By Fiona Dykes

'Breast is better' is today’s triumphing mantra. despite the fact that, girls – relatively first-time moms – often suppose unsupported once they come to feed their child. This new event usually happens within the impersonal and medicalized atmosphere of a medical institution maternity ward the place ladies are 'seen to' through overworked midwives. utilizing a UK-based ethnographic learn and interview fabric, this publication offers a brand new, radical and demanding viewpoint at the ways that ladies adventure breastfeeding in hospitals. It highlights that, even with heavy merchandising of breastfeeding, there's frequently an absence of aid for ladies who start to breastfeed in hospitals, therefore difficult the present procedure of postnatal care inside of a tradition during which neither service-user nor supplier think happy. Incorporating thoughts for coverage and perform on boy or girl feeding, Breastfeeding in clinic is extremely suitable to healthiness pros and breastfeeding supporters in addition to to scholars in healthiness and social care, scientific anthropology and clinical sociology, because it explores perform matters whereas contextualising them inside a vast social, political and fiscal context.

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Additional info for Breastfeeding in Hospital: Mothers, Midwives and the Production Line

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In the UK, 85 per cent of mothers classified to higher occupations breastfed initially, compared with 73 per cent of mothers in intermediate occupations, 59 per cent in lower occupations and 52 per cent among those mothers who had never worked (Hamlyn et al. 2002). The government (DoH 1999) therefore highlighted that infant feeding practices were an issue related to inequity. This public health issue was underlined in the government’s NHS Plan, in which a commitment to increase breastfeeding rates by 2004 formed part of the proposed strategy to improve diet and nutrition (DoH 2000).

As Wolf (2000) states, ‘the notion that human lactation is an unreliable body function became a cultural truth that has persisted unabated to the present day’ (93). The scientific discourses around infant feeding at the turn of the twentieth century (Rotch 1890; Budin 1907; Vincent 1910; King 1913) reflected the mechanistic, dualistic and reductionist assumptions of the Enlightenment. They also reflected the growing medical imperative to supervise and regulate women’s bodies and minimise the threat of chaos (Palmer 1993; Carter 1995; Blum 1999; Smale 2000).

Production demanded regularity, repetition and scheduling. All that seemed to be required of the family was that the parents submit to the kind of systematization and discipline in the handling of their children as was routinely required of factory workers on a production line. (Beekman 1977: 113) Although very little was known about children, this era marked the proliferation of scientific/medical dogma and advice related to children across many western countries (Beekman 1977). From the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as Apple (1987) argues, scientific motherhood was culturally constructed and emerged as a ‘coherent ideology’ (97).

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