The Politics of Breastfeeding: When Breasts Are Bad for Business, by Gabrielle Palmer. 2009. (London, Pinter & Martin Ltd, $17.95, 423 pages, paperback.)
(Originally printed in Midwifery Today, Issue 94, Summer 2010. I did not receive a personal copy of this book.)
The Politics of Breastfeeding is a true page-turner. In 21 riveting chapters, author Gabrielle Palmer leads us through the wonders of breast milk and the history of infant formula marketing. She shows us how companies strive to undermine mothers and babies all over the world by using tactics like dressing salespeople as nurses to infiltrate underprivileged nations and convince women that formula is better than what they have to offer.
Without refrigeration and sanitary water, it is no surprise that many of these formula-fed infants fair poorly or die. Despite the many codes and regulations put forth regarding the marketing of artificial baby milk, these companies continue to prey on women who cannot afford formula. Palmer brings these practices to light, illustrating the need to make breastfeeding the standard for infant care all over the world. A recent study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ journal, Pediatrics, which highlighted the savings, both in terms of life and money, that breastfeeding saves by preventing illness and death, makes this book all the more important for everyone to read.
If you work with new mothers, this book may give you insight into the kind of support you can offer them as they begin their breastfeeding relationships with their babies. For so many women, it is the level of support that ultimately makes the difference whether they continue to breastfeed or not.
Buy It Now at Amazon: The The Politics of Breastfeeding: When Breasts are Bad for Business
Disclosure statement: I did not receive a copy of this book or anything else in exchange for reviewing it.