Breastfeeding. The mere mention of it has many mothers wracked with anxiety (how will I manage with work, other kids, what if I don't make enough milk?) or guilt about not doing it (will I be hurting my child if I choose not to breastfeed? what will people think of me if I choose not to?).Read more...
Breastfeeding. The mere mention of it has many mothers wracked with anxiety (how will I manage with work, other kids, what if I don't make enough milk?) or guilt about not doing it (will I be hurting my child if I choose not to breastfeed? what will people think of me if I choose not to?). This hot-button issue is one we've talked about repeatedly in the media and in celebrity culture. Remember when Angelina Jolie posed for the cover of W nursing her newborn? Oh, the controversy And when Barbara Walters complained about the woman breastfeeding next to her on a plane? She was forced to issue a public apology. Or what about when supermodel Gisele Bunchen declared that there should be worldwide law that mothers be required to breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life? All hell broke loose.
This topic gets people riled up, and there has never been a narrative account that explores the breastfeeding big picture for parents and their children in today's world. THE BIG LETDOWN by author, journalist, and breastfeeding advocate Kimberly Seals Allers will change that for the better and open up a candid conversation about the cultural, sociological, and economic forces that shape the breastfeeding culture and how it undermines women in the process.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-12-05
- Reviewer: Staff
Journalist Allers (coauthor of The Mocha Manual to Military Life) thinks the slogan Breast Is Best should really be Breast Is Complicated as she comes out swinging against simplistic probreastfeeding arguments. Though some background is necessary, too much of Allerss focus is on examples over a decade old, including a controversial advertising campaign from 2002, a controlled trial from 2001, and infant growth charts that were based on formula-fed babies until 2006. The resulting impression is that she doesnt have much new to say about 21st-century trends. Allers does have one unusual targetfeminismand though much of her ire targets older second-wave ideas, such as the masculinization of women in pursuit of workplace equality, she also blames the well-meaning approach of lactation activists for making breastfeeding seem aggressive or radical rather than normal. She also criticizes third-wave ideas, such as placing breastfeeding in the context of choice feminism rather than public health and social justice, and calls out the middle-class focus on workplace accommodations in corporate environments. Only at the end does Allers step back from the anger to propose approaches for moving forward, and then her ideas are too vague to be useful or actionable. Agent: Stacey Glick, Dystel & Goderich. (Jan.)