been well tutored in the 'breast is best' philosophy. However, even with my midwife painfully squeezing my nipple and another swinging the baby on to the boob (having shoved my nipple to her nose prior to no avail)it still wasn't working.
Nevertheless I was told to just keep trying as it would of course work and babies didn't really need feeding that early on - she'd be fine! We gave birth on the Wednesday, by Friday night the poor mite cried all night. By Saturday morning she was yellow, her lips were shrivelled and she looked small and exhausted.
At that point I had had ENOUGH. I had to ask for some formula and eventually it was brought to me with a syringe.
Her face when the food landed in her mouth was a picture and it still makes me cry to think about it.
From that moment on I started to bottle feed.
We left the hospital that day (I begged!) and went home, still trying the techniques taught by the NCT but to no avail. Nipple to nose, swing baby on, arm between legs etc etc. Really uncomfortable for both of us and pretty crap really.
By week 2 after 2 midwife visits and a health visitor we still weren't breast-feeding (although at least pumping). I then called the NCT breastfeeding help line and was told to 'place the naked baby onto my stomach as she would then shuffle her way up toward my breast and latch on'. Great - needless to say it didn't work. The NCT lady who could have come to the house was on holiday. I was left with a 'Good luuuck'.
Thankfully at that point a friend gave me a number for Clare Byam-Cook. She made an appointment, came to the house and had us feeding within the hour. Her common sense approach was just wonderful and she removed so much awful NCT induced guilt. She could see from the pump that I wasn't making much milk and suggested to combine bottle and boob which worked wonders.
My little girl is 9 weeks old this week, we are still breast feeding and occasionally adding a bottle when necessary. My daughter sleeps 6-7 hours each night and happily feeds every 3-4 hours.
We're still not great breast-feeders (we are better feeding at home than in Starbucks) but we are doing it pain free and we are still here!
So many other mums I know who started with the NCT method have already or are considering giving up. To be honest I am really not surprised.
So - if you are struggling DO consider other advice. The main merit of an NCT teacher is that they have breast fed themselves for 6 months. Well, I am glad that they found it so easy... some of us just don't and I'm so glad we called in the Big Guns rather than just giving up. There is a really anti CBC vibe on this site, which is really sad.
I found her to be friendly, polite and ultimately a well-informed source of breast feeding guidance. The NCT could definitely learn a thing or two...

suwoo Thu 09-Jul-09 15:55:15

Hi Clare, nice to see you.


rubyslippers Thu 09-Jul-09 15:57:19

i thought pumping was not a good indication of milk production

you Thu 09-Jul-09 15:58:58

You can't tell how much milk you're making from a pump.

But glad things are working out well for you smile

you Thu 09-Jul-09 15:59:27


JackBauerDoodleDoes Thu 09-Jul-09 16:00:21

What's the 'NCT' method? I wasn't aware there was a 'method' of Bfing....

very odd post out of nowhere so
grin at suwoo.

StealthPolarBear Thu 09-Jul-09 16:00:33

Does anyone want to buy her book? I do not recommend it but if anyone wants it I'll sell it cheaply.
OP, I'm glad everything is working for you, and congratulations on your DD

belgo Thu 09-Jul-09 16:03:37

Pumping is not an indication of milk production. I've been breastfeeding more then three years in total but have barely been able to pump more then a few drops.

MewsMum Thu 09-Jul-09 16:06:16

It's true that a good sucking bub can probably get more out of a boob than a pump but my Medela was getting very little indeed. Certainly not enough to feed the wee one. Mixing the two, pumped and formula worked well.
And hey, isn't it good to get some positivity? You CAN switch from bottle to breast, if it doesn't work out at first you CAN turn things around and babies WILL take both boob and bottle. Some of us just have a slow let-down (god how I envied those with milk that spurted from their breasts!)
So many mums have all of these worries I thought it'd be nice to pop a success story in there.

Lulumama Thu 09-Jul-09 16:06:20

glad it has worked for you

does not mean that all the women for whom her method has not worked are wrong

also you pay clare , non?

NCT people are volunteers with their own families, so not always available at the drop of a hat

pumping is categorically NOT a good way to see how much milk there is. practically every breastfeeding expert/advocate is agreed on that

biological nurturing is something that works too, just because it did not for you, does not mean it is wrong

there is an anti CBC vibe on this site for IMO valid and good reasons

but glad it is all good for you smile

Can I ask what miracle CBC actually did in the hour she was with you for? Or do we have to pay for that information?

MewsMum Thu 09-Jul-09 16:16:47

Bottom line is that where the midwives, health visitors and NCT helpline failed for me, Clare worked.
If anyone else is out there and struggling or about to give up give her a go before you do.
Yes, she is private so you do pay.. but it really is worth it.

Anyway, hello Mumsnetters, have a sleeping little one and thought I'd have a peruse online while I had the chance.

Lulumama Thu 09-Jul-09 16:17:57

can I ask how much you paid?

No the bottom line is if you want to help other mums you tell us what CBC did to make it work. You don't advertise on her behalf.

belgo Thu 09-Jul-09 16:20:47

Does the NCT really tutor the 'breast is best' philosophy?

MewsMum Thu 09-Jul-09 16:22:51

Hey.. what's that about?
'Can I ask what miracle CBC actually did in the hour she was with you for? Or do we have to pay for that information? '
I thought that it'd be nice to share some good news. Was I wrong?
She got my baby breast feeding, she made me feel confident and happy. Her techniques/methods worked. They might not work for everyone but they worked for me and I'm aware that they work for others.
No need to get sarcastic.

belgo Thu 09-Jul-09 16:25:50

I think that's a valid question. If she helped you get bfing sorted, then why not tell us how she helped?

What exactly could the NCT learn from her?

suwoo Thu 09-Jul-09 16:26:29

Mumsnet is a nest of vipers dontcha know. Or did Clare Daisy G not tell you that.

Habbibu Thu 09-Jul-09 16:27:12

But the pump thing is just wrong. I couldn't express much when dd was wee, but she stuck to the 99.6th centile on breastfeeding alone for 6 months, so clearly was getting shedloads of milk. She may be very nice, but that is misinformation.

If you want to mix feed, then fine, but it's not the best advice for people who want to exclusively breastfeed.

nigglewiggle Thu 09-Jul-09 16:29:37

I agree with Libras. If your problems were so easily resolved and you want to help rather than advertise yourself CBC then explain what she did, and how much it costs.

MewsMum Thu 09-Jul-09 16:34:08

Chortle... so I now notice Suwoo.
Just fancied some friendly chat & to sing someones praises. Hmmm..perhaps not.
The session I had was specific to me and AN HOUR LONG! do you really think that I can type it all out for you??? Weird.
A lot of it is in the book (which was great as I have a bloody awful memory now!)but it was about comfortable positioning, not accepting a bad latch, topping her up with a bottle until she was getting enough from me and being confident. Well, she didn't mention the latter but that is how I felt after which was great.
We also covered swaddling and she helped my lovely partner out with holding the little one as he was feeling a bit insecure and awkward.

I also am rather partial to the guy that works in Dandelion on Northcote Road and Kaz Cook is genius... is that advertising too?

ShowOfHands Thu 09-Jul-09 16:37:12

Well you had a couple of weeks of bad advice and struggles and you managed to precis that so an hour with CBC should be very straightforward for you to describe.

I am pleased you have a bfing relationship with your child and you are happy with how you spent your money.

belgo Thu 09-Jul-09 16:37:51

Fine if you want to sing someone's praises, but I'm more interested in your comments on the NCT in particular:

Does the NCT really use the words 'Breast is Best'?

'The main merit of an NCT teacher is that they have breast fed themselves for 6 months.'

AFAIK, NCT teachers have had much training for their positions.

What exactly are the thing or two that the NCT could learn?

Lulumama Thu 09-Jul-09 16:39:58

the pump information is categorically wrong, i'm afraid.

and can you say how much she charges?

DitaVonCheese Thu 09-Jul-09 16:41:16

Dandelion sells health food, not men, so no grin

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