Clare agrees that ‘Breast is Best’ but says that the most important thing is that you & your baby are happy and thriving and that he gets enough milk.

Clare believes that there is far too much emphasis placed on why mothers should breastfeed and not nearly enough on how to breastfeed. The reality is that it is not always as easy as everyone makes out and roughly 50% of mothers give up breastfeeding within six weeks because they find it too painful or difficult.

Common breastfeeding problems

  • difficulty in latching,
  • sore nipples,
  • engorged breasts,
  • recurrent mastitis
  • low milk supply.

Clare believes that almost all of these problems are caused by mothers using the wrong technique when it comes to the latching the baby on breast – Clare does not agree with the nose-to-nipple theory, but instead teaches mouth-to-nipple. She also teaches that rather than expecting your baby to open his mouth wide, you should help him by making your breast smaller – the same principle that is involved in posting a large parcel into a small letterbox!

Reviews of Clare’s DVD and books along with the testimonials from grateful parents show that these mothers find that Clare’s techniques works better than others and will usually instantly resolve problems such as difficulty in latching and sore nipples.

In a breastfeeding session, Clare

  • Shows you how to latch to latch your baby on quickly and easily
  • Demonstrates how Incorrect latching is the main cause of sore nipples and how correct latching is pain-free
  • Explains whether to use one breast or two, how long the feed should take and how to tell when the baby has had enough milk
  • Discusses winding, swaddling and settling babies after the feed
  • Discusses common problems such as wind, colic & reflux

Although most breastfeeding problems can be resolved with the right help & advice, Clare firmly believes that some mothers and babies genuinely can’t do it. Her view is that nature doesn’t always get it right. Any dairy farmer will tell you that some of his cows produce masses of milk (known as prize dairy cows!) while others produce very little milk at all – even though they are all being fed and milked in exactly the same way. Similarly any sheep farmer will confirm that some lambs need to be bottle-fed because he cannot get them to feed direct from their own mother – he does not worry about ‘nipple-teat’ confusion with these lambs because he knows that if he doesn’t bottle-feed them they will die. It is the same with mothers and babies – some mothers cannot produce enough milk however hard they try and some babies simply cannot manage to breastfeed. Thank goodness for formula milk and bottles!

And finally

Clare says that a mother should not feel a failure if she finds breastfeeding so difficult that she gives up. Clare’s view is that the new mother is the amateur and the health professionals are the experts: if these ‘experts’ can’t show a mother how to breastfeed happily and successfully they should not criticise and make her feel a failure if she switches to bottle feeding.

Photograph of a happy baby
Photograph of a mother and new-born baby
Photograph of a baby looking over the sholder of her mother
Victoria Coren Mitchell

“Clare helped us with both our babies….and we quickly realised that she is always right about absolutely everything!”

Victoria Coren Mitchell & David Mitchell
“Whenever I refer patients to Clare I am confident that, if the problem can be solved, she will solve it. Her expertise and calm, confident manner has provided help and reassurance to countless mothers over the years.”
Dr Tim Evans (Royal physician)
“Clare came to my rescue when we were in a complete mess. She turned my feeding nightmare into a much more peaceful experience.”
Tiggy Legge Bourke
“Without Clare I would have fallen at the first hurdle.”
Annabel Heseltine
The biggest problem with breastfeeding is not persuading anyone to do it, but properly teaching them how. Breastfeeding is a skill. It doesn’t come naturally and blissfully to all women and yet this is what’s often expected. Breastfeeds with my eldest child were so fraught that he’d spend most of the time screaming in frustration. Meanwhile, all the well-meaning professionals patted me on the back and said “you’re doing really well”. “Don’t give up!”

What I wanted and needed was a strict, clever nana type to tell me exactly what was going on and how to fix it. This wisdom is exactly what I got from godlike feeding guru Clare Byam-Cook when I had my second baby, who diagnosed overactive letdown within about two minutes of meeting me and fixed the problem that very day. She told me to ignore all the advice about placing nose to nipple and to just squidge my boob into the more manageable shape of a doughnut. I went on to breastfeed extremely happily for the next 17 months.

Sali Hughes, Your Content Goes Here