Sep 20 2013
Politics of Parenting: Bottled Up – How the Way We Feed Babies has come to Define Motherhood, and Why It Shouldn’t
As part of our on-going series on Parenting and Child Development, we turn to an issue which has become the focus of heated debate among new parents, particularly mothers – it is the debate over breastfeeding. Currently that debate is relegated to whether women have the right to do so in public rather than whether breastfeeding is the best thing in the world for mother and baby. And, very little focus is put on whether governments actually support breastfeeding through policies and practices rather than just words.
Breastfeeding has been claimed to reduce allergies, guard against obesity, prevent ear infections, increase IQ, and so much more. Mothers who have trouble breastfeeding often find themselves saddled with feelings of guilt if they cannot or choose not to breastfeed.
In her book Bottled Up: How The Way We Feed Babies has come to Define Motherhood, and Why It Shouldn’t, Suzanne Barston, a strong advocate of breastfeeding, provides mothers with information to make a legitimate choice about how to feed their babies.
NOTE FROM SONALI: I should say, this is very personal terrain for me, who, during my own child-bearing experiences went through greater trauma over the inability to breastfeed and the subsequent guilt due to the relentless “breast-is-best” dogma, than my actual labor and deliveries. I spoke with Suzanne Barston when her book came out last year, while I was pregnant with my second child.
GUEST: Suzanne Barston, journalist who blogs at Fearless Formula Feeder, and author of Bottled Up: How the Way We Feed Babies has come to Define Motherhood, and Why It Shouldn’t