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Lactivism : how feminists and fundamentalists, hippies and yuppies, and physicians and politicians made breastfeeding big business and bad policy / Courtney Jung.

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Subject: Women's studies > United States.
Breastfeeding > Social aspects > United States.
Infants > Nutrition > United States.
Breastfeeding > Social aspects.
Infants > Nutrition.
Women's studies.
United States.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780465039692
  • ISBN: 0465039693
  • Physical Description: 258 pages ; 25 cm.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 215-252) and index.
Summary: "Is breast really best? Breastfeeding is widely assumed to be the healthiest choice, yet growing evidence suggests that its benefits have been greatly exaggerated. New moms are pressured by doctors, health officials, and friends to avoid the bottle at all costs-often at the expense of their jobs, their pocketbooks, and their well-being. In Lactivism, political scientist Courtney Jung offers the most deeply researched and far-reaching critique of breastfeeding advocacy to date. Drawing on her own experience as a devoted mother who breastfed her two children and her expertise as a social scientist, Jung investigates the benefits of breastfeeding and asks why so many people across the political spectrum are passionately invested in promoting it, even as its health benefits have been persuasively challenged. What emerges is an eye-opening story about class and race in America, the big business of breastfeeding, and the fraught politics of contemporary motherhood. "-- Provided by publisher.
"Breastfeeding has become a moral imperative in 21st century America. Once upon a time, this moral imperative made sense. Breastfeeding was believed to bring multiple health benefits, including increased resistance to many chronic and even fatal diseases, protection against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), improved intelligence, and countless immunities. The irony now, however, is that breastfeeding continues to gain moral force just as scientists are showing that its benefits have been greatly exaggerated. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention declared the failure to breastfeed "a public health issue," thus placing bottle-feeding on par with smoking, obesity, and unsafe sex. Recently, politicians too have launched highly visible breastfeeding initiatives, such as former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's well-publicized Latch On campaign. And, meanwhile, women who don't breastfeed their babies have found themselves with a lot of explaining to do. Physicians, public health officials, and other mothers are pressuring them to breastfeed even though the best science shows that the advantages of doing so are minimal at best. What is going on? In Lactivism, Courtney Jung offers the most deeply researched and far-reaching critique of the breastfeeding imperative to date. Drawing on a wide range of evidence, from rigorously peer-reviewed scientific research to interviews with physicians, politicians, business interests, activists, social workers, and mothers from across the social and political spectrum, Jung presents an eye-opening account of how a practice that began as an alternative to Big Business has become Big Business itself"-- Provided by publisher.
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