I’m researching an essay on breastfeeding practices and ended up reading these two dense and serious tomes that delve into America’s abysmally low breastfeeding rates. The American Association of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least a year, and the World Health Organization recommends at least two. Yet many women opt out of trying, or give up at some point well before a year.
Milk, Money and Madness examines the myriad ways in which formula overtook breastmilk as the food doctors recommended for babies. She also shows the tactics used by formula companies to undermine breastfeeding, practices that can prove deadly for babies born in areas without easy access to clean water and to parents who lack the material resources to finance formula. She also spends a great deal of time explaining why breastmilk is the optimal food for babies and toddlers. It’s a hardcore lactivism advocacy read.
Mother’s Milk is more academic, exploring the discourse of breastfeeding in America. So much food for thought, particularly her insights into race and class. The book reminded me of the wonderful article Watch Your Language.
You may be seeing a lot more breastfeeding books on here because I’m starting the process to become a La Leche League leader–yay!