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on October 9, 2002
It ISN"T just their opinion that breastmilk is best for babies, so if they use some strong words to get mothers to breastfeed, and help them succeed, they are only being honest.
A few of these reviews made me laugh. Several reviewers criticized the authors for saying, for example, that you should nurse whenever baby is hungry... resulting in them nursing 24/7 for days on end and not eating or sleeping. Surely, as adults, we can use a little common sense to interpret what we read. Yes, parents are allowed to eat and sleep too, and nature does not intend for babies to nurse 24/7 for weeks. (Though, if the complaining mother had tried a sling, or getting some help from her spouse or friends, she could have eaten while nursing...) If co-sleeping doesn't work in your family, put baby in a crib.
And as for the reviewer who said that the Sears told mothers to avoid treating illnesses so they could nurse ... I suspect she misunderstood. I don't have the book in front of me, but what I THINK they meant was that you don't HAVE to wean to treat most illnesses. The vast majority of medications are perfectly safe to use while nursing, (or have a safe alternative) yet many doctors will tell mothers that they have to wean, at least temporarily, if they are ill and need to take medication. The point is that the risk to the baby from traces of maternal medication in the milk is far, far smaller than the risk to the baby of being fed formula instead. (Even for a short while, and since few mothers are able to pump-and-dump for several weeks and then get baby back on the breast, even 'temporary' weaning very often ends up being permanent weaning.)
And comfort nursing does not teach bad habits...
Yes, the Sears do encourage new mothers to stay home with their babies, if possible. But if the mother can't, she can't, and the book does discuss the issues of employed mothers. (And, to respond to another reviewer, you really CAN get out of the house during the first year while nursing on demand, comfort nursing, and using cloth diapers.)
If you want a book that tells you that "breast is best, but formula is just as good, and if you just don't want to nurse, or you have some minor difficulties and want to quit, that's perfectly ok too," I'd recommend "What to Expect" or any of the other general parenting books. But if you want an honest, well-written text that promotes breastfeeding, doesn't mince words, and helps mothers to succeed, this is an excellent choice.
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on January 22, 2008
I think its important for people to realize that the Sears promote Attachment Parenting. They have NOT created a basic breastfeeding book leaving out their basic principles, so if you bought this book expecting mainstream, you should probably have researched some more. Don't complain when the Sears deliver exactly what us attachment parenting people WANT.

Nonetheless, it has great information about breastfeeding, but if you are not a believe in Attachment Parenting, sure, you are going to be annoyed. Perhaps a different book, or just read the knowledge and leave the theory.

I don't understand why people would buy a book written by them, then complain about the Attachment Parenting values. Do your research before buying!
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on July 8, 2003
I'm still breastfeeding my 10 month old with great success, and the Sears' books have been wonderful. Contrary to what some reviewers have said, you don't need to be a stay-at-home mom who never goes out and nurses 24/7. I work seasonally, and when my daughter was 4 months old, I started working 75 hour weeks for three months. I continued to exclusively breastfeed. I felt like I was pumping my breasts off, but I made it work. I battled supple issues from the time she was born, because she had latch problems due to a misaligned jaw. Fortunately, my hospital had resources to help me with this as well. I was able to take herbal supplements and drink nursing tea to help with my supply. At this point, I'm able to meet her needs all on my own. Not only that, but I've been on medication almost the entire time as well. It is possible, you just have to be committed and willing to make it work. There were times when I felt like giving up, but I stuck it out, and it's the most wonderful thing I've ever done. BTW, during the time that I was working all those hours, I continued to use just cloth diapers as well, and my husband also worked full-time. My dinner was always eaten while nursing my daughter, and as soon as I finished eating, I was back to work. We're not rich people, but very committed to doing the very best for our baby and the earth, and Dr. Sears helps us with that.
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on August 20, 2003
People! People! People!
I am rather disturbed after reading some of the reviews.
Let's use some commonsense and be objective, please!!!
Breast-feeding is a wonderful thing.
However, please do not let 1 book become your sole reference (or make you cry for that matter) for what is potentially 1 of the most important decisions during your child's life.
Please read other references.
Please consultant your doctor, nurse or lactation consultant (who generally offer free advice), and other women who have breastfed successfully.
Pro's:Overall Content Good
General Problem Solving are Good
Con's:Everything in this book can be found
in "The Baby Book" by Martha Sears R.N., William Sears M.D.
Problems can better be resolved by doctor, nurse/lactation consultant
(I also suggest reading: "The Nursing Mother's Problem Solver" by Claire Martin)

I have battled with:
1. Jaundice when my child was first born. (I supplemented using a bottle and continued to breastfeed).
2. Not feeling as though she was getting enough to eat (she seemed as if she cried none stop)
3. Sleepless nights (this was resolved once I learned how to nurse at night, which wasn't easy at first because she was so tiny)
4. Growth Spurts (Nursing around the clock)
5. Refusing a bottle (Even though she has had 1 since birth)
6. General overall tiredness (Which can reduce your supply, so ask for help around the house and relax a little)
7. Returning to Work (and continuing to breastfeed, while pumping when away)
Through it all, I keep reading and asking questions.
Never letting any 1 source deter me from my goal.
And ultimately doing what is best for our family in any given situation.
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on December 10, 2003
This book helped me gain the confidence needed to seriously breastfeed my first child. I always knew breast was best, but of course had my doubts on whether or not I could do it for 6-12 months, or even if I could produce enough milk. In the end, I nursed my first child until he was 23 months old, at which point I had to wean him because I was 3 months pregnant and for the first time, latching on really HURT! I'm now 8 months pregnant and looking forward to nursing my 2nd child.
The lip-flip tip in this book really helped me get the latch on correct, and the information on combining nursing with pumping to help increase my milk supply was great! When I went back to work, I was able to pump 15-26 ounces per day (in 3 pumpings).
All the other breastfeeding books I read were all written by women. Dr. William Sears adds his input from a man's perspective, which is funny (check out his reaction while driving and Martha began breastfeeding in the back seat of their car), and insightful. My husband even enjoyed reading this book!
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on December 14, 2002
This book is very thorough and explains many ins and outs of breastfeeding and how to make it work for even the mothers who want to or have to get out of the house or work. Yes, they suggest staying home because that is important for baby but tell you if you have to that you can still provide your milk and be attached when you are home.
It covers premies and how important your milk is to your baby and to be prepared to stick to your guns when the doctors are telling you baby HAS to feed by bottle because breastfeeding is too tiring. Actually, the bottle feeding is more tiring for a premie, there are several research articles proving this. And they let you know that it is ok to get a breastfeeding helper to help you to succeed. Pumping and providing your milk is the one way that you can help your baby and be involved when you often feel so helpless.
The discussions on latch, positioning, problems and answering your babys needs, are very understandable and help you to not feel guilty for following your own instincts instead of some strict scheduling type of book.
The book even explains how, if you are sick or need a medication, you still won't need to stop breastfeeding, except in rare instances. Most medications are compatible with breastfeeding so don't worry about the small amount that might get into your milk, but always check with your healthcare professional who should check Dr. Thomas Hale's Medications and Mothers Milk. (More reliable than the PDR.)
I think this book is a lifesaver for someone just learning. Your life doesn't stop with breastfeeding it is a very special, more connected time with your child, not to mention the most normal food and nutrition to protect your childs health and development.
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on July 12, 2001
I respect the fact that the Sears have nursed 8 kids. I also respect the sound medical advice that is contained in the book. WHat I have a problem with is the tone of the book. I was very prepared to breastfedd. I nursed my son as soon as possible in the hospital (he was in the NICU, so we had to wait a few hours). I met with 3 latation consultants and was guided and supported by all the medical staff. I bought a Medela breast pump for returning to work and didn't own a bottle. After a week of trying to feed, my son was fussy and cried a lot. He was jaudice and not regaining his birth weight. Finally the perdiatrician told me to supplement with formula after each feed and so I did. We had no problem with nipple confusin as the book said we would. We contintued to try to breast feed him as often as every hour if he wanted. Turns out, my milk wasn't coming in and my son was not getting enough to eat. My mom got me this book in hopes that it would help me feed. What I got was the message that I was failing at breastfeeding because I didn't believe I would succeed or because I had no support or because i had introduced formula or a hundred other reasons. It was never addressed that some people just can't breast feed. I read the book and was so depressed that I cried for a week and seriously felt I was letting my son down and depriving him because I had no milk. I kept him at the breast, and even pumped in between. After three weeks, no milk. When we finnaly accepted that he was *hungry* and breast feeding wasn't working, we gave him a bottle. Within two days he was calmer, the jaundice was gone and he put all his birth weight back on. I think I did the right thing for my child. I guess I just wish that a Dr. Sears, a person who is so respected, would address the issue of attachment parenting when you can't breastfeed, because I felt as if this was no longer an option for my family since I had "failed" at breastfeeding. If you are certin that breastfeeding is an option for you, this is a good resource. But if you aren't, I would beware. Feeling guilty for using a bottle is the last thing a new parent needs in the first weeks of their childs life.
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on February 18, 2001
Read this book slowly, it offers many good advices and tips. When I had a first child, I breastfed her for three weeks, on and off. It seemed long enough for me. I had problem with the latching on. She cried a lot and I gave up, I gave her formula feeding.
With the second baby, I read this book when I was pregnant and started to breastfeed as early and often as possible and although I still had many problems and it was difficult in the first six weeks, I could eventually manage them.
I also follow "sleep sharing", which really helps me. My family is abroad and nobody helped me to take care the baby. It was hard for the first few days, I could not afford to wake up at night to pick up my baby from the crib, so I took him to our bed. Our family slept well after that and I healed faster. My baby gained a lot, rarely cries, healthy and I still nurse him now at 4 months.
It is especially easy to travel, I don't have to prepare bottle, water, etc.. I breastfeed him in our car in the parking lot, just before we go to supermarket/shopping mall, and we had good time. Honestly, after going through bottlefeed and breasfeed, breastfeed indeed brings me closer to the baby. Thanks Dr. Sears
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on August 31, 2000
This book was the answer to all my questions about breastfeeding! It covers all the aspects of it, from the basics concepts needed for a good start (correct latching on, positions, feedings frequency..) to the more complex challenges faced by mothers who are returning to work or who want to breastfeed their toddler, twins or any mother/baby pair with otherwise special needs. It also gives useful information concerning some aspects often left aside by other books such as the mother nutrition, a guide to breastfeeding products and clothes (what really is useful? plus some useful web sites addresses are provided) and last but not least the father's role in breastfeeding. It is THE BOOK I would recommand to any pregnant woman who is considering nursing her infant (and even those who are not, they might change their minds!). One warning though, the authors seem to favor natural attachment parenting (they encourage co-sleeping, cue feeding, sling wearing..) which was fine by me but might not be appreciated by everyone.
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on June 5, 2002
I bought this book when I was having problems breastfeeding after getting mastitis. My production almost stopped.
This wasn't a good book to buy when I was already that close to stopping breastfeeding. As my supply continued to diminish, I felt like more and more of a failure.
If you stay home and are able to feed your baby and not worry about needing to pump, the book is fine.
If you work and are having any problems, this book will make you feel awful. After all, adoptive mothers can build a milk supply - if you just had a baby, what's wrong with you that you can't - FAILURE!
The Sears family needs to realize that some people just can't breastfeed and need to be a little kinder to those who can't. I can understand wanting people to breastfeed, but they need to realize that people who buy the book don't need to be convinced to breastfeed; they probably already are but are having problems.
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