Breast or Bottle?
Contemporary Controversies in Infant-Feeding Policy and Practice
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of South Carolina Press
Breast or Bottle?
Series Editor’s Preface
Amy Koerber writes that scientific evidence in recent decades strongly supports the value of infant breastfeeding because of its profound benefits in strengthening the human immune system. This support has been a major shift in the public framing of scientific thinking. ...
Although it seems like a long time ago, acknowledgments for this project extend all the way back to my dissertation at the University of Minnesota. In writing the dissertation, I benefited greatly from mentoring and writing guidance from my advisor Mary Lay Schuster and from committee members Laura Gurak, Arthur Walzer, and Karlyn Kohrs Campbell. ...
Just a few decades ago, the notion that human milk contains immuneprotective qualities was routinely dismissed by medical experts, even referred to as the stuff of “wives’ tales and folklore.”1 Now the American Academy of Family Physicians states in a position paper that “not breastfeeding is associated with increased risks of common conditions ...
1. Infant Feeding and Rhetoric: An Overview
The recent intensification and proliferation of pro-breastfeeding messages in the United States can be traced to a highly publicized policy statement that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published in 1997. The statement urged women to breastfeed for at least the first year of the infant’s life and stipulated that breastfeeding is “the reference or normative model ...
2. From “Wives’ Tales and Folklore” to Scientific Fact: Rhetorics of Breastfeeding and Immunity in the Mid–Twentieth Century
The idea that human milk affords the nursing infant a unique form of immune protection is not new. In fact, an immunology article published in 1988 cites an 1892 German study as the first to report that human milk affords some kind of immune protection.1 A pediatrics article published in 1974 cites studies dated 1922, 1934, 1935, 1958, and 1961, ...
3. Articulating Knowledge and Practice: The Rhetoric of Infant-Feeding Policy
We now take a more in-depth look at the three AAP policy statements that have communicated the organization’s official stance on breastfeeding during the last three decades. The first statement, titled “The Promotion of Breastfeeding,” was authored by the AAP Task Force on the Promotion of Breastfeeding and published in 1982. ...
4. Viral Rhetoric: Breast and Bottle in Current Promotional Discourse
A poster published by the American Academy of Pediatrics contains the following text about human milk’s immune-protective qualities: “New babies are at risk for many infections. It is important that they receive all recommended immunizations. Breast milk is not only the perfect food, but is loaded with infection-fighting substances that help protect babies right from birth. ...
5. Rhetorical Agency and Resistance in the Context of Infant Feeding
As we continue to analyze how the breast–bottle controversy impacts the mothers targeted by today’s messages about infant feeding, we turn to consider the messages that women are hearing about infant feeding from friends, relatives, and health-care professionals, and through other informal means of communication. ...
6. Feminism, Rhetoric, and Breastfeeding: Some Concluding Remarks
In an August 29, 2008, interview with People magazine, vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin was asked how she could handle running for vice president while being a mother of five children, one of whom was still an infant. Palin started with her usual reply about the many challenges she had faced, but on this occasion she added some interesting language: ...
Appendix: Research Participants