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The Politics of Breastfeeding (Issues in Women's Health) Paperback – Illustrated, November 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0044408772 ISBN-10: 0044408773

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Paperback, Illustrated, November 1, 1993
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Product Details

  • Series: Issues in Women's Health
  • Paperback: 309 pages
  • Publisher: New York University Press (November 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0044408773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0044408772
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,022,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Fully explores the political, economic, and social implications of bottle feeding versus breastfeeding.

About the Author

Gabrielle Palmer is a nutritionist and a campaigner. She was a breastfeeding counsellor in the 1970s and helped establish the UK pressure group Baby Milk Action. In the early 1980s she lived and worked as a volunteer in Mozambique. She has written, taught and campaigned on infant feeding issues, particularly the unethical marketing of baby foods. In the 1990s she co-directed the International Breastfeeding: Practice and Policy course at The Institute of Child Health in London until she went to live in China for two years. She has worked independently for various health and development agencies, including serving as HIV and Infant Feeding Officer for UNICEF New York. She recently worked at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where she had originally studied nutrition. She is a mother and a grandmother. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
I'm a mother of two and I wish I had read this book before I breastfed.
GoGoGoth
Read this book if you want to really learn something that will open your eyes and see past advertisements and preconceptions.
EmRae
I recommend highly that everyone, especially pediatricians who still recommend formula at every turn, read this book!
Petula1216

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
As a breastfeeding advocate myself, I wish that all young men and women were required to read this in high school, before parnethood. This book lets the reader see the conection between money, big business, and formula marketing. The book educates on the vast differences between artifical feeding and human milk, differences that the general population is unaware of. If you want to get fired-up over an issue, this is the book for you.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
As someone who had to defend breastfeeding my child, I already had strong views about how society looks at the practise. The first time I read this book (first edition)I found the history behind it fascinating. What really alarmed me, though, was the truth behind formulas and what used to pass as formula! After getting the second edition, I was dismayed to find that nothing had improved in 10 years. This book is well researched an passionate. Be warned! After reading this, you may just become an activist!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Pamela on November 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
Already over ten years old, Gabrielle Palmer's eye-opening book pioneered some of the breastfeeding advocacy arguments being used by activists today.
Links obstacles placed in the way of breastfeeding mothers to the devaluation of the motherhood role which occurred during the growth of the industrial revolution.
Detailed history of breastfeeding and wet-nursing. Narrates the history of the Nestle scandal, in empathy with 3rd World perspective. A strong advocate for the rights of all babies to be nourished from the breast.
Counters anti-breastfeeding sentiment in today's society. Explains away sexuality myths which hinder women from breastfeeding in public. Terrific book for the breastfeeding professional who wants to boost their arguments!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Hormann on July 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
"The Politics of Breastfeeding" has been revised and updated for 2009. The author is none too happy about the on-going need for this book. "Twenty years ago when I was writing the first edition, more than three thousand babies were dying every day from infections triggered by lack of breastfeeding and by the use of bottles, artificial milks and other risky products. This is still happening."

In many industrialized countries the issue is airbrushed away with the cocky self-assurance that these risks don't apply to "us". Think again. Powdered infant formula is not sterile and is sometimes contaminated with pathogens such as Enterobacter sakazakii, salmonella and staphylococcus aureus which can cause serious illnesses. The "2002 outbreaks of serious infection and one death amongst babies in a US hospital intensive care nursery" and the deaths of twins in Belgium cited by Palmer, are only the tip of the iceberg.

A 1988 analysis "found that one in five of the US babies who died at between seven days and 12 months of age did so because they were not breastfed". Since that time there has been no official action to reverse this and formula promotion has increased. This is not just down to the skullduggery of industry. It is also about the collusion of governmental bodies and medical powers-that-be which are supposed to have our best interests at heart.

A 2004 Department of Health and Human Services breastfeeding promotion campaign highlighting the risks of artificial feeding was derailed by industry pressure, the solid science behind it - supported by DHHS' own Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality - trashed by DHHS upper management.
Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Hallberg on July 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
I didn't understand breastfeeding advocacy until I read this book. Gabrielle Palmer covers all the bases on why we need to protect future generations from the mass marketing of infant formula, and how those products have become so prevalent throughout our society and the world. Covers the Nestle' illegal marketing tactics so thoroughly that I can't even consider buying any of their products. Background on the World Health Organisation's stance on the marketing of breastmilk substitutes made me realise what an all-encompassing public health issue breastfeeding is.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 1997
Format: Paperback
I didn't understand breastfeeding advocacy until I read this book. Gabrielle Palmer covers all the bases on why we need to protect future generations from the mass marketing of infant formula, and how those products have become so prevalent throughout our society and the world. Covers the Nestle' illegal marketing tactics so thoroughly that I can't even consider buying any of their products. Background on the World Health Organisation's stance on the marketing of breastmilk substitutes made me realise what an all-encompassing public health issue breastfeeding is
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Katherine L. Houseknecht on May 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
I'm a 33 year-old, married, teacher-turned-stay-at-home mom with two kids under age 5. This book caught my attention at the library because I am still breastfeeding my 2 year old and thought it might remind me of the benefits of long-term breastfeeding and get me pumped up again to keep going. At best, I expected a bland book repeating most of what I already knew about breastfeeding and at worst a weird, extremist point of view. I'm pleasantly surprised to be wrong on both expectations. This dynamic and exciting book has turned out to contain an extremely thorough and well researched history of infant feeding practices throughout the ages and societies of human life paralleled with records of infant illnesses and mortality rates within the same societies and ages. Gabrielle Palmer skillfully weaves together first-person accounts, statistics, photos and her own personal conversations with various women and doctors in different parts of the world to form a very compelling, exciting book. Through a systematic presentation of facts and observations, she effectively builds the case that, notwithstanding our numerous medical advances, breast milk still provides THE foundation to good, life-long human health and world economic conservation. Her knowledge of the World Health Organization's activity regarding infant formula and the economic impact of formula feeding vs. breastfeeding is extremely intricate. She understands and explains how suckling works and how industrialized society undermines a woman's glory in breastfeeding, sometimes tragically casting the breastfeeding woman in a disadvantaged or unintelligent light.Read more ›
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